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Primed For Growth: The Impact Investment Mindset Impact investing has grown tremendously over the last decade, and in large part because investors aren't just looking at unrealistic returns, and add to that the positive environmental and social outcomes that are becoming increasingly more measurable.

By Murtaza Hashwani

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Impact investing has grown tremendously over the last decade, and in large part because investors aren't just looking at unrealistic returns, and add to that the positive environmental and social outcomes that are becoming increasingly more measurable.

Impact investing means putting your money behind companies that will generate positive environmental and social outcomes. The result: the financial returns for such investments would be more meaningful.

Environmental and social factors are becoming increasingly important for companies to achieve their long-term goals. On the other hand, investors are becoming more savvy about aligning their money with the things they're passionate about. Therefore, I do see a brighter future for this industry, and I expect that it will only continue to grow.

Another reason impact investing is experiencing phenomenal growth is largely due to the driving force of the millennials and Gen Zs who want their investments to do more than just make money. Not only that, this generation of consumers also buy from companies that are aligned with and support their values and philosophy.

According to a study by Coldwell Banker Global Luxury, by 2030, millennials will hold five times as much wealth as they have today, and they are expected to inherit over US$68 trillion from baby boomers over the next 30 years. These numbers indicate potential for exponential growth in the impact investing sector.

But it isn't just the young investors that who spiked the growth of impact investing. Over the last few years, the number of impact investors is rising across all sectors. These investors are also being called "personal values investors," who want to align their personal values with their investments and what they stand for.

During 2020, the enterprise I lead, Hashoo Foundation, implemented various initiatives in different parts of Pakistan with sustainability at its core. Technical, vocational, and humanitarian support through women-focused programs also increased multi-fold over the last few years. The Foundation also focused on sectors where women were primary stakeholders such as early childhood development, honeybee farming, entrepreneurship and skills development, among others.

Over the next five years Hashoo Foundation will focus on four key areas in the impact investment space. These include climate change (focus on sub-sectors of solid waste management, domestic eco-tourism, and agriculture), economic growth (focus on supporting startups, social enterprises, value chain development, and developing entrepreneurship skills in far flung areas of the country), skills development (entirely focused on early childhood development training in impoverished parts of Pakistan, this sector will also focus on equal opportunities and work with children and adults with disabilities and minority groups), and health and nutrition (focus on training in nutrition and engaging at policy level and other health related projects).

Research by a number of international investment companies reveals a very positive picture regarding impact investing. The evidence emerging shows that investments in companies that prioritize social and environmental objectives perform as well financially as traditional investments, because consumer mindsets are changing.

Philanthropy can bring itself to work with an impact investing mindset that does not necessarily have to limit itself to grants only. From community development to climate change to social causes, more and more foundations could bring about a positive change not just on a local or regional level, but have long-term global impact as well.

Related: The Time Is Now: Why Conscious Investment Is Ready To Take Off In The Middle East

Murtaza Hashwani

Deputy Chairman, Hashoo Group

Murtaza Hashwani grew up in a family that believed in helping others and making a difference in the world. Through Hashoo Foundation, the family are actively involved empowering communities by facilitating opportunities to become independent and creating a greater social impact. As the Chairman of Hashoo Foundation, philanthropy is part of Murtaza’s DNA.

Over the past few decades, his ambitious plans for greater outreach and meaningful impact with access to education, health and sustainable livelihood have resulted in millions of men and women directly benefitting in rural and urban settings in Pakistan. Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Murtaza graduated from Santa Monica in Business Management and after a eight year stint of flexing his entrepreneurial ideas successfully, he joined the family’s hospitality business. Hands on business experience under the supervision of his father, the legendary Sadruddin Hashwani, ensured that Murtaza delved deeply in every aspect of the hospitality and hotel business.

This didn’t stop him from honing his academic skills further.

Hotel management courses from Cornell to business management from London Business School to a Management Programme from Harvard Business School, Murtaza seamlessly combined experience with business theory. He applied the learnings to efficiently launch multiple successful business ventures including the first hospitality school in Pakistan, Hashoo School of Hospitality Management, which is affiliated with Sheffield Business School, UK. Whether it’s the recently launched digital payment portal Foree, or the revolutionary product that has transformed water problems in Pakistan and soon all third world countries called EveryWater, or even a hospitality tech services company based in the UAE, Ascendant, the secret behind Murtaza’s success is his foresight. By developing these disruptive technologies it’s through his vision and focus that he has become one of the foremost business leaders from Pakistan with global reach.

While others see limitations Murtaza Hashwani sees opportunity and possibility. Murtaza considers himself a facilitator of success. By embedding the foundation into his business, he wants to give people around him the support they need to excel. Whether it is a student vying for scholarship through Hashoo Foundation or an employee pursuing his passion or creativity. Applying his business acumen and experience, all he does is give them a platform for innovation while guiding and polishing it for end users and links it to create a bigger social impact.

There’s no typical day in the life of Murtaza Hashwani as he juggles between the expansion plans for Hashoo Hotels, Hashoo Foundation and a series of tech launches. An entrepreneur, philanthropist and a visionary, Murtaza’s ultimate aim is facilitate positive and impactful change in the lives of individuals and communities at large.


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