The for-profit and non-profit worlds are on a collision course. Already the lines are beginning to blur as new fields like impact investing, social enterprise, and blended finance emerge. This podcast is a conversation with changemakers from all walks of life using for-profit principles in surprising and creative ways to drive social impact.
Jeffrey Cyr of Raven Indigenous Capital Partners (RCIP) joins us for today’s episode. Jeff is Managing Partner at RCIP; Canada’s first Indigenous financial intermediary. Its mission is to empower Indigenous entrepreneurs with the capital and expertise they need to succeed. Jeff joins us on the podcast to discuss how RCIP is making transformative investments that can generate positive financial returns while revitalizing Canada’s Indigenous economy. During the podcast, we discuss a wide range of topics including the firm’s quest to raise $5 million for its newly launched demonstration impact fund, why an Indigenous lens is needed, and how Indigenous ways of knowing and being tend to make Indigenous impact investing inherently more sustainable.
If you’re interested in learning more about Jeff, you can follow him on Twitter. You can also learn more about Raven Indigenous Capital Partners on its website or follow them on Twitter.
During the episode, we referenced the book Decolonizing Wealth by Edgar Villanueva.
Episode Sponsor: This episode was sponsored by the Certified Professional Impact Analyst (CPIA) certification at Queens University. If you’re serious about upping your impact measurement & management skills visit www.cpia.queensu.ca.
Upkar Arora of Rally Assets joins us for today’s episode. Upkar is Chief Executive Officer at Rally Assets; A full-service impact investing firm helping investors align their investments with their values. Rally is a new brand but has a rich history in the impact investment space in Canada under previous ownership under the name Purpose Capital. The firm’s new owner, Upkar Arora, joins us on the podcast to discuss how he’s transitioning Rally Assets from a consulting service provider to a full-service impact investing firm that is now able to fully manage client assets. During the podcast, we discuss a wide range of topics including Rally’s principle of “progress not perfection”, the journey to becoming a full-service provider, and how Rally Assets measures its impact. And be sure to stay tuned until the end where we hold a mirror up to our industry and discuss potential unintended negative consequences of impact investing.
If you’re interested in learning more about Upkar, you can follow him on Twitter. Learn more about Rally Assets by visiting its website.
Trish Nixon of CoPower Inc. joins us for today’s episode. Trish is Managing Director and Head of Capital at CoPower Inc.; an online platform allowing Canadians to access impact investments that will help accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy. Sadly the impact investment space right now is predominantly populated by private investments which are accessible only to wealthy Canadians. What’s particularly exciting about CoPower is that they an early leader in democratizing access to impact investments in Canada. During the podcast, we discuss a wide range of topics including how CoPower got its start, how its Green Bonds work, what’s holding impact investments back from reaching a mass retail audience, and the dirty secret in Canadians’ investment portfolios.
If you’re interested in learning more about Trish, you can follow her on Twitter. Learn more about CoPower’s Green Bonds here. And if you’re interested in CoPower report we discuss at the end of the podcast, it’s called “The dirty secret in your investment portfolio”.
Sharon Avery of Toronto Foundation joins us for today’s episode. Sharon is President & CEO of Toronto Foundation (TF); one of the 191 community foundations across Canada which holds nearly $500 million in assets. As a community foundation, Toronto Foundation is a charity but not a cause. It exists to contribute time, leadership, and money to support communities and causes across the city to make Toronto a better place for everyone. Toronto Foundation has made early forays into impact investing in affordable housing projects and recently just launched its first social investment fund. During the podcast, we discuss a wide range of topics such as how Sharon wants to redefine Philanthropy, the value of diversity and lived experience, TF’s ground-breaking Social Capital report, and it's brand new social investment fund.
If you’re interested in what Sharon has to say, you can follow her on Twitter. You can view the Vital Signs reports for any of the community foundations here and you can access Toronto Foundations Social Capital Study here.
Episode Sponsor: World Vision Canada
The Social Innovation Challenge, by World Vision Canada, is being held Wednesday June 19th at 6pm at Art Scape Daniels Launch Pad at 130 Queens Quay East, Toronto, Ontario. Learn more here. To join the event, register here.
Stephen Huddart of McConnell Foundation joins us for today’s episode. Stephen is President & CEO of McConnell Foundation; Canada’s second oldest private foundation which is responsible for roughly $650 million in assets. The foundation focuses on impacting a broad range of issues such as Indigenous reconciliation, the changing nature of work, food security, and mental health. McConnell Foundation is one of Canada’s most sophisticated impact investors and is systematically transitioning its existing investments to impact investments. In this episode, we discuss the foundation's work beyond traditional grants and the creative ways it uses all its resources as a force for good. We also discuss the recently announced $800 million commitment by the Canadian government to establish Canada’s first Social Finance Fund.
If you’re interested in what Stephen has to say, you can follow him on Twitter.
Tim Nash of Good Investing joins us for today’s episode. Tim is Founder at Good Investing; a fee-only service helping Canadians invest their own money online in a sustainable manner. Tim is also a blogger who runs The Sustainable Economist. In this episode, we discuss how Tim coaches clients to take control of their investments and align them with their values. During the course of the conversation, we discuss some fascinating topics such as whether you need to sacrifice performance to make socially responsible investments, Universal Basic Income, and the environmental and social impacts of lab-grown meat.
You can follow Tim on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Tal Dehtiar of Oliberté joins us for today’s episode. Tal is President and Founder of Oliberté; a sustainable fair trade footwear brand supporting workers' rights in sub-Saharan Africa. Oliberté is a Certified B Corporation, is committed to 1% For the Planet, and owns the world’s first Fair Trade Certified shoe factory. In this episode, we discuss Tal’s winding path to launch Oliberté, how a shoe manufacturer can contribute towards SDGs, what it means that Oliberté is the world’s fist Fair-Trade Certified footwear company, and how its model differs from footwear sensation Tom’s.
You can find Oliberté at www.oliberte.com and you can follow Tal on Twitter or LinkedIn.
In this episode, David is joined by Mike Winterfield. Mike is Founder and CEO of Active Impact Investments; an impact investment fund that invests in early stage, for-profit, businesses looking to make some sort of environmental or social impact.
On the podcast we discuss the exciting journey Mike is on as he is quickly approaching his goal to raise and invest $10 million for the firm’s first impact fund. Mike was previously President of Randstad Professionals, a division of Randstad Canada, a leading recruitment and HR services firm with annual revenues in excess of $300 million. Mike also was COO and later President of Traction on Demand, a developer of cloud-based technology solutions.
During the episode we discuss Mike’s awakening moment, how his bad dreams have played into an abrupt career transition toward impact, the trials and tribulations of starting an impact fund, and the fund’s first two investments: GoJava (which provides coffee for offices where they recycle all the coffee pods) and Keela (which provides software solutions that drive efficiencies for small and medium size non-profits).
You can find Mike’s firm at www.activeimpactinvestments.com and you can follow Mike on Twitter or LinkedIn.
In this episode, David is joined by Nadine Pequeneza. Nadine is an award-winning Director, Writer, and Producer best known for her social issue films offering unique access to character-driven stories. She is also the owner of HitPlay Productions. Nadine's most recent film, Invisible Heart, is the world's first documentary about Social Impact Bonds (SIBs). The film paints both a picture of hope around the potential for using market-based approaches to solving social problems but also challenges us to consider the unintended consequences that may result. During the episode, we discuss both the promise and pitfalls of social impact bonds, the reactions Nadine has received to the film thus far, and what the future may hold for this novel new instrument.
In this episode, David is joined by Jonathan Hera, Founder and Managing Partner of Marigold Capital. Marigold is an early stage private market investor. In other words, a venture capital firm. But Marigold has a radically new investment model that seeks social outcomes as much as financial outcomes. Jonathan discusses how his early childhood experiences shape his work to this day, recounts some of his impressive array of experiences pioneering the impact investment landscape in Canada, and talks about Marigold’s Moneyball approach to venture capital investing.
Alexa Blain is COO at Deetken Impact; an impact investment firm based in Vancouver BC. During our chat Alexa discusses how the firm searches for investment opportunities in Latin America that impact communities in any number of ways, including: promoting women entrepreneurship, providing credit to micro and small businesses, promoting access to clean energy, affordable housing and/or health care. We also talk about the barriers to scaling impact investing in Canada, the risks of impact investing, and what other impact investments Alexa likes right now.
Phillip Haid discusses how his firm Public Inc. works with some of the world's largest brands to catalyze their positive impact on the world. In our chat Phil discusses the evolution of Public, how and why purpose and profit not only mix but are inseparable, and how the world's largest companies are beginning to infuse their brands with purpose. We also discuss Nike's highly polarizing Colin Kaepernick ad.
Bill Young is one of the founding fathers of impact investing. He is Founder and Partner of a non-profit called Social Capital Partners which pursues high-risk creative solutions that tackel big real-world problems. In this episode, Bill recounts his previous career feeling like a marionette to 28 year old, red-suspender wearing investment bankers, the early days getting Social Capital Partners off the ground, how three big failures forced him to pivot several times, and the biggest social challenges he's most excited about tackling right now.
This is a longer episode but it's worth listening to every minute!
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