For many investors, emerging markets appear to be a turbulent and risky frontier; for others, they represent an opportunity to transform lives and communities.
In recent years, impact investing has gained significant momentum as a way to match socially-minded entrepreneurs with risk capital. This investment movement has occurred alongside massive technological innovation – and with it unprecedented ways to reach and connect the developing world. Increasingly, business solutions to entrenched social and economic problems are taking advantage of new technologies to bring goods, services, and opportunities to some of the world's underserved people and places.
But what does this mean in practice? Where do investors see the most promising opportunities – and barriers – to earn financial returns while addressing unmet needs? And what is it like to actually build these ventures on the ground?