The Entrepreneurial Perspective in Impact Investing Research: A Research Agenda


  • Christin Eckerle Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Sarah Manthey Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Orestis Terzidis



Impact Investing, Startup, Entrepreneurship, SLR, Sustainability


The Covid-19 pandemic, climate crises, and regulatory changes are only a few reasons for the growing public alertness regarding environmental and social problems. This has caused a shift in the mindset of companies and investors in terms of sustainability and the long-term impact of innovation. Thus, sustainable investments, particularly impact investments, have continued to grow in importance and momentum to shift the focus on rebuilding the economy more sustainable and future-oriented. The current state of research in this field indicates that most academic contributions are mainly about theoretical considerations and deal with various areas. There is no aggregated state of the art in academia with a focus point on impact investment for entrepreneurship. Yet, entrepreneurs are seen as key actors to drive sustainable innovation. Compared to the current growing impact investment practices and the necessity of a strategy to get financing, the topic is still relatively unexplored scientifically. In this research, a systematic literature review is conducted to further review, evaluate, and analyze the current research agenda on impact investment and show how it relates to entrepreneurship research. In particular, impact investment-related decision criteria, as well as challenges associated with this, will be presented. This contributes to the nascent literature on impact investing by documenting how impact investors stand in relation to entrepreneurial ventures and what measurement frameworks and models are already scientifically analyzed, which has practical implications for both impact investors and entrepreneurs.