How to Get Involved in the Impact Investing Sector
Impact Investing has become an extremely popular sector, providing both a stable career and an opportunity to make an impact. This relatively new field of impact is attracting young professionals all over the world and you could be one of them.
How to get started in impact investing:
Business and social entrepreneurs are working to make improvements in areas including energy efficiency, education, health, economic empowerment, and food security - just to name a few. When considering a career in impact investing it is important to think about where you can make the greatest impact. Think about what interests you - whether it is a specific environmental or social issue or a country, region, or community in need. If you are interested in the field you should pursue a career in impact investing regardless of your gender or race. As impact investing continues to grow, diverse students and young professionals should be encouraged enter the field and use their diverse perspective as an asset to the organization.
Next you must know your options because wherever you are on your career path, you do have options. Start by understanding the entire cycle of an investment and the types of careers available at each stage, as outlined below:
Sourcing leads – Analysts and associates conduct primary and secondary research to identify potential investees for their organization.
Due diligence – Team members dive into organizations including analyzing financial statements and models, scheduling calls, and conducting field visits.
Investment terms – The team develops their investment terms and negotiates with the entrepreneur. The investment is made once the investor and investee sign-off on the term sheet.
Value add – Investors add value to entrepreneurs through capacity building. Assistance can range from help in developing baseline metrics to identifying and recruiting board members.
Impact evaluation – Analysts track and measure an organization’s social and environmental impact on the communities it serves.
As an undergraduate coming out of college or a young professional coming out of grad school, there are many roles you can take to become an impact investment professional.
If you have a financial background, an MBA, finance degree, or past financial experience, focus on your hard skills. You can tailor your search to career areas that fit best with the skills you already have. For example, if you have strong analytical skills you could have a job where you analyze the social, environmental, and governance (ESG) performance of companies. If you have strong communication skills look for an impact investing company that needs to better articulate their stories and create connections for potential investors.
Read more of the article on impact investing here.