Impact Investing


Creating Positive Social And Environmental Outcomes

Impact investing has emerged over the past decade as one of the most talked about new strategies for tackling social and environmental problems. With the goal of creating measurable impact in addition to financial returns, impact investing typically supports ventures that are working towards positive social or environmental outcomes.

The Centre for Social Innovation & Impact Investing at the Sauder School of Business at UBC is the lead entity for social innovation and social enterprise on campus. Based on the success of the e@UBC Seed Fund, which provides funding for early-stage ventures at UBC, we are eager to expand the University's investment capabilities and develop a new source of capital support that meets the unique needs of social ventures.


  What is Impact Investing?

Impact investing refers to the act of making investments into companies, organizations and funds with the intent to create measurable social and environmental impact alongside financial returns. It offers new possibilities to tackle problems in both developed and developing country contexts and is an important tool to add to the toolkit of both investors and philanthropists.

Impact investing is a dynamic and growing field where innovation is enabling more capital to flow to ventures creating impact in an entrepreneurial and sustainable way. Our goal is to support the growth of this field through research and collaborative initiatives to the increase of impact investing activity by Canadian investors, resulting in more social ventures successfully growing and achieving sustainability in Canada and globally.

Why Now?

Today, many investors and philanthropists are seeking opportunities to leverage their investment capital for positive societal outcomes as well as financial returns. Impact investing has been described as a “rising tide,” with the win- win combination of social and financial returns increasing in appeal over traditional investment strategies. Many people, especially among younger generations, are seeking investment opportunities that reflect their social values.

What We Are Doing

Over the past year, the Centre for Social Innovation & Impact Investing has been researching and evaluating the field of impact investing and reviewing the financial mechanisms and vehicles that are in use globally. Below are the four areas that our Impact Investing program is working on in this growing field:


Impact Investing Seed Fund

Early stage investments are critical to the development of all new ventures, but social ventures face unique challenges and funding gaps, as many require time to realize their social and environmental goals. Philanthropic capital is recognized as a crucial component of social venture funding. Similar to the e@UBC Seed Fund, the Impact Investing Seed Fund will provide flexibility, greater risk tolerance and the long- term vision needed to support social innovation at UBC.

Impact Investing Research

Sauder S3i aims to be a global leader in impact investing research and knowledge. Our impact investing program will enable research in areas that are critical to the development of the impact investing field in Canada and globally. Our research focus includes: impact measurement in impact investing, enabling policy for impact investing, assessing past performance of impact investments and other pressing topics.

Review our publications on our Impact Investing Research page.

Internship Opportunities

The creation of internships will provide students with an opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience with social ventures, exposure to an entrepreneurial environment and insights into cutting-edge impact investing strategies.

Applied Research - Working With Industry Partners

Via the Pacific Impact Investor Network (PIIN) we aim to create a collaborative network of like-minded individuals who will work together to increase capital investment in ventures creating positive social impact. Research undertaken specifically for network members will perform in-depth analyses on the impact investing sector and will provide real-time information on current investment opportunities.