How Multinational Corporations Are Redefining Business Strategies to Reach Poor or Vulnerable Populations
In 2008, the Rockefeller Foundation launched its program initiative on impact investing with an important premise in mind: that the resources of government and philanthropy alone are insufficient to address the world's biggest challenges.
Over the past four years, this initiative has sought to help build the emerging industry of impact investing as well as to hold it accountable for its social and environmental impact goals. Since then, the concept and the practice of impact investing - placing capital with the intent to generate positive social impact beyond financial return - have grown and matured significantly.
As our initiative has progressed considerably, the opportunity is being taken to contribute further to the acceleration of impact investing from new perspectives and with complementary strategies.
In parallel with advancements in impact investing, there have been significant developments in the area of creating shared value. Shared value strategies drive large companies to undertake work that combines the pursuit of profit with the pursuit of positive social and environmental impact; in that way, it is analogous to the way impact investors deploy capital.
As part of the development of a strategy designed to help foster the "demand-side" of socially - and/or environmentally-focused capital, the Foundation has recently worked with various organizations to understand how large companies, through their business operations and practices, can make strong positive impacts on underserved communities. These impacts can be direct, such as through delivery of products and services or through employment of people who traditionally face substantial labor market barriers. They can also be indirect, as when large companies partner with smaller, dedicated "impact enterprises".