Oxford University, Kellogg Foundation Launch Impact Investing Program

The Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation have announced the launch of the Oxford Impact Investing Programme, an effort to advance the field of impact investing by helping philanthropic and financial professionals refine their strategies and gain the skills needed to design innovative transactions that can maximize social change.

To be held in April on the Oxford campus, the program's first event will provide social investors, funders, financial professionals, and advisors from around the globe with a deeper understanding of venture capital, financial instruments, loan valuation methods, how to measure the social impact of an investment and communicate returns on investment, and exit strategies.

With large philanthropic organizations and social issue-conscious investors increasingly looking to invest in nonprofit and for-profit enterprises that yield both social and financial returns, impact investments could represent a global market of more than $500 billion over the next five to ten years. The program, which has received support from the Global Impact Investing Network, the Council on Foundations, the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, the European Venture Philanthropy Association, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, will be directed by Alex Nicholls, university lecturer in social entrepreneurship; John Hoffmire, director of the Saïd Global Entrepreneur Network and Venture Fund; and associate fellow Gayle Peterson.

"At the foundation, we see mission-driven investing as an additional tool to go beyond traditional grantmaking [that] enables us to achieve our triple bottom line — social returns, financial returns and learning returns — for the fields of philanthropy and business," said WKKF president and CEO Sterling K. Speirn. "When we all share what we know and what we've learned, we multiply the opportunities to get the outcomes we all want."