The Hellenic Impact Investing Network (HIIN) held their first conference on 16 February 2023 at the Benaki Museum in Athens, Greece. We had the honour of attending the conference and the opportunity to listen to inspiring speakers, learn from leaders in the field and discuss various opportunities with likeminded entrepreneurs and investors!
HIIN is a global network that advocates for impact investment and raises awareness around social and environmental challenges. HIIN also acts as a facilitator for Greek (as well as global) institutions, funds, foundations, private investors, and entrepreneurs. The conference held was the first spark in what’s to become a rapidly growing sector and important contributor to the Greek economy and its sustainable development: impact investing.
The importance of impact investing couldn’t come at a more suitable time considering the multiple crises facing our planet and communities. Investment for the sake of investment is losing its appeal among institutional and private investors who want their capital deployment to have a positive contribution to our planet.
As such, our key takeaways from the conference were:
- Impact investing in Greece is still in its early days and has huge potential for growth; it’s predicted to leave its mark on Greek society, the circular economy and environment.
- Active social entrepreneurship and a vibrant start-up ecosystem in Greece are set to play a major role in future impact investments.
- Attractive impact investing sectors in Greece include sustainable tourism and farming, blue economy ventures, sustainable mobility, and the built environment. Green energy and energy independence investments are also set to boom.
- European impact investment funds have placed Greece on their radar; bold social entrepreneurs are taking note.
- The right frameworks, policies, infrastructure, and incentives are needed for impact investments to truly flourish in Greece. The Greek government needs to take up a more proactive role in delivering these.
So, what does the scope for impact investing look like in Greece?
Greece has transformed itself into an attractive investment destination by leveraging its geographic location, unique comparative advantages, and human capital. Start-ups and sustainability-minded businesses are leading the way when it comes to finding solutions to the environmental and social challenges that Greece is facing.
To top that off, Greece has strong potential for investments within various sectors that can yield impact. That includes, renewable energy, agriculture and aquaculture, eco-tourism, and green construction. The circular economy is yet another opportunity that has scope for investments that can have a positive impact at a local, as well as national, level.
On our part, what drives us when choosing to take on a project or carry out an investment is whether there’s scope to facilitate green investments, and the opportunity to create sustainable assets and long-term benefits for our partners, as well as the local communities we operate in.
Contact us to discuss how we create impact in the urban and rural landscapes we invest in!