Rod Schwartz is CEO of ClearlySo, a company that helps social entrepreneurs raise capital. He was a leading analyst on Wall Street before shifting his focus to helping grow the social investment marketplace and build a more social economy. Described as ‘the leading advocate and supporter of social enterprise.’ by Peter Tyson of the Body Shop, he founded Catalyst Fund Management & Research in 1997, followed by ClearlySo in 2009, which provides social enterprises with business support and strategic advice.
Social or “impact” investing is growing. Once a niche, this sector is now large and diverse: from microfinance – estimated to be worth approximately $8.2 billion in 2009 (1), to low-carbon finance – which HSBC predicts will reach $2.2 trillion by 2020. The opportunity for making money from a product or service that delivers social, as well as financial value, is growing every day. Could impact investment become the norm rather than a niche?
BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight asks the question, "Why are social enterprises thriving in the UK?". It cites Social Enterprise UK’s Fight Back Britain report, which notes that "57% of social enterprises are predicting growth in the next 12 months, compared with 41% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)."