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Putting the “Impact” in Investing

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The recent Global Philanthropy Forum in Washington, D.C., drew hundreds of participants from the worlds of finance and philanthropy, underscoring the growing interest in focusing private investments on projects that will advance a social good.

The forum, which featured a special address from Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield, generated considerable discussion about the roles of the private and public sectors in achieving positive social change and financial return.

While Littlefield stressed that OPIC was “living proof that private investment for the public good can work and does work,” she also conceded that the public and private sectors often approach what is commonly known as “impact investing” with a poor understanding of the best ways they can interact.

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