Building capacity to tackle inequality

Building capacity to tackle inequality

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Equality Impact Investing Project launches new course for social impact investors

The case for social investors to step up action on inequality has never been stronger as we see COVID 19 not only expose, but exacerbate, deep-rooted and systemic inequalities.

By attending Equality Impact Investing Project’s new training course, Equality Impact Investing: From Principles to Practice, social impact investors will gain deeper insight into equality issues so they can apply their investment expertise to addressing inequality, which will help to build this emerging, and vital, field.


What led us here?

In 2018, EIIP published its flagship report, Equality Impact Investing: From Principles to Practice. The research aimed to define and map the field of EII and identify what was needed to build it further. Building the social investor sector’s understanding of inequality and capacity for equality impact was identified as key. The EIIP course, Equality Impact Investing: From Principles to Practice, is the first of a series of efforts we’re embarking on to build capacity in the sector.


What do investors want to understand and do better?

First, social impact investors have identified a need for fuller awareness and knowledge of inequality, its dynamics and impacts, particularly in relation to the goals that they are trying to achieve.

Translation into practice is another area requiring attention. Investors are seeking practical steers to apply the principles and strategies directly into their ongoing work processes – such as fund design, due diligence, impact management, etc.

Another gap is the lack of connection between two communities that are both focused on similar goals: the social impact investment sector and the equality and human rights movement. Much more needs to be done to ensure that both communities can really harness and draw on each other’s knowledge and insights.

For the most part, the explosion in interest in diversity and inclusion over the past year has led many investors to associate equality impact investing with DEI initiatives, when in reality EII takes a far more comprehensive perspective on inequality and approaches to addressing it.


What else are we doing to develop investor EII capacity?

Related to this, another pillar of our work going forward will be exploring equalities competencies and standards for social investors, alongside identifying what further provision is needed to build current capacity and the future pipeline. We will be assessing learning and other professional development options that can ensure that funds are led and managed by people with a robust grasp of inequalities. This work will engage relevant academic bodies and training providers and link to the Impact Investing Institute’s learning framework.


How can you get involved?

EIIP’s way of working is through engagement and collaboration, out of a recognition that collective commitment and action from social impact investors is needed to build this field further. We regularly convene a UK Taskforce that includes over 30 social impact investors and will look to involve more key stakeholders in other areas of work going forward.


To get involved with EIIP, please get in touch with us at

To sign up for the EIIP course (deadline 22 February) click here.


Rana Zincir Celal, Equality Impact Investing Project, Senior Associate