Market Research & Guides

As any new and disruptive paradigm does, impact investing faces a long list of difficult challenges.  The marketplace is still relatively new – there is a growing list of unanswered questions. Most notably, investors are asking about return expectations, social and environmental impact measurement, and clarity of purpose. In the hopes of providing our community a solid footing to consider these questions, we’ve compiled current research, opinions, and resources below:


ImpactAssets 50 is a gateway into the world of impact investing for investors and their financial advisors, offering a clear, frictionless way for potential investors to identify experienced impact investing firms and work either independently or with their advisors to explore their potential investment options. It is the first “open source,” publicly published list of private debt and equity impact investment fund managers and offers investors a starting place for the discussions and due diligence that must take place before making any impact investment decision.

Global Benchmark (SYM50) The SYM50 is a microfinance institutions’ benchmark compiling 10 key indicators from 50 MFIs, largely composed of second tier institutions, with whom Symbiotics works most frequently. This benchmark is adjusted on a quarterly basis by the Symbiotics Research & Advisory team to reflect Symbiotics’ outstanding investment volumes and geographical allocation.

GIIN Pioneer Funds GIIRS Pioneer Funds are leading private equity and venture capital funds that make impact investments in companies in both developed economies like the U.S. and Europe, as well as throughout the global emerging markets. GIIRS Pioneer Funds will participate in a private beta of version 3.0 of the B Impact Ratings System and will be the first funds to receive a GIIRS Impact Rating.


Return Expectations:

While results vary based on the type of financial instrument and industry, impact investment returns have demonstrated their competitiveness with traditional benchmarks (Source).

Firms of Endearment,” defined as those companies that explicitly take a stakeholder-centric approach, returned 1,025 percent over a 10-year period, compared to 122 percent for the S&P 500 during the same period (Source).

Future of Impact Investing Market:

Measuring Social Impact:

Additional Resources:



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