A new cross-sector financial initiative, aimed at identifying and building business opportunities in the emerging impact investment asset class, has been launched in Guernsey.

Impact Guernsey, facilitated by the Guernsey Chamber of Commerce, aims to proactively develop the emerging impact investment asset class which seeks to intentionally create positive social or environmental impacts as well as generating financial returns.

Impact investments cover four broad categories; social, cultural, economic and environmental. Examples include investments in sustainable agriculture, healthcare, affordable education, social housing, renewable energy and financial inclusion.

Given these focus areas, impact investments are increasingly being recognised as having tremendous potential to address some of the world's chronic challenges such as poverty and environmental degradation.

According to industry figures, the impact investment industry is growing at around 20 percent year-on-year. This makes it one of the world's fastest growing asset classes. Estimates suggest impact investments could total $2 trillion by 2025.

Impact Guernsey is a group of key business leaders within Guernsey's business, financial and professional services communities, together with representatives from Government and the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.

The group is chaired by Justin Sykes who recently authored a report how impact investment could support effective delivery of public services on the island.

"Impact Guernsey's launch is an important step towards raising awareness of the global trend towards corporate and individual social responsibility, and the business opportunities this offers for Guernsey."

"We are delighted to be developing a platform to promote this emerging asset class and hope to assist the States in formulating its policy in this area as well as creating pathways for a range of products and services to diversify and grow Guernsey's economy," said Justin.

As a first step, Impact Guernsey has circulated a survey to measure the existing levels of activity and interest in impact investment, both off-island and on. The responses will assist in taking this initiative forward. The survey is live until the end of November and can be accessed here.

For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit www.guernseyfinance.com.

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