What is impact investing?

EIIG is Emory University’s only undergraduate impact investing group. Scroll down to learn more about what impact investing is!

Impact Investing

What is Impact Investing?

…impact investing represents a significant opportunity to bring the innovation, incentives, and resources from business to the social sector. – The Case Foundation 


What is Impact Investing?

EIIG Analyst Mary Chen (L) and CIO Jonathan Moore (R) with Atlanta-area entrepreneurs during a EIIG event.

What is Impact Investing?

Impact Investing is not a term everyone has heard of, but its meaning is essentially captured by the name – *investing to make an impact*. The goal of impact investing is to make debt-investments in small businesses with the intention of making a social impact within the community through such a loan. The social impact of these micro-businesses can come in the form of goods, services, employment, etc. to their respected communities. Additionally, investing in these businesses helps to promote economic vitality and close what is known as the “micro-business gap.” 

Closing the Micro-Business Gap with Targeted Investments in Social Capital

According to research recently conducted by Emory University, there is little difference in the number of large businesses between low- and high- poverty residential neighborhoods; however, there is a substantial gap in the number of micro-businesses (with four or fewer employees) per capita in high-poverty neighborhoods. 

To unlock the full economic potential of these communities, we must provide the most promising micro-entrepreneurs the business tools, network access, and early-stage financing needed to develop their businesses. Over the last couple years, Social Enterprise at Goizueta (Emory University) has worked with the Village Capital model of peer-driven enterprise acceleration to support micro-entrepreneurs in Clarkston, Georgia.

The decision to take the lessons learned from Village Capital and apply them to support micro-entrepreneurs is rooted in three core beliefs.

  1. It is important to cultivate micro-businesses in low income areas. 
  2. There are promising entrepreneurs in low-income areas. 
  3. We can influence the social capital that micro-entrepreneurs need to succeed. 

What does EIIG do?

EIIG is a student run organization that focuses on providing short-term debt-investments to micro-entrepreneurs in the Metro-Atlanta area. We currently are working in the Clarkston and East Lake communities to find promising entrepreneurs that will provide some form of social impact. 

EIIG also offers consulting services to the micro-businesses that we invest in. Each entrepreneur works with a group of EIIG analysts that focuses on improving the business’s performance and assisting the entrepreneur. Outside of our investment and consulting initiatives, EIIG also hosts events in the Atlanta area related to impact investing.