🎙Ep 36 & 37 - Opportunities for impact in the mining industry + Accelerating the flow of impact capital
Plus I'm announcing the winner of the impact investing prize-pack giveaway!
Here’s what’s included in this edition of the newsletter:
Announcing the winner of the $500 impact investing prize pack!
Help me build out an infographic on the Canadian Impact Investing landscape
Ep 36 & 37 of the podcast are live!
What I’m reading/listening to
What’s on tap
🎁 Drumroll, please …
Thank you so much to everyone who entered the impact investing podcast giveaway contest. To refresh your memory, the giveaway was for a $500 impact investing prize pack that includes:
✅ $250 gift card from Patagonia.
✅ A 60 mins 1:1 responsible investment consultation with Kind Wealth founder, David O’Leary.
✅ A copy of Moving Beyond Modern Portfolio Theory by Jon Lukomnik (Ep 33) and James Hawley.
✅A copy of Impact: Reshaping Capitalism to Drive Real Change by Sir Ronald Cohen.
Without any further ado, the winner of the $500 impact investing prize pack is … Kira Gidron. I have reached out to Kira already to arrange delivery.
💁♂️ Help me map out the Canadian impact investing landscape
I am building an infographic that maps out the lay of the land of impact investing in Canada. The infographic is designed to help viewers, in a single glance, get a handle on the major players across the impact investment landscape in Canada.
Keep in mind, this is a work in progress. There are three ways you can help:
Provide any feedback you have on how I’ve defined or organized the categories. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let me know if there are any great organizations you know of that I should make sure get added. Send to email@example.com.
If you represent an organization and would like to be included, please complete this form.
🎙 Ep 36 - Opportunities for impact in the mining industry
Mining is an inherently challenging industry from an impact perspective since it's all about the removal and consumption of the earth's limited natural resources. The manner in which we have historically mined these resources has caused great harm to people, communities, and our planet.
At the same time, our existence (as it stands today) absolutely depends on mining to provide everything from the minerals we use in virtually all of our toiletries (makeup, vitamins, toothpaste, soap, etc.) and the fertilizer we use to grow food, to the metals we use essential to necessities like cars, buildings, roads, mobile phones, and medical equipment.
Plus, mining is a massive industry that contributes greatly to wealth creation for an exceedingly large number of people globally. In Canada, nearly 700,000 people work either directly or indirectly in mining and receive the highest average wage/salaries of any industry in the country.
Since it isn't possible in the foreseeable future to stop mining entirely it seems abundantly clear we need to shift our focus to reducing demand and improving mining sustainability.
Enter today's guest, Elizabeth Freele, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Sympact Advisory, based in Vancouver, Canada. Liz is a passionate social sustainability strategist and futurist entrepreneur, supporting everything from pre-seed to mature enterprises in challenging operational environments across the Americas, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. She holds an MBA from IE Business School, a certificate in Sustainable Business Strategy from Harvard Business School, and a BA in Political Science and Global Development from Western University.
Liz and her colleagues at Sympact work with companies to help improve their social performance to foster both company and community resilience. And given Liz's long background in the mining industry, the organization has quickly established a stronghold there.
In today's episode, I sit down with Liz to flesh out the nuances of the ESG impacts of the mining industry from an ESG perspective and the practical opportunities for improving its sustainability. During the episode, we discuss the state of mining today, just how dependent we are on the industry, the most harmful practices that need to end, how mining companies can do better, and which organizations she sees as leaders in the space. And be sure to stay tuned to the very end when Liz discusses her views on where there is the most opportunity for impact investing in the mining industry.
Resources from this episode:
Sympact Advisory Website
Prospecting Purpose Podcast
Summit Nanotech (Alberta company extracting Lithium from old oil wells)
Liz's book recommendation: Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond
🎙 Ep 37 - Accelerating the flow of impact capital
As much as investing for both purpose and profit is in vogue these days, there's still a wide gap between the number of people talking about impact investing and those doing it. The fact that impact capital doesn't flow nearly as freely as traditional investment capital, makes scaling a social enterprise or raising an impact fund all the more difficult.
My guest today is Keith Ippel, CEO and Founder of Spring Activator in Vancouver, British Columbia. Spring Activator works with purpose-driven entrepreneurs at an early stage by providing incubation, acceleration, and investment readiness programming. The organization also works on the demand side of the impact investing equation by helping train impact investors to find and due diligence deals.
Keith founded the organization nearly eight years ago and is still incredibly passionate about building the entire impact investing ecosystem. Keith is a reformed Management Consultant who, after being raised by entrepreneurs, was dragged back into entrepreneurship through the opportunities he was seeing for technology to solve real-world problems. After a successful run leading a variety of technology-based businesses, Keith began seeing the opportunity to nurture the field of impact investing and launched Spring Activator.
During the episode, Keith and I discuss the state of the impact investing space globally and in Canada, what support early-stage social entrepreneurs need to scale their businesses, how to reduce the talk-action gap in impact investing, and how his organization helps investors learn how to become impact investors. And be sure to stay tuned to the very end where Keith discusses his outlook for impact investing over the next decade.
Resources from this episode:
Impact Investment & Indigenous Women’s Entrepreneurship by the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub
When: Sept 29th
Time: 3:30pm - 4:30pm ET
This event features Sara Wolfe (guest of Ep 22 of the podcast) from Indigenous Innovation Initiative. Here’s the description from the organizers: ”How do we ensure investment into Indigenous women-owned businesses is a part of every impact investment conversation, and what opportunity does this present for your company? Join us in a thought-provoking discussion. Indigenous Women Entrepreneurs are ready to co-create a new era of investment partnerships in a truly reciprocal practice.”
Green+ Bonds: Delivering Climate Action with Social Renewal (The Impact Investing Institute and Social Impact Agenda per l'Italia)
When: Sept 29th
Time: 3:00pm - 4:30pm ET
The Impact Investing Institute and Social Impact Agenda per l'Italia would like to invite you to attend our webinar "Green+ Bonds: Delivering Climate Action with Social Renewal" on 29th September 14:00-15:30 BST / 15:00-16:30 CEST.
Description from the organizers: “As part of pre-COP proceedings under the All4Climate Italy 2021 programme, this event will explore how green bonds that finance climate action with social benefits can be mobilized to deliver a just transition to net-zero.
We are delighted to be welcoming a fantastic panel of speakers to discuss this topic in the run-up to COP26 and welcome you to join the conversation
💼 Job Opportunities
Sara Wolfe, Director of the Indigenous Innovation Initiative and guest on episode #22 of the podcast is hiring for two new roles.
Communications Associate: This position will play a crucial role in helping the Knowledges Mobilization Team with all communications activities, including being the brand ambassador for the Indigenous Innovation Initiative; amplifying the stories, journeys and impacts of the innovators we fund; and supporting donor relations activities. Applications are due September 30, 2021. http://ow.ly/BNAD50GesbH
Impact Analyst: This position will help the Knowledges Mobilization Team with inquiry and learning activities, including tracking and sharing the progress and impact of programs and Indigenous innovators. Applications are due September 30: http://ow.ly/ALYs50GdQEY
📰What I’m reading
Negative Investor Contribution: A summary of discussions with the IMP Practitioner Community (The Pre Distribution Initiative & The Impact Management Project)
I’m excited to dive into this discussion paper since we had Delilah Rothenburg (Founder of The Pre Distribution Initiative) on episode #27 to discuss many of the issues raised in the discussion paper. This is an open invitation to impact investors to contribute feedback and help build better investment practices. In their own words:
”In 2020, the Predistribution Initiative (PDI), in partnership with the Impact Management Project (IMP), asked a community of practitioners to consider and debate areas where investors – separately from the enterprises they finance – engage in practices that result in social and/or environmental harm, and amplify systemic risks (or systematic risks to investors' portfolios). Impact Frontiers, as an initiative of the IMP, led the IMP’s participation in this effort.
The perspectives of the community, which took place over a series of interactive webinars and via the IMP’s online forum, have been synthesized into this discussion document.
We invite to you submit your feedback via the form below by the end of December 2021. Submissions will be integrated into an interim set of revised metrics in March 2022.”
This is the first step in a wider process of market and stakeholder engagement on the subject, which will continue throughout 2022. You can indicate your interest in receiving updates to these metrics, along with invitations to workshops on this topic, via the form below.
Employee Ownership: A Policy Idea That’s Gaining Political Traction (The Globe & Mail)
Jon Shell from Social Capital Partners was our guest in episode 25 where we talked about the work he and SCP are doing to accelerate investment to finance employee buyouts and thereby increase employee ownership of companies. As we discussed on the podcast, this appears to be an initiative that’s truly bipartisan. I’m happy to see the Canadian government and the media here picking up on this!
7 gender-smart ways to invest in men and boys (Suzanne Biegel)
“If you want to invest in gender equality, one of the smartest - and most overlooked - things you can do is to pay attention to where men and boys are in the picture.
At present, there are no gender lens funds focused on men and boys. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any investment opportunities. But you have to look a lot harder for them.
Here are 7 creative ways to bring men and boys into your gender lens investing strategy.”
📆What’s on tap?
Here’s what is coming up on The Impact Investing Podcast:
🎙 Upcoming Podcast Episodes
Bahiyah Yasmeen Robinson of VC Include joins us to discuss her work helping to get more capital into the heads of underrepresented fund managers.
Farahnaz Karim of Insaan Group (a boutique impact investment entity that allocates philanthropic capital to tackle poverty in the Global South) to discuss their work in catalytic philanthropy. The organization does this by using donations to invest in early-stage ventures that create employment and/or deliver a product or service relevant to the poor. It then re-invests all revenues from these investments in new ventures.
Serge LeVert-Chiasson of Sarona Asset Management joins us to discuss Sarona’s work investing in impact funds and other financial intermediaries across the Global South.
Graham Singh, Founder & CEO of Trinity Centres Foundation joins us to discuss the fascinating work he’s doing to transform church properties for community impact.
Sarah Burns, Founder & CEO of Nia Crowdfund joins us to discuss the launch of Nia and her efforts to democratize access to impact investments in African businesses.