Large scale impact investments will create more funding opportunities and catalyse innovative approaches to social, environmental and economic challenges, which proves instrumental in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), says a survey.
The survey, carried out among 100 investors and high officials of business firms, was conducted by LightCastle Partners, a Bangladeshi business consultancy firm.
It was carried out for two months (March-April) this year, reads a press release.
The report was presented at a virtual programme in the capital on Tuesday, organised by Roots of Impact, a German-based financial consultancy firm, and LightCastle in partnership with Biniyog Briddhi, Bangladesh Angels, SBK Tech Ventures, Startup Bangladesh Limited, and Venture Capital and Private Equity Association of Bangladesh (VCPEAB), it added.
In the survey, 30% respondents opined that increased impact investments provide more funding facilities for enterprises, while 27% said it becomes easier to face social and environmental challenges if business is done with innovative and new approaches. Some 14% thought that there will be positive effects regarding achievement of SDGs with large scale impact investments.
The programme also included unveiling of the Innovative Finance Toolkit titled 'The Thriving Future of Impact Investing in Bangladesh.'
Toolkit was unveiled to help the investors better understand the potentials of impact investment, especially in Bangladesh. It contained information on different perspectives of investment in Bangladesh, positive effect of impact investments, funding guideline and different sources of funding of entrepreneurs.
Later, a discussion titled "Effect and future potential of impact investment" was held.
Bijon Islam, Founder and CEO of LightCastle, and Maxim Cheng, programme manager of Roots of Impact, presented the keynote papers.
Bijon Islam also moderated the discussion.
Sonia Bashir Kabir, Founder and Chairman of SBK Tech Ventures, Nirjhor Rahman, CEO of Bangladesh Angels, Shawkat Hossain, General Secretary of VCPEAB; Bjoern Struewer, Founder and CEO of Roots of Impact, attended as panel discussants.
Presenting his keynote paper, Islam mentioned three main challenges regarding impact enterprises: knowledge gaps at both enterprise and investor level, absence of formal frameworks for measuring and reporting impact, and impact enterprises' inability to scale and sustain.
Bangladesh has the third highest impact investment rate in South Asia after India and Pakistan. So far, 830 million Dollars from Development Finance Institution (DFI) has been invested, while 120 million Dollars has been distributed from other impact investors, said Islam.
Maxim Cheng said 500 billion Dollars has been invested in impact investment sector in the world market. Its amount will increase more in the future. It is a big opportunity for us.