The Impact Investing Landscape in Asia

Content Manager • 3 September 2019

         While the Asian social investment ecosystem is maturing, growth is uneven and impact investment remains less developed here compared to the rest of the world. As a result, the impact investing industry in Asia remains less understood compared to its counterparts elsewhere.

       Against this backdrop, AVPN and GIIN have collaborated with Oliver Wyman and Marsh & McLennan Insights to explore the current characteristics of impact investing in the region, with special focus on China, India, Indonesia, Japan, and the Philippines. Impact Investing in Asia: Overcoming Barriers to Scale report serves as a resource for impact investors and other key stakeholders in Asia to better understand the growing industry within a regional context.

Key findings of the report are:

  • Impact investing is defined by the intention to generate positive and measurable social and environmental impacts alongside financial returns.
  • Fundamental to the growing demand for impact investing is the shift in investment preferences among certain demographic groups—such as women and millennials—and the emerging evidence of commercial returns, which in turn boosts the evolution of key ecosystem builders and infrastructure that support the growth of the industry.
  • However, concerns around the identity and essence of impact investing remain. A lack of clarity in the nature of impact investing and the strategies adopted results in 'impact-washing' undermines the integrity of the industry and adversely impacts its growth. Initial efforts to refine the definition of impact investing through impact measurement and management (IMM) solutions have been fragmented.
  • Investors keen to make impact investments face additional barriers in Asia, attributed to a lack of awareness and familiarity with impact investing and IMM, limited regulatory foundation, the absence of an efficient marketplace, and a nascent support ecosystem.
  • The motivations and preferences of impact investors across Asia vary. It is thus imperative to consider the different investment approaches of impact investors and not make the common mistake of grouping them under a single label.
  • Impact investors must leverage their existing networks, work with relevant stakeholders, and engage in suitable matchmaking solutions in order to contribute to building a strong impact investing ecosystem for the future.
  • Ecosystem builders must also proactively collaborate with other network platforms and serve as the go-to source for relevant information while playing the active educator role through multiple channels to build consensus across the impact investing ecosystem.


For more information, see the full report attached below.

The content was originally posted on

Photo Credit: United Nations Photo


The views expressed in the blog and the report attached are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the SDG Philanthropy Platform. The SDG Philanthropy Platform is a global initiative that connects philanthropy with knowledge and networks that can deepen collaboration, leverage resources and sustain impact, driving SDG delivery within national development planning. It is led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), and supported by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Ford Foundation, Oak Foundation, Brach Family Charitable Foundation, and many others.