By applying a “migrant lens” to their investments decisions, all types of investors – including pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, foundations, credit unions, banks and individuals – can consider the risks and opportunities associated with integration across their lending and investing portfolios. A migrant lens can help investors to unlock new opportunities for leveraging finance to achieve positive impacts for migrants and their local communities. A migrant lens can also help investors to identify risks that are overlooked by their responsible investment analysis and “find value where none was found before” by considering the multiple ways in which migrants contribute to the economy.
There are several ways in which governments can support and encourage investors to incorporate migrants and refugees into their investment analysis. For example, an important role for government is to direct capital through de-risking impact investment opportunities in the settlement and integration sector and by providing return enhancements to investors. More direct action by government could include procuring services through a social impact bond and providing capacity building funds to the settlement sector to enable social enterprise. Government can also design new corporate disclosure rules to promote the inclusion of migrants. While leveraging private sector investors for migrant and refugee integration is promising, it is important to recognize that these initiatives cannot replace the role of governments; they can only complement the more traditional forms of government support.