Submitted by Investors' Circle - SJF Institute
Continuing its long-standing record of leadership in impact investing, socially responsible angel network Investors' Circle (IC) has become the first Global Impact Investing Ratings System (GIIRS) partner. B Lab, the nonprofit organization that certifies companies that adhere to stringent social and environmental standards as B Corporations, launched GIIRS in January, 2010 in collaboration with the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and Rockefeller Foundation. "By partnering with GIIRS, Investors' Circle is signaling the importance of rigorous impact assessment to its members, entrepreneurs, and the broader impact investing community," says Amit Bouri of GIIN.
GIIRS aims to drive more capital to higher impact investments by providing investors with comparable impact ratings and analysis for companies and funds. As a result of the IC-GIIRS partnership, all companies that are selected to present at Investors' Circle's biannual Venture Fairs will be required to obtain a GIIRS rating. Using this data, IC members and other accredited investors in attendance will be able to compare the relative impact of different investment opportunities. Companies can use their GIIRS ratings to benchmark their social and environmental performance and as a tool for raising capital from impact investors both inside and outside the IC network.
"We are excited about making GIIRS our official impact ratings tool. This partnership not only creates a new standard of measurement for IC, but it offers tangible value to the entire social enterprise ecosystem," says IC co-Director, Deb Parsons. IC hopes to encourage other investment groups and individual investment intermediaries to adopt GIIRS as the emerging standard for assessing and communicating the social and environmental impact of global private equity and debt investments.
The official IC-GIIRS partnership announcement will be made during Day Three of the IC Spring 2010 Conference & Venture Fair, April 20th at the Westin Market Street in San Francisco, CA. Following the announcement, an interactive plenary discussion will explore the role of metrics and transparency in capital markets today. The panel will feature a B Lab/GIIRS representative and perspectives from angel investors and social entrepreneurs. Day Three of the event is open to accredited investors, social entrepreneurs, nonprofit representatives, and others who are interested in creating a sustainable economy.
Investors' Circle is a network of over 225 angel investors, professional venture capitalists, foundations, family offices and others who are using private capital to promote the transition to a sustainable economy. Since 1992, Investors' Circle has facilitated the flow of over $133 million into more than 200 companies and small funds addressing social and environmental issues.
B Lab is a nonprofit organization dedicated to using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Lab drives systemic change through three interrelated initiatives: 1) building a community of Certified B Corporations to make it easier for all of us to tell the difference between "good companies" and just good marketing; 2) accelerating the growth of the impact investing asset class through use of B Lab's GIIRS impact rating system by institutional investors; and 3) promoting supportive public policies, including creation of a new corporate form and tax, procurement, and investment incentives for sustainable business.
SJF Institute was founded in 2001 as an independent nonprofit affiliate of SJF Ventures, a leading national impact investment venture capital fund. SJFI develops national and regional programs to connect, inspire and accelerate impact entrepreneurs and the fields that support them. SJFI has provided direct technical assistance to over 1500 impact entrepreneurs and has helped hundreds of others through its signature programs, including Getting Ready for Equity™, CleanLinks networking events, the SJF Cleantech Mentorship Program, the Green Jobs Award, and field-building reports such as Employees Matter: Maximizing Company Value Through Workforce Engagement.
Since 1992 Investors' Circle has built a network of over 150 angel investors, professional venture capitalists, foundations and family offices who are using private capital to promote the transition to a sustainable economy. During that time Investors' Circle has facilitated the flow of over $145 million into more than 220 companies and small funds addressing social and environmental issues. Members in IC's network of impact investors include some of the most experienced angels, early-stage and growth funds working to change the world.
Together, SJF Institute and Investors' Circle will increase entrepreneurs' access to capital, resources and networks, and will provide more opportunities for collaboration among impact investors.
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