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Georgetown University


Detailed Course Information


Spring 2019
May 19, 2019
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Information Select the desired Level or Schedule Type to find available classes for the course.

MSFS 622 - Financing Social Impact

Are you curious about impact investing and how it interacts with more traditional approaches to financing international development? Are you wondering what “innovative finance” means and how it can be used to address development challenges? Or are you interested in how to design an impact bond to improve health or education outcomes? Anyone working to solve the world’s biggest challenges, from poverty to climate change to healthcare, must increasingly have an understanding of how investment capital can play a role and how it is being deployed in conjunction with foreign aid and philanthropy. This course will delve into the rapidly growing field of impact investing as well as emerging models of innovative finance and the latest trends in philanthropy. At the end of the course, students will be prepared to engage with various approaches that leverage the tools of finance and business to generate impact.

Class sessions will cover multiple topics in the field of impact investing, in which organizations ranging from Wall Street giants to boutique investment funds are financing businesses and initiatives that create measurable social and environmental impact, alongside financial returns. The course will explore innovative ways in which investment capital is being used to address social and environmental challenges. The class will also look at how the practice of philanthropy is evolving, including how foundations are engaging with social enterprises and supporting market-based approaches to development. While a significant number of impact investors are focused on investment opportunities in developed markets, this course will take a closer look at the financing of impact in emerging and frontier markets. Throughout the course, readings and discussions will focus on real-world examples of impact investing and innovative finance structures so as to illustrate theory being put into practice.

The course will cover the following topics:
 The spectrum of investing capital for impact, including responsible and sustainable investment approaches and impact investing
 How investors measure social and environmental impact
 The various actors involved in impact investing, from incubators and accelerators to development finance institutions, foreign aid agencies, and mainstream investment firms
 The process of making an impact investment, from deal sourcing to due diligence to post-investment support of businesses
 Policy issues related to building the impact investment field
 Social impact bonds, development impact bonds, and other results-based financing (or “pay-for-success”) approaches
 Innovative finance structures such as blended finance vehicles, debt swaps, and advance market commitments
 Venture philanthropy and recent trends in the philanthropic sector

Applicability to MSFS concentrations:
This course is particularly relevant to students concentrating in International Development and Global Business and Finance. However, since the course will cover a range of topics including philanthropy and the role of public sector institutions, it intends to benefit all MSFS students.

3.000 Credit hours
3.000 Lecture hours
0.000 Lab hours

Levels: MN or MC Graduate, Juris Doctor
Schedule Types: Seminar

MS in Foreign Service Department

Must be enrolled in one of the following Fields of Study (Major, Minor, Concentration, or Certificate):
      Arab Studies
      Asian Studies
      Foreign Service
      German and European Studies
      Global Human Development
      Latin American Studies
      Law/Foreign Service
      Law/Security Studies
      Russian & East European Stud
      Security Studies

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