The challenges facing the world are significant and immediate. In 2015, the United Nations agreed on 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and estimated that achieving the goals by 2030 would require between $5 trillion and $7 trillion annually. Impact investing can play an important in reaching the SDGs by channelling capital from a broad set of investors to address social and environmental issues, but it is also important to be aware of some of the barriers, real and perceived, that impact investing faces from regulation and the lack of common data and standards.

How to use these resources

Much of the content in this section relates to the United Nations SDGs. The SDGs are one framework that can be used by impact investors, but they are not the only one. It is also important at this stage to pause and reflect on the need for impact investing to work for people who ultimately benefit. They are covered in other modules as well, but this is the right moment to embed an understanding of their centrality to the impact investing process. Finally, make sure to read the three key reports that summarise the market’s growth drivers and constraints. Each takes a slightly different approach, but they have much in common.