There is a natural alignment between what matters most in Hawaii: People, Land and Water — with what matters most to social entrepreneurs: Social change, Environmental Stewardship, and Conservation of resources. Impact investors seek out social entrepreneurs for investment in order to create change while also achieving financial gains.

On Thursday, community members, investors and entrepreneurs are convening for Hawaii’s first Impact Investment Conference. The goals for the conference are to educate the Hawaii market about social entrepreneurship and impact investing, to raise awareness of the unique role Hawaii can and is playing in impact investing globally, and catalyze action to build a robust impact oriented investment and entrepreneurial community in Hawaii.

The global impact investing market is exploding with interest and activity. Many investors are interested in aligning their personal values with their investment activities.

In a 2011 report by JP Morgan, it was estimated that capital seeking the impact investing market could be as high as $500 billion over the next 10 years. The industry has experienced significant growth in the past five years. And, this past year has seen an increase in the quality and number of investible enterprises, funds and more recently the development of funds in the impact space.

This is a forming market – a sometimes chaotic market – a market full of energy and life. We are excited about bringing our unique Hawaii perspective into the conversation. There is a lot of interest from both local and global parties with regards to value Hawaii brings to this evolving market.

  • What happens when substantial capital resources are directed towards solving some of the world’s most pressing problems?
  • Is it an investors sole purpose to make more money – or can she intertwine meaning with that money; aloha with that money?
  • Is it a business owner’s sole purpose to maximize profits – or can he combine money making with social benefit?
  • What types of companies are you looking to spend your precious time on earth helping to succeed?

We think Hawaii has an important role to play in answering these questions.

Here are a few comments from others who support the conference.

Why KL Felicitas Foundation is supporting the Hawaii Impact Investing Conference

“Our foundation believes impact investing presents a unique opportunity to bring investors, entrepreneurs, educators, government and financial intermediaries together to co-create and invest in a sustainable future for all Hawai‘i. We support impact investing globally through capacity building of Social Entrepreneurs (Social Impact International), our creation of a global network for Impact Investors (Toniic) and through convenings, like the HI Impact Forum.  And, we are especially excited to be able to support this pioneering conversation in Lisa’s home state of Hawai‘i.”

—Charly and Lisa Kleissner, Co-Founders, KL Felicitas Foundation

Why Kamehameha Schools is supporting the Hawaii Impact Investing Conference

“Innovative social enterprises are demonstrating promising results from efforts to integrate economic opportunities into initiatives that also promote community engagement, land stewardship, cultural revival and knowledge generation. These social entrepreneurs have reversed the inputs and outputs of unsustainable economic development paradigms.  Rather than consume a community’s human and natural resources in building commerce, they are creating sustainable commercial ventures that restore the health of communities and environmental landscapes.”

—Neil Hannahs, Director, Kamehameha Schools Land Assets Division

The Hawaii Impact Investment Conference will serve as a catalyst for dialogue and action as we to begin to create our own impact community, reflective of Hawaii’s unique place in the world. We look forward to harnessing our collective resources for good.

Visit for more information and to look for future event and community announcements.

About the author: Chenoa Farnsworth is the founder and chair of the Hawaii Impact Investment Conference. She has more than 15 years experience in business strategy and private equity investing. Farnsworth is the managing director of the Hawaii Angels, Hawai‘i’s only angel capital investment network. n 2006, she co-founded Kolohala Ventures, a Hawaii-based venture capital firm that has invested $50 million into Hawai‘i-based technology start-ups. Farnsworth currently co-manages the state funded Hydrogen Renewable Energy Fund.