Impact investment advocacy organization, Alternative Asset Analysis (AAA), has said that the increasing number of business degree and Masters courses that are focusing on impact investing is a welcome sign of the growing importance and unquestionable credibility of the sector.
Boston, Massachusetts, UNITED STATES, June 17, 2011 -- Impact investment advocacy organization, Alternative Asset Analysis (AAA), has said that the increasing number of business degree and Masters courses that are focusing on impact investing is a welcome sign of the growing importance and unquestionable credibility of the sector.
AAA analyst, Anthony Johnson, said that prestigious, internationally renowned business schools – including Wharton and Stanford – are now running MBA programs that allow their students to focus on socially responsible forms of investment, such as sustainable timber projects. These courses, he said, will create an ever-improving field of expertise in the sector.
His words echoed those of the chief executive of the San Francisco-based impact investment group, Investors' Circle, Suzanne Biegel, who said that the programs were gaining importance across the globe. "Social entrepreneurship programs have exploded in business schools across the US and Europe," she said.
Cornell University's Graduate School of Management and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University also host specific programs, with the latter going one step further this year, hosting the first International Impact Investing Challenge.
The challenge put forward more than $40,000 in prizes for students who could produce innovative impact investment vehicles, which were then pitched to institutional investors, including endowments, pension funds, and family foundations.
Johnson said that the rise of these courses in the business schools of the world was an important foreshadowing of the types of investments that are set to drive the global financial industry in the future.
"Impact investment assets are currently estimated to be valued at $50 billion, with industry studies predicting them to explode to $500 billion by the year 2025, suggesting that the students currently focusing their MBAs on them are doing so with highly justifiable reason," said Johnson.
"Impact and alternative investments open up a whole new social perspective on learning about finance, based around the fact that where there is human need there is opportunity. The changes that this has on supply and demand throughout supply chain are numerous an they also add a social benefit layer that did not previously exist in the financial markets."
Many of the programs are focusing on the modes of business and the basic needs of the countries where many impact investments occur – practices and needs that most investors will be unfamiliar with. Impact investment is predicted to show its strongest growth in China, India, and in African nations, where the markets are dealing with population migration, resource scarcity and growth demands, as well as infrastructure-related issues. All of these problems present ample opportunity for investment projects, so it is only appropriate that the students of today spend their education learning about them.
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