During our last GoBeyond talk series event which focused on impact investing, we had the privilege to have 5 amazing speakers with different backgrounds join us and share their experiences and knowledge. It was a passionate discussion and here are our key takeaways.
The way you speak about impact has an impact too
When speaking about impact investing, investors often use acronyms and complex notions like ESG which may distract attention from the key issues and make it extremely difficult to measure the real impact. Using simpler language and talking about specific problems like CO2 emissions and climate change instead of generic environmental impact could benefit us all.
Intentionality is key
One of the key things impact investors should look at when investing in an early-stage company is the team’s strong intention to make an impact. Entrepreneurs face difficult choices, so having clear what they want to achieve will help them not to lose focus.
Even a 1% change can be colossal
The exhausting amount of time needed to put together figures for investors is a struggle which entrepreneurs are faced with. Startups are expected to have data points for everything, even in areas that are difficult to quantify, or areas where the figures might not be truly reflective of the actual potential. Yet, in many cases, the issue is so extensive that even a 1% variation can make a huge difference. Therefore, impact investors and entrepreneurs need to be more practical about measuring impact without being obsessed with the numbers.
Diversity is crucial to unlock innovation
The speed of expansion and innovation today is impressive. Yet this is a mere fraction of what we could achieve in the near future, with one simple change – by increasing diversity and inclusion. To unlock innovation and changes within our societies we need to look beyond the typical entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley.
“Although impact investing is the number one area we need to invest in, women and people from diverse backgrounds are the second most important.” – Faye Walsh Drouillard
Measuring impact is still a big challenge
According to the annual survey conducted by Toniic’s 100% network, there are 3 major concerns faced by impact investors:
- The myth that financial returns in impact investing are lower than in traditional investing
- Shortage in quality investments
- Impact measurement and management
While the first 2 aspects are improving, impact measurement and management still remain a challenge, but it should not discourage early-stage investors from supporting innovative entrepreneurs who creating solutions for the future because investors can make a difference on many pressing issues, including the climate crisis.
We would like to extend a special thank you to our guest speakers: Nick Lyth (Co-founder and CEO of Green Angel Syndicate), Faye Walsh Drouillard (impact investor and Founder of WakeUp Capital), Brittany Harris (Co-Founder of Qualis Flow), Dr. Julian Kölbel (Postdoctoral Researcher at Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth, University of Zurich), and Kristin Siegel (Head of EMEA at Toniic, Impact investing consultant). If you are interested in learning about GoBeyond and our initiatives in the Climate Action space, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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