New Education Finance
Impact investment, typically described as an investment strategy with the intention to generate social and/or environmental returns alongside financial returns, is seen as a new innovative strategy for development sector finance. It is generating considerable optimism in education. Paradoxically, while education is viewed as a “high-impact” sector, naturally allied with producing the social aims of impact investment, early global sectoral data do not show substantial impact capital invested in education relative to other development sectors. Similarly, South Asia has been highlighted as ripe for impact investment but, with the exception of India, has failed to garner “big” impact capital. Nonetheless, optimism remains. Through a detailed analysis, this chapter shows that global, regional, and domestic networks and network service organizations (NSOs) create market opportunities for, and maintain interest in, education impact investment. Market-making activity is deliberate and is legitimized by NSOs through three main activities: (1) incorporating the Sustainable Development Goals as a mobilizing framework; (2) making a niche for themselves to identify and create investment opportunities; and (3) positioning themselves as knowledge experts by providing technical expertise and producing valuable data on the nascent sector.
KeywordsEducation finance Private actors Impact investment Investor networks Education markets
This chapter stems from a larger research program on the right to education and non-state private actors directed by Srivastava and funded by an Insight Grant from the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
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