Impact Engine: Measuring Impact Across Investment Stages

By Jaclyn Foroughi
2023 | Case No. SI172 | Length 10 pgs.
Despite ten years of building out the impact investing ecosystem—which included supporting and investing in for-profit, positive impact businesses in private markets; developing an extensive network of impact entrepreneurs, investors, and experts; contributing to the exchange of knowledge and best practices in the industry; and providing increasing opportunities for impact-focused investors—the team at Chicago-based Impact Engine was just getting started. Constantly raising the bar for themselves and the industry as a whole was ingrained in the firm’s ethos. Indeed, the women-founded, women-led, and women-governed impact investment firm, which was founded as one of the first impact-oriented accelerators in the U.S., had grown to include early stage and private equity investments—all optimizing financial and social returns. The range of investment stages, however, presented new challenges to impact measurement, which the team viewed as an opportunity to reexamine its existing approach and incorporate best practices across the industry.

Learning Objective

This case is designed to help students learn concepts useful for analyzing and measuring impact across investment stages including early stage and private equity investments. Using Impact Engine’s approach as a model, students use the case to understand industry-wide best practices toward impact measurement. Students also consider ways to improve upon Impact Engine’s approach to impact measurement.
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