GIIN defines impact as having two distinct pillars:
1. Intention behind the action.
2. Regular reporting of impact.
Impact made by a product is therefore challenging to define, and entrepreneurs must be able to show exactly who is benefitted by their product or service. Investors and start-ups, companies and entrepreneurs in this space agree the impact goals at the time of funding. It evolved from the recognised framework of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI), which is based on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria. Impact Investment differs primarily because of the proactive intent from investors.