March 17, 2013

Toniic EGuide to Early-Stage Global Impact Investing (2013)

Toniic is an international impact investor network promoting a sustainable global economy by investing in entrepreToniiceguidecoverneurs, enterprises, and funds seeking to change the world for the better. The Toniic Institute is a sister nonprofit with a mission to make relevant original knowledge and materials available for impact investors in order to broaden the field of impact investing and deepen understanding amongst impact investors and social entrepreneurs. In 2012, with grant support from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Toniic Institute commissioned CASE i3 to write an electronic handbook for the Toniic angel network on early stage investor practice.  From January 2012 through June 2013, CASE i3 faculty and students conducted extensive interviews with Toniic investors and entrepreneurs and many other leaders around the world.

On November 25, 2013, CASE i3 and the Toniic Institute released a first-of-its-kind online primer, the “Toniic E-Guide to Early-Stage Global Impact Investing.Sourced from the experiences of the Toniic Network’s member investors, this e-guide is a fundamental reference for anyone seeking to understand how to successfully invest at the early stage for both a financial return and social or environmental impact. The guide includes:

  • A brief overview of impact investing;
  • A detailed “7-Step Framework”, based on feedback from global impact investors starting with developing your own investment strategy;
  • Four case studies that explore enterprise development and the types of capital and resources accessed; and
  • Regional guides that illustrate legal and practical challenges in six major regions across the globe, including lessons learned and peer contact information.

Click here to download a PDF the guide in English or Spanish or read the press release on the guide. Together with the lessons from CASE i3’s Impact Investing 2.0 project, this project continues our efforts to help promote carefully documented lessons from real practitioners on how to be successful at impact investing.

UPDATE: The guide is now online! Click the links below to read the guide online:

Report Home and Contents Page

The 7-Step Framework

Step 1: Developing an Investment Strategy

Step 2: Sourcing an Investment Pipeline

Step 3: Conducting Due Diligence

Step 4: Getting to Deal Terms

Step 5: Managing Investments for Mutual Success

Step 6: Assessing and Achieving Performance

Step 7: Cultivating Lessons for Impact Investing


Case Studies

We include here four case studies that represent interesting investment stories that have emerged within the Toniic network. Each case study tracks the significant kinds of engagement and support, as well as capital, the companies received as they evolved from high-risk start-ups to more investable enterprises. We provide a graphic map of the sequence over time of debt, equity and business support provided to the investees by multiple partners. We believe these case studies exemplify the important network of collaboration that early-stage global impact entrepreneurs often need to succeed.

1. Healthpoint Services – Transforming Healthcare in India

2. BioLite – Parallel Innovation to Spur Growth and Impact

3. Liberty & Justice – Creating Empowerment in Africa

4. SMV Wheels – Asset Ownership for Rickshaw Drivers in India

Regional Investment Guides

Short Regional Guides help investors understand some of the legal and practical challenges in investing in major regions around the globe, as well as providing some contacts and lessons from a featured deal in the regions below:

Investing in Asia
Investing in Europe/United Kingdom
Investing in India
Investing in Latin America
Investing in Sub-Saharan Africa
Investing in the United States

Read About Us to learn more about Toniic, as well as CASE i3, the research partner who helped write this guide. This section includes acknowledgements for our funders, partners, members and friends without whom this work would not have been possible.



“Toniic’s very valuable E-Guide has the tools to start or enhance your investment strategy whether your goal is to build value close to home or around the world”.

—Elizabeth Littlefield, CEO and President, OPIC

“For many impact investors, “impact” is the shortest line between capital and community. With this guide, Toniic offers those interested in walking that line meaningful guidance and tools based upon the actual experience of its members making early-stage investments in communities around the world. The Guide walks readers through each stage of an effective investment process from strategy development to term setting and monitoring of the impact investment. It is a real step forward in building our common body of knowledge for moving from good intent to good investing”.

—Jed Emerson, Chief Impact Strategist, ImpactAssets

“The Toniic E-Guide provides actionable frameworks and concrete insights for how investors who are interested in helping grow to scale early-stage impact enterprises can do well by doing good. What I really like about it is that it takes the reader from the starting point of setting priorities for an impact investment strategy all the way through to the end goal of holding accountability over performance metrics, and along the way highlights the potential pitfalls and opportunities of which investors should be mindful”.

—Abigail Noble, Head of Impact Investing Initiatives, Investors Industries, World Economic Forum

“Toniic’s E-Guide: Early-Stage Global Impact Investing is a must-read for both impact investors and those who would like to attract early-stage impact investments. This guide delivers a trifecta of wins to its readers—an analytical framework, case studies and regional guides”

—Deborah Burand, Director, International Transactions Clinic, University of Michigan Law School

“This E-Guide from Toniic provides vital information to help those looking to invest in social enterprises that benefit the poor or vulnerable. The diverse case studies contained within this guide come from around the world, and demonstrate the power of layering grant and investment capital to propel the impact investing industry forward. These examples bring valuable perspective from those working on the frontline, and show impact investing in action”.

—Zia Khan, Vice President, Initiatives and Strategy at The Rockefeller Foundation

“A valuable guide for impact entrepreneurs and investors”.

—Sir Ronald Cohen, Chair of Big Society Capital


Toniic Member Retreat 2012