TriLinc Joins Forces with SOCAP in Good Capital Project Launch

On June 19th New York City, the epicenter for capitalism, provided the setting for the launch of the Good Capital Project (GCP), a two-year impact investment initiative spearheaded by Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) to increase the flow of capital into purpose-driven investments. Over the past 10 years, SOCAP has built a global network of investors, entrepreneurs, and social impact leaders across sectors, all of which are united by a common goal: addressing the world’s toughest challenges through market-based solutions. SOCAP has convened over 15,000 people at its events since 2008, and hosts events year-round to continue conversations about money and meaning.

TriLinc Global is equally committed to fostering capitalism for good. As an impact fund sponsor, our goal is to advance systemic change by pursuing market rate returns alongside positive socioeconomic and environmental impact in investment strategies that attract capital at scale. Our longtime support of SOCAP’s initiatives underscores our passion for strengthening the impact investment sector to achieve these goals.

The GCP aims to develop common tools, resources, and frameworks to be used across the industry, aligning capital markets with human needs. In an interview (full text can be found here) as a part of SOCAP’s “Why Good Capital Project?” series, TriLinc’s co-founder and CEO Gloria Nelund emphasized that collaboration across sectors is critical to transforming how people think about the industry. She noted that movements that seek to change behaviors over time must be collaborative, not competitive, and that it will “take a lot of people playing a lot of different roles in different arenas” to achieve substantial changes in the impact investment industry.

SOCAP has identified several friction points in the industry which have prevented impact investing from effectively attracting mainstream capital. GCP focuses on overcoming six grand challenges that hinder the development of a robust impact investing ecosystem: creating shared understanding, identifying investable solutions, enabling the entrepreneur, streamlining impact management and metrics, creating legal structures and policies, and developing efficient distribution and product design. The June 19th kickoff event convened the industry’s thought leaders, investors, investment advisors, practitioners, academia, and forward-thinking corporations to lay the foundation for actionable change to address these challenges.

The event’s main activity, through six concurrent breakout sessions, was to map the pathway and identify key actors and the actions required for solving the six grand challenges:

1) Creating shared understanding: designing a framework for the impact investing ecosystem and developing tools to improve knowledge sharing.

2) Investable solutions: addressing the current state of the impact market and identifying which sectors are ready for market rate returns, and which areas need subsidies to catalyze the market.

3) Enabling the entrepreneur: discovering how to improve the impact landscape to enable business owners to thrive and create social impact.

4) Impact management and metrics: exploring how to streamline existing tools and metrics and creating a unified approach to impact management and measurement.

5) Legal structure and policy: discussing existing regulations and policies are in place in the impact market, and identifying which could be added or improved to enable more participants to join the market.

6) Efficient distribution and product design: exploring how existing impact pioneers have achieved market rate risk and return profiles, and studying traditional asset managers to understand their methods for creating, launching, and delivering products to consumers.

TriLinc Managing Partner Joan Trant was one of several presenters who gave a briefing to provide context for the breakout session on efficient distribution and product design. After this brief orientation, Joan and her fellow presenters acted as peer discussants in smaller groups to facilitate the framing of key questions, the answers to which will address root issues in developing and distributing impact investment products at scale.

Over the next two years, the GCP will continue to engage with actors across the impact investing sector to develop the systems needed to resolve the challenges defined in the launch event. TriLinc is committed to continuing its involvement in this initiative; please see our upcoming blogs for more insights on Joan’s breakout session and the continued evolution of these efforts.