Document Type

White Paper

Original Date


Date of Submission

February 2017


In a study that spanned more than four months from April through August of 2016, the Virginia Impact Investing Forum surveyed nearly 200 stakeholders and held dozens of personal interviews and focus groups with thought leaders across the state. The goal was to map Virginia’s Impact Investing and Social Enterprise ecosystem and to determine the next steps necessary to the continued growth and prosperity of this emerging field. Results show that there is strong interest in seeing Impact Investing and Social Enterprise development flourish throughout Virginia, as evidenced by concerted efforts from across all three sectors to promote this ecosystem, including bi-partisan government actors, private equity firms, foundations, and entrepreneurs. One general theme that has emerged in conversations and survey responses around Impact Investing is the tension that often exists between prospective Impact Investors and Social Entrepreneurs, and while this research does not seek to solidify answers to some of the most pressing questions that create these tensions, it does make a key point: Impact Investing has the potential to be something entirely different from philanthropy and investing, something that has the power to reshape longstanding economic barriers between one’s wallet and one’s heart, by fueling the creative fire behind social innovation and breaking down the walls between the traditional public, nonprofit, and private sectors - And that is something worth celebrating, and worth continuing to fight for.

Is Part Of

VCU Division of Community Engagement

Included in

Business Commons


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