This is the Masawa Minute – mental wellness, social impact, and impact investing snippets from what we’ve read the last two weeks + where you can get active.
Today’s newsletter is all about investing for social good – be it focusing on impact or sustainability goals. The belief that businesses should focus on more than just profit, and should care about the footprint their actions leave behind has been around for years. What is new and emerging is the evidence to support that a focus on doing good, does not need to come at the price of financial success.
We’ve been reading about how social impact and sustainability can (and should!) go hand in hand with profit, the power of impact investors in preserving democracy, and some tips and tricks for accelerating impact. Now we’d like to share it with you. Enjoy!
Masawa’s friend Nadja recently recorded an episode for the Break Down. Wake Up. podcast, discussing how coming to terms with her relationship doubt and a part of herself she did not want to see brought an executive coach deep compassion for herself and others. She and the host Meg Mateer explore the role of fear within organizational systems as an outdated strategy for motivation, how addiction functions as a survival strategy and how we must listen to and integrate our “nasty parts” if we want to make a significant shift in global consciousness. Highly recommended!
The 2030 Movement is a free week-long virtual festival filled with events and workshops dedicated to everything one needs to know to be able to make the world a better place before 2030. The festival takes place from September 14th to 19th and offers a whole range of events on various subjects.
It’s hard to deny that we have entered a new era of doing business – today its purpose is successfully addressing social challenges and generating growth instead of the neverending generation of profit, which was the sole goal of many companies in the past.
Over the years, awareness of this shift in priorities has increased and evolved. Stakeholder groups like the Business Roundtable and the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council have contributed to accelerating that conversation and continuously emphasizing the need for companies to create positive social and environmental impact.
To take the conversation one step further, TPG, a global investment firm, has decided to share five lessons they learned throughout five years of funding over 25 impact businesses across various sectors. Read to gain some practical insights into scaling investing, the importance of value alignment and strong ecosystems. We have taken notes.
The pandemic has brought us some challenges, but some good changes came along as well – like a cleaner environment and companies that are finally embracing flexible work-from-home policies. Impact investments finally started outperforming traditional ones, too, which motivated some investors to rework their portfolios.
“COVID has raised the awareness of the fragility of our economic system, and to me, that’s an investable trend,” said Mark Cirili, a co-founder and managing partner at MissionPoint Partners, a private equity firm. Eric Lemelson, a philanthropist and vineyard owner in Oregon, has decided to decarbonize his entire portfolio. He expressed the hope that this is more than just a trend – “The market is changing fundamentally. It is not just another challenge. It’s the challenge.”
We’re stoked to see the growing impact investors circle and hope it’s a shift that will last. Positive, measurable social impact is at the core of what we do. We believe that supporting it with funds and assistance is the way leading to the transformation of mental wellness.
To mention it once more, sustainable investing – driven by environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors – is becoming increasingly popular. However, it still takes a long time for many to adopt this approach, partly because some misconceptions remain around investment interest and performance. Forbes decided to dispel them for you.
One of the myths, for instance, addresses a prevailing belief that only Millennials and women are into sustainable investing. While some might (rightfully) find these views quite outdated, plenty of individuals still fall prey to this stereotype. It’s safe to say that the reality is different – the primary sustainable investors are the people who run big institutional funds and over 70% of Americans had at least a moderate interest in sustainable investment.
Read the full article to discover the rest of the misconceptions many people in the world of investing find themselves falling for. We’ll say one thing – the interest in sustainable investing is rising increasingly and it’s likely here to stay.
While this article was written with the approaching US elections in mind, it applies to many other countries. Impact investors’ engagement can decide not only the future of their portfolios but also the future of democracy.
The first step is to let go of the idea that democracy is untouchable – it can and has been profoundly disrupted by the governments that have a different agenda on their minds. It affects everyone individually, but it also determines the ability to realize and scale positive social impact. No matter what area you invest in, you need officials who understand its value, can facilitate and protect the positive change it brings to society and develop regulations to support it.
There are numerous ways to promote fair and informed political elections – backing strategic political initiatives with funds or human resources is among them. With elections approaching, investors must interfere and use their social and financial capital to ensure a fair outcome. Let’s stop taking democracy for granted because it’s time to support it with everything we have.
The short answer is yes. Committing to environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals can result in real business value and you don’t have to be an impact investor to realize that.
If VC investors make ESG a part of their investment process, they’ll end up giving money to companies that are likely to operate sustainably and create a positive social impact. Besides that, companies that implement ESG are said to perform 4.8% better than those that don’t and outperform them considering the rates of return.
Considering the market, more and more individual consumers make decisions that align with ESG values. People feel that the time has come for solutions that add to global wellbeing. The investors also think that sustainable investment has become significantly more important and many have increased their sustainable investments over the previous years.
So if you haven’t yet, it’s time to find out more about ESG and how it can be implemented in your investments. While currently it’s still a rare sight in VC, it is likely to become more prevalent soon. Be there early!
We probably say the word ‘impact’ 893 times a day, a word that is increasingly thrown around. With the increased focus on the feasibility and power of impact investing comes the increased responsibility to not fall into complacency. Impact washing is well-underway.
At Masawa, we’re in the process of assessing a number of exciting opportunities for investment, focused not only on if the investment can make above-average returns but also on if the positive impact on people’s lives can be measured and maximized. Impact for us means having peer-reviewed evidence of data in the target area and assessing founders’ ability to be impact-driven and work towards maximizing their social impact.
So when you hear the word ‘impact’, listen closely to see if it truly is.
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