Impact Investing's Crucial Role in Tackling Global Issues

Impact Investing's Crucial Role in Tackling Global Issues

By Erika Masako Welch, 11 December 2023

It’s December 2023, and COP28, the world’s largest annual conference on the climate crisis, has opened its doors in Dubai.

And while the world’s member states review country by country progress on past year commitments to cut emissions and work towards restricting global temperature increases to 1.5C; perhaps this is the ideal background to launch such a report – looking at the impact of impact investing, across the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals.

All focus may be on climate change, today in Dubai – but the truth is – there are a plethora of challenges around the world that require ingenuity, innovation, and capital to tackle.

Impact Investing is a US $1.2 trillion market today.

As the world’s problems get bigger, government budgets are getting smaller, and social capitalists are stepping in to write cheques against novel and innovative business models looking to solve some of the most challenging problems facing the world today.

The funding gap to achieve the SDGs by 2030 is now US $4.2 trillion, up from US $2.5 trillion in 2015. Which tells us that despite our best efforts, more capital is needed.

But this report also sets out to show us that some of the most innovative and impactful startups and businesses that are making a real difference in the world today, all start with a simple idea – and carry it through to execution. We cover startups that are tackling the plastics waste issue, whether that’s from a recycling vantage point, or from the materials science angle – where scientists are developing biodegradable plastics from the get-go. 

There are startups that are bringing internet connectivity to the most remote places on earth, which are supporting indigenous farmers implement IoT solutions to support their crop yields.

There are startups using big data, geospatial mapping and drone technology to help restore hundreds of thousands of acres of forests and mangroves – which will have countless positive effects not just on our future ecosystems, but on carbon sequestration and climate change today.

There are renewable energy power companies looking forward to provide renewable energy for the world’s growing data centers, a cornerstone of the digital age we currently live in.

We also cover data analytics companies that look at aggregating ESG reporting data to determine accuracies and anomalies. And we also look at healthtech startups that are redefining the power of the digital stethoscope in the 21st century.

Many of these startups were made possible through the funding of impact investors, looking to make a difference in the world with every dollar they put to work. And these are the startups and investors we want to draw your attention to – as a reminder of all of the ways in which we can have an impact in the world today. Whether that is as an entrepreneur, an investor, or as a startup employee.

Perhaps, if you’re looking for a little inspiration – you’ll find it here, in our special Impact Investing report.