Impact Investing as a Career
Due to the change it can bring about in society, and its capability of positively affecting the lives of people and the environment they dwell in, Impact Investing is verily an attractive avenue. But unless you have a lot of money that you can “invest” in socially beneficial projects, can you still partake in impact investing? Well brace yourselves, because it is indeed possible for you to practise impact investing! What is more, you can even build a career in it, not only adding meaning to your life but also some juice to your bank account.
The Job —
Even though you might not have a capital significant enough to make a difference, you can still lend your skills to people and organizations who do have money and are seeking to indulge in impact investing. This helps them get started with creating positive change, and allows you to employ your devices and agency for the social good, all the while earning a living in doing so.
The Role —
With a career in impact investing you can contribute to the investments made by your employer in many different ways. In general, it is possible to get hired to fulfill one or more of the following roles:
Sourcing: Working in the capacity of a finance analyst or associate you can help the investor by conducting research, and scanning the global market for businesses and organizations that the investor is interested to invest into.
Due diligence: After potential organizations have been shortlisted as worthy of investing into, your job can also include diving deep into the history of their practices and outcomes in order to better assess how much impact an investment in them is capable of generating.
Investment terms: Once you have satisfactorily condensed your list of potential investments down to a few organizations, and got them greenlighted by your employer, it is time for you to discuss and negotiate the terms and conditions of the investment with the organizations. Only after a proper execution of this step can an investment deal can be struck.
Impact/Outcome evaluation: Aside from managing the various steps and processes that go into making an investment, you can also make yourself useful by doing a detailed analysis of the investments the investor has made so far and measure the impact generated per unit investment. Thereby helping your employer to make better and more beneficial decisions next time and optimizing the investment to impact ratio.
The Profile —
While a career in impact investing sounds like an enriching and rewarding experience, which it surely is, it is also equally demanding and comes with great responsibility. Thus, even with more and more investors such as banks, trusts and other organizations looking to create impact with their investments, it might not be as straightforward to secure a position as you might think. The first hurdle to clear is the acquisition of the numerous and varied skills that one needs in order to carry out the roles that such a position requires. After all, if you want to make decisions that put someone else’s principal at risk with the expectation of financial reward, having well-honed finance skills is a must. Secondly, even with proper education and knowledge investors might be reluctant to hire you if you do not have enough prior experience in the field or in a related one.
Thus, should you wish to give such a career in impact investing a try, the first thing you have got to do is get the best education possible on the subject matter. While this can be very well achieved by a good university (or multiple degrees), you can also try your hands at online professional courses such as those available on Coursera, EdX and suchlike.
Additionally, once you have or while you are in the process of acquiring the prerequisite qualifications for such a career, it is also best to try your hands at internships and low-risk jobs to give you a feel of the investing world and earn yourself some practical experience before ultimately applying for a full-time position. So if you think impact investing can be a career for you, start now!