What is the impact economy?

Impact economy: key numbers

A global movement

The impact economy has grown exponentially during the past decade due to “impact investing”, which are investments that consider not only financial returns, but also the effect these investments have on society-at-large.

It brings together thousands of people, businesses and investors from around the world, forming a strong community that uses the economy as a force for good.

The Impact Economy: Nearly 20% Annual Growth

Graph of the Impact Economy Graph of the Impact Economy Graph of the Impact Economy *Data on impact investments obtained on MarketsandMarkets. The impact economy figures can be inferred: on average, investments in a given sector represent about 25% of the size of that sector.

impak : The Impact Marketplace

Impact consumers, businesses and their suppliers participate in this economy and come together on impak, the marketplace dedicated to sustainable consumption. #Unityisstrength

- Businesses are encouraged to incorporate impactful metrics into their business strategy and decision-making.
- Consumers and businesses are rewarded when they spend with impak merchants

Sustainable consumption is thus facilitated and rewarded. impak inspires the citizens and entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

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Impak Marketplace
How is a business’ impact generated ?
  1. 1 - Its services or products offer a solution to the societal issue it’s trying to solve.
  2. 2 - Its practices and processes positively contribute to a social and/or environmental cause.

As agents of change, impact businesses place humans and the environment at the heart of their activities.

Impact business definition

Impact businesses

Redefining yardsticks of success

Creating measurable societal and environmental value while reducing their negative impact and maintaining an economic viability are at the core of Impact businesses.

Impact businesses can be impactful in a variety of ways. Ideally it’s their core purpose. It can also be part of their governance structure or their business model. We want measurable impacts that create a real positive change.

Impact businesses contribute to one or several of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set by the United Nations. They know that reducing inequality and tackling climate change requires a collective effort.

Sustainable Development Goals

Impak Profile

Highlighting social impact

The Profile first presents businesses through their social and environmental impacts.

Users identify businesses and follow them based on:
- Their mission statement,
- The Sustainable Development Goals they target, and
- The metrics used to measure their contribution.

Business

For businesses, the Profile sets them on the impact scale and traces their evolution.

Business

For users, the profile is used to rapidly determine whether or not a business truly shares their values and helps them make purchasing decisions based on the issues that matter most to them.

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The different types of impact

Growing impact

Our approach encourages businesses to continuously increase their positive social and environmental impacts.

Sustainable Development Goals Sustainable Development Goals

All our businesses either:

  • Contribute to solutions, or
  • Benefit people and the planet

Only businesses that Avoid harm with a purpose of creating a positive impact qualify.

Those only - or mostly - motivated by generating profits are excluded. Similarly, businesses that are attempting to solve major societal issues that do not recognize nor reduce their negative impacts and externalities are not part of our ecosystem.

Contribute to impact solutions

I want to help tackle the education gap

-Contribute to solutions
Types of businesses according to the Impact Management Project

3 steps of qualification on impak

Let’s take it step by step

Our 3-step automated qualification process:

Step 1 of Impact economy Step 1 Visibility

An automated and declarative questionnaire composed of 15 questions.

Identifies the mission statement and the 2 Sustainable Development Goals pursued by the qualified business.

Once approved, the business is visible through its impak Profile.

Step 2 of Impact economy Step 2 Access to market solutions on impak

An in-depth questionnaire, first declarative, then verified by the impak community.

Determines the level of integration of impact within the qualified business.

At this stages, business can reward their customers in impak Coins and receive them as payment.

Step 3 of Impact economy Step 3 Access to a community of investors

An impact audit done by an expert.

A deeper analysis of impact measurement.

Once completed, businesses have a greater visibility on impak which improves their contact with impact investors or important buyers.

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Impak methodology

Expertise and co-creation

Our qualifying methodology is based on 2 core elements:

  1. The framework of the Impact Management Project which simplifies and creates a common terminology for the qualification of impact businesses. This global initiative of more than 700 impact stakeholders presents the impact criteria through 5 major dimensions. We added one: intention.
  2. The proven approach developed by Investing for Good in Methodology of Impact Assessment and Analysis (MIAA), helped develop our automated questionnaire.

The 6 dimensions explored

The Holy Grail of Impact

Impact management project
Intention

Above all it’s your intention that matters ! We want to understand the level of integration of impact within your business.

The 5 dimensions of the Impact Management Project Five impact dimensions
Impact what

What

  • What changes are the company's products / services causing for the beneficiary of the impact ?
  • How significant are these changes ?
  • The What identifies which of the 17 SDGs a business contributes to.
Example:
Take the example of an impact business offering self-service bikes. It has two main outcomes. On the one hand, its actions reduce the emission of GHGs and fine particles that would have otherwise been emitted by conventional means of transportation. On the other hand, its service increases the physical activity of users resulting in a positive impact on their health. These two impacts correspond to SDGs 3 and 13, namely, Good health and Well-being and Climate action.

How much

  • Does the change play a significant part in reaching the SDG ? How deep is the change ?
  • How many beneficiaries are reached ?
  • How long does it last ?
  • How quickly does it occur ?
Example (continued):
For GHG reduction, the effect is limited to each individual use but becomes significant depending on the scale and regularity of use as well as the number of clients. It is immediate and ephemeral, because the bike directly replaces a transport that emits GHGs, but the effect stops as soon as the activity ends. It is global because the reduction of GHGs affects the entire population and the planet. For fine particles, the effect is limited, immediate and ephemeral for the same reasons as GHGs. However, the effect is local because air pollution is localized. For the cyclist using the bike in self-service, his physical effort is ephemeral and limited, unless the individual regularly uses the service. It is also immediate and local since it only affects one person at a time.
Impact how much
Impact who

Who

  • Who are the main beneficiaries of the change? Warning! Beneficiaries aren't necessarily the customers.
  • How vulnerable are they to the issue at hand?
Example (continued):
Self-service bikes benefit the planet and individuals. The planet is very vulnerable as a warming of 2 degrees would have disastrous consequences. The urban area where the company offers its services will be more or less vulnerable depending on the level of pre-existing local pollution. The more polluted the city, the more vulnerable it is. If the clients using the bikes are a population suffering from obesity, then the level of vulnerability of this group is considered greater.

Contribution

  • How does the business help solve the problem?
  • Does it bring real added value?
  • Does its action have the desired effect?
  • Would the positive change have occurred anyway?
  • How does it interact with other stakeholders that contribute to solving the same issue?
Example (continued):
To evaluate its contribution, the company offering self-service bicycles must consider whether its target population already uses personal bikes, if public transit services are already available and used and if individuals are actually using the service to replace a car ride.
Impact contribution
Impact risk

Risk

  • What risks could compromise the impact and its sustainability?
  • Does the company have any negative impacts?
Example (continued):
The negative externalities of the company offering self-service bicycles could come from the poor conditions in which the bikes were produced, the use of polluting materials to create, clean or repair the bikes, health and safety hazards for employees maintaining the bikes, the lack of representation of men or women in this sector, etc.
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