In 2020, Oikocredit US undertook a 6-month research study to better understand the state of retail impact investing in the US. Today, we are pleased to announce the release of our final report with findings and conclusions from this work.
For our research study, we gathered primary data from our robust network of stakeholders and secondary market data from publicly-available sources. We asked five questions to understand how this market operates and to anticipate opportunities for growth:
What level of interest do US retail investors have in impact investing?
What expectations do retail investors have for impact investment financial returns and terms?
What does the retail impact investing market look like?
How do institutional investors, such as faith-based organizations and foundations, think about impact investing?
Are foundations interested in supporting the expansion of the retail impact investing space?
Our findings focused on three categories: the scale and interaction of the retail impact investing market, perspectives from retail investors, and perspectives from institutional investors. We found that there are limited options for retail (unaccredited) investors, and exponential growth in interest across the sustainable and impact investment markets. US retail investors are ready for more impact investment options. Exemptions to securities regulations – such as Regulation A+ and Regulation CF which came from the JOBS act – mean there are more ways to provide impact investment options to retail investors. Institutional investors, especially foundations and faith-based organizations that can provide both investments and grants are well positioned to catalyze the retail impact investing industry.
Check out our full report below.