The Impact Investing Practicum is an Applied Innovation course that pairs small teams of MBA students with impact investing firms for a 10-week project. The class is designed to enable MBA students to gain hands-on experience with impact investing strategy, mapping, and measurement projects within the context of a faculty-led course. The organizations and projects selected for the Impact Investing Practicum are intended to span a diverse cross-section of the impact investing industry landscape.
Students conducted extensive market research to help Gratitude Railroad decide which investment theme to dive deeper into. They mapped an ecosystem of the stakeholders in the space, adapted GRR’s current scorecards, and performed company evaluations to identify the top three investment opportunities that GRR should look into going forward.
Students conducted financial inclusion sector research and identified the most attractive near-term opportunities for Cambridge Associates. They assessed the financial and impact risk/returns, constructed a framework to represent the trade-offs, profiled several sub-sectors, and identified several sample investments.
Students assessed the NESsT’s current gender-based metrics and targets by researching best practices in the field, interviewing other impact investors, and creating an improved framework for NESsT’s gender lens investing. They then conducted a pilot with three of their social enterprises and one of their international teams, resulting in concrete recommendations on how to adjust the NESsT team’s investment process.
Patagonia's Tin Shed Ventures
Students examined the global landscape for impact investments in renewable energy. They began by considering the mode of energy production through the lens of resource opportunities and government subsidy advantages in different markets. They then developed entry strategies for deploying capital and financial structures and proposed best partners with which to work in that region.
The San Francisco Foundation
Students developed a mission-aligned investment strategy proposal for the San Francisco Foundation that supports their mission of building strong communities in the five counties of the Bay Area, and their strategy of advancing racial and economic equity.