The Impact Economy Brief | 24 May


Impact Economy

Welcome to the latest edition of Bates Wells’ Impact Economy Brief.

Our fortnightly ‘Brief’ is intended to be a helpful reference point and resource for our network, providing an overview of activity in the Impact Economy. You won’t be surprised to see that we’ve taken a particular interest in legal and regulatory developments.

We hope you find the Brief to be a valuable digest of the things you need to know, and invite you to tell us what you’d like to read more about.

Talk the Talk

As the language of the Impact Economy develops, we’ll add relevant terminology to our Impact Economy Glossary, to help share a common understanding. This week’s jargon is:

“Patient capital”

Editor’s Pick

If you only have 5 minutes of quiet this week, we recommend…

Shut up, ask questions and embrace the struggle: Jed Emerson’s plea to impact investors. Pioneers Post interviews Jed Emerson, author and impact investment advisor, about whether we are losing sight of the ‘why’, our purpose, in impact investing, and the importance of things being difficult.

Impact Business

Small Businesses Taking Giant Leaps To Make A Big Difference. Jay Coen Gilbert, Co-founder of B Lab, writes for Forbes, giving examples of SME businesses in the US tackling unemployment for people with criminal records and the problem of worker financial instability, and benefitting from employee ownership.

Fashion Revolution has launched the Fashion Transparency Index 2019, a review of 200 of the largest global fashion brands ranked according to how much they disclose about their social and environmental policies, practice and impact. Fashion Revolution encourages brands to pursue full supply chain transparency.

BlogThe dangers of purpose-driven business. The Finance Innovation Lab’s Head of Intrapreneurship analyses purpose alignment, horizontally and vertically, within organisations and more widely, to consider the danger of misaligned or unsubstantiated purpose.

Companies asked to come clean on climate lobbying. The FT reports that some of the world’s biggest investors are questioning inconsistencies between companies’ public statements on climate change and their lobbying on environmental regulation in private.

ICSA Interview: Justine Lutterodt, Director of the Centre for Synchronous Leadership, a consultancy and think tank dedicated to systemic change in the corporate sector, considers the shift in business towards recognising societal impact, and the importance of culture and diversity.

Impact Investment

Private equity lets no opportunity go to waste. Part of the FTfm: Responsible Investing report, this article explores the growing focus of some private equity firms on investment in sustainable business.

BlogWhat social enterprises tell us they want from social investors: a better customer experience. Big Society Capital takes stock of the experiences of frontline organisations taking on social investment, the improvements that could be made and how it is engaging with the social investment sector to support development.

Event (New York)The Annual Conference on Legal Issues in Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing – in the US and Beyond will take place on 4 – 5 June 2019, in New York. Co-organized by the Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship at NYU Law and the Impact Investing Legal Working Group, this conference convenes thought leaders from across the globe to explore new legal and policy developments in the fields of social entrepreneurship and impact investing.

RI Interview: Amit Bhatia, CEO of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment. Responsible Investor talks to Amit Bhatia about the growing international movement towards impact investing and developments such as ‘impact-weighted accounts’.

BlogEngaging Exxon: investors’ role in mitigating climate change. Fiona Reynolds, CEO of the PRI Association, considers the role of investors in mitigating climate change, focusing on recent actions by some of Exxon’s long-term investors and questions of whether the company is doing enough to manage its climate risks.

Legal and Regulatory

BlogUsing biometric data in a fair, transparent and accountable manner. A blog from the Office of the Information Commissioner providing points for consideration for organisations planning to use new technologies involving personal data, including biometric data, in light of learnings from a recent HMRC initiative.

A view from Canada – Law firm Miller Thomson reports the introduction of benefit corporation legislation in British Columbia, via a private member’s bill which received royal assent on 16 May 2019. The BC Green Party, whose leader introduced the bill, issued a press release.

European social entrepreneurship funds: conflicts of interest, social impact measurement and information to investors. The European Parliament has raised no objection to the Delegated Regulation supplementing the European Social Entrepreneurship Funds (EuSEF) Regulation, which is now referred to the Council of the EU for consideration. An explanatory memo is available with the text of the Delegated Regulation.

Smaller Listed and AIM Quoted Companies: A practical guide for audit committees on improving financial reporting. The FRC and ICAEW have published guidance to encourage best practice in financial reporting by smaller listed and AIM quoted companies. The guidance aims to address issues identified with the quality of smaller quoted company financial reporting, and provides practical tips for audit committees.


If you’d like to speak to us about our work in the Impact Economy, please get in touch.

If you’d like to speak to us about the briefing, please contact our editor, Phillippa Holland.

Disclaimer – The information contained in this briefing is not intended to be a comprehensive update – it is our selection of third party reports, news, podcasts and other materials, as well as some content produced by Bates Wells where indicated as such, which we think will be of interest to those working in the Impact Economy. This content is necessarily of a general nature; it does not constitute advice, and specific advice should always be sought for specific situations.

This information is necessarily of a general nature and doesn’t constitute legal advice. This is not a substitute for formal legal advice, given in the context of full information under an engagement with Bates Wells.

All content on this page is correct as of May 24, 2019.