BATTLE CREEK, Mich., March 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Said Business School at the University of Oxford and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), one of the world's largest foundations, announce a partnership to launch the Oxford Impact Investing Programme.
This pioneering program will bring together philanthropic and finance professionals from around the world to develop an advanced understanding of the rapidly growing field of impact investing. The program will help participants refine their impact investing strategy and will equip them with the practical skills to design innovative transactions to maximize societal change.
Sterling Speirn, WKKF president and CEO said, "The Kellogg Foundation could not be more pleased to join with one of the world's leading business schools to enrich our foundation's impact and to contribute our insights to the program. This program is a wonderful opportunity for two global leaders to collaborate and expand the field of impact investing."
The field of impact investing has grown exponentially in recent years as large philanthropic organizations and socially-minded investors increasingly invest in non-profit and for-profit enterprises that can yield not only social returns—such as healthy food access, educational advances, environmental preservation and economic development—but also financial returns in the form of market rates of return on their investments. Estimates are that this emerging asset class could represent a global market of more than US$500 billion in the next five to ten years.
In 2007, WKKF committed $100 million of its $7 billion endowment to invest directly in social enterprises that fit the profile of its mission to create conditions that improve the lives of vulnerable children, families and communities. The foundation's Mission Driven Investing portfolio (MDI) has already achieved a total return rate of 4.2 percent over the past two years – within its goal of 4-6 percent.
Speirn noted, "At the foundation we see mission driven investing as an additional tool to go beyond traditional grant-making, which enables us to achieve our triple bottom line – social returns, financial returns and learning returns – for the fields of philanthropy and business. When we all share what we know and what we've learned, we multiply the opportunities to get the outcomes we all want."
The first program will take place from April 13-16, 2013, on the heels of the Skoll World Forum. The four-and-a-half day program is designed to equip social investors, philanthropists, funders, financial professionals and advisors within the field, with a deep and broad understanding of the sector. Participants will gain an understanding of venture capital, financial instruments, how to value loans, identifying how to exit projects and importantly, how to measure the social impact of an investment and communicate returns on investment.
"This new program is created with 21st century business challenges in mind," said Alex Nicholls, University of Oxford's co-programme director. "Our goal is to inspire participants to understand the complex system in which they find themselves with practical tools of doing deals that will result in significant social, environmental and financial change."
The program has already attracted participants from around the globe, representing such diverse countries as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, China, Malaysia, Russia, Georgia, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, the U.S. and the U.K.
About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.
The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Mich., and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.
Directed by Dr. Alex Nicholls, university lecturer in social entrepreneurship, Dr. John Hoffmire, director of Said Global Entrepreneur Network and Venture Fund, and Gayle Peterson, associate fellow, the four-day program is designed to equip social investors, philanthropists, funders, financial professionals and advisors within the field with a deep and broad understanding of the sector. Participants will begin with an overview of the trends and macroeconomic reasons for the growth of the sector and progress to policy, theory and practice.
The program will be international in perspective and has attracted participants from around the globe including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, China, Malaysia, Russia, Georgia, Spain, France, Italy, Greece and the U.K. A number of leading organizations in the sector are supporters of the program in various ways. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation will play an active role in the first program. It has supported the development of two new teaching cases to be used in the program and has commissioned a further three cases. Senior staff members of the foundation will be involved in tutoring and mentoring small groups of participants. Foundation President and CEO Sterling Speirn will be among the guest speakers on the program. Other organizations supporting the program include GIIN (Global Impact Investing Network), Council on Foundations, the largest philanthropic association in the world, MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, European Venture Philanthropy Association and the MacArthur Foundation, a global grant-maker and impact investor that will be contributing cases and content for the program.
About Said Business School
Established in 1996 the Said Business School is one of Europe's youngest and most entrepreneurial business schools with a reputation for innovative business education. An integral part of Oxford University, the School embodies the academic rigor and forward thinking that has made Oxford a world leader in education and research. The School has an established reputation for research in a wide range of areas, including finance and accounting, organizational analysis, international management, strategy and operations management. The School is dedicated to developing a new generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs and conducting research not only into the nature of business, but the connections between business and the wider world. In the Financial Times European Business School ranking (Dec 2012) Said is ranked 12th. It is ranked number one in the U.K. (7th worldwide) in the FT's combined ranking of Executive Education programs (May 2012) and 20th in the world in the FT ranking of MBA programs (Jan 2012). The Oxford MSc in Financial Economics is ranked 4th in the world in the 2011 FT ranking of Masters in Finance programs (June 2012). In the U.K. university league tables it is ranked first of all U.K. universities for undergraduate business and management in The Guardian (May 2012) and has ranked first in eight of the last nine years in The Times. For more information, see www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/
SOURCE W.K. Kellogg Foundation