19 September, 2014: PRISM, an impact assessment and reporting tool, has till date on boarded impact investors with over US$ 250M in assets under management and 80+ social enterprises in India. Impact investing involves the pursuit of financial returns from investments along with significant social impact. Aavishkaar, Omnivore Partners, Unitus Seed Fund, IntelleGrow, which are among the largest early stage investors in various social sectors in the country that have partnered in PRISM’s development.


PRISM was unveiled in April this year as a Beta platform at Sankalp Forum, one of the world’s largest social enterprise focused forums. Since then, PRISM has been showcased at the annual ANDE (Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs) Metrics Conference in Washington DC, and SOCAP in San Francisco. It has aligned with international standards on social, environmental and financial reporting such as the IRIS framework used by impact investors globally.


PRISM measures in quantified as well as qualitative terms, the performance of impact investments. With a rigorous framework that covers both fund manager inputs and enterprise outputs to impact investments, PRISM offers the unique contextual view of impact performance taking into account the specifics of investments, that include geographical spread of investments (district level), type of entrepreneur supported and stage of enterprise . This context enables greater transparency in understanding and evaluating the impact potential and impact results. PRISM offers flexible weights across assessment categories- which further enable peer benchmarking and assessment. PRISM’s reporting feature, that automatically generates a customized report for a fund, captures the abstraction as well as disambiguation of investments, leading to the goal of improved clarity, accountability and transparency in the impact investing industry.


PRISM was conceptualised by Intellecap in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank group, and the GIZ-SIDBI Responsible Enterprise Finance Programme on behalf of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). PRISM has been developed with the goal of bringing greater transparency and accountability in reporting on impact, which in turn might help channel greater capital flows to impact sectors.


According to Anil Sinha, Regional Head, South Asia Inclusive Business Models, “The Impact Investing industry needs to have a transparent and credible measurement system reporting on impact, sustainability and governance in order to thrive”. Achieving this goal requires the industry to work in collaboration to develop common standards for reporting and measurement. Stefanie Bauer, Deputy Programme Director – Private Sector Development at GIZ, says “PRISM is an effort towards driving greater standardisation in impact measurement globally while ensuring that it also remains locally relevant”.


PRISM helps impact investors, grant makers and corporate CSR articulate the impact story of their investments and programs in a holistic manner while providing the appropriate local context in which this impact can be evaluated. Nisha Dutt, Executive Director – Consulting and Research at Intellecap says, “As impact investing achieves greater prominence, PRISM enables investors and other stakeholders to view the impact of their investments in the appropriate local context. For e.g. an affordable education venture in rural Odisha may reach fewer children but achieves this in a far more challenging local context vis-à-vis a comparable venture in a large city like Mumbai which has a more developed infrastructure”



About Intellecap

Intellecap is a pioneer in providing innovative business solutions that help build and scale profitable and sustainable enterprises dedicated to social and environmental change. Founded in 2002, Intellecap has more than 90 employees and has worked with more than 70 clients on over 300 engagements across 25 countries.


The Company provides a broad range of Consulting, Research and Investment Banking Services, to clients around the world including Multilateral Agencies, Development Finance Institutions, Social Enterprises, Corporations, Investors, Policy Makers and Donors. Select clients include the Rockefeller Foundation, Gates Foundation, GIZ, DFID, Hindustan Unilever, International Finance Corporation, Asian Development Bank and Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. For more details please visit,


About IFC

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, IFC uses its capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, IFC provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit


About GIZ

The Deutsche Gesellschaftfur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH (German Society for International Cooperation) or GIZ is an international enterprise owned by the German Federal Government, operating in many fields across more than 130 countries. It primarily works with states, state agencies, and the private sector. Its headquarters are located in Bonn and Eschborn, Germany.


About GIZ-SIDBI Responsible Enterprise Finance Programme

GIZ and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) aim to increase the supply of financial services for sustainability-oriented investments of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). The joint Programme aims to support the integration of environmental, social and governance criteria into MSME-financing. It aims to promote the development of innovative financial services that promote investments and innovations by MSME that create environmental or social impacts. An increased access to risk capital is one key objective. GIZ and SIDBI support the market development for financial services for innovative MSME and “Social Enterprises”. Increasing market transparency is one objective.

Rajendra Ganotra is the Editor of Spicy Stars Mumbai

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