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Social Impact Investing: Our Purpose

The GSB Impact Fund is designed to expose students to the process of “impact investing”– the intentional investing for both financial and measurable social and environmental returns. The Fund is managed by students with oversight from professors Paul Pfleiderer and Ken Singleton, and under the guidance of the Center for Social Innovation. Additional faculty, alumni and expert practitioners provide strategic guidance on co-investing, sourcing, structuring deals, measuring impact, portfolio allocation, and exits.

The Fund is an evergreen fund that invests in early-stage for-profit ventures seeking both financial and social and environmental returns. The Fund’s investment mandate is geographically flexible, and the investment pipeline will vary from year to year based on students’ interests and market activity.

Student Investment Roles

Investment VP

Students in the Investment VP role participate on deal teams, establish a sourcing process, identify organizations with promising social and environmental impact, conduct due diligence, defend their proposed investment in front of an investment committee, and wrestle with the challenges of measuring, monitoring and assessing performance of the social and environmental return of investments.

Director of Investments Student Leader

Students in the Director of Investments role direct deal teams. They contribute to the strategic vision for the program, refine the fund investment thesis, develop strategic alliances for deal generation, and leverage the expertise of the fund advisory committee.

Our Investment Approach

The GSB Impact Fund evaluates companies based on strong business fundamentals and compelling social impact. We believe that the most impactful social enterprises are, first-and-foremost, viable businesses that offer scalability of financial returns and positive externalities.

Our process includes management team reviews, diligence of historical sales and customers, market growth opportunities, comparable company analysis, detailed financial model reviews, and a Theory-of-Change analysis for evaluating social impact potential. The investment process occurs during Stanford's winter quarter (January to April).