Rather than equate social impact projects with poor returns, investors who are willing to take the long view can enjoy handsome profits on sustainability initiatives. Many investors became accustomed to fast, high returns after the rapid rise of companies such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. But the Generation model requires more patience because socially conscious companies take longer to reach similar levels of success.
Large-scale disruption will rely on big investment firms because small venture funds can’t commit the kind of capital that social projects demand. Big-time investors need to step up on these opportunities, and evidence already exists that, if they do, they’ll do well.