In the past five years we’ve seen an exponential growth of interest in our industry, much of it focused on individual firms. Most impact investors see their primary goal as finding and investing in enterprises that yield strong financial and social returns—a goal we share and support. But we worry this singular focus may miss the forest for the trees.
In this discussion paper, we argue for a shift in focus—toward the goal of scaling entire industry sectors, in addition to individual firms. Our experience from the past eight years is that impact investors can massively increase the number of lives they touch by concentrating investments in specific industry sectors in specific geographies, and by investing in a range of organizations to accelerate the development of these industry segments.