Though Bonnie Wong, former Investment Manager with Vancity’s Community Capital team discussed risk explicitly at several points in her presentation, the theme of re-defining risk in the field of impact investing resonated through all presentations and conversations at “Making an Impact through Social Finance”.
Upon arrival to Acumen Fund’s 10 year celebration gala in New York City, the shoulders of each guest were adorned with a bright scarf. Such simple, feather-light scarves, yet somehow, mixed with celebratory and inspiring conversations, the result was a powerful embodiment of community.
10 years after Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO and Founder, registered Acumen Fund as a charity in the US, the organization has invested over $69 million in patient capital in 63 enterprises that have created 55,000 jobs and touched the lives of over 86 million people.
Sam Goldman, co-founder of Honest Tea, a social enterprise that produces natural fruit and tea beverages says, “We sold to Coca Cola last year.”
A collective gasp escapes from the audience. Thoughts of Ben and Jerry’s selling to Unilever creep in and the nearly instantaneous conclusion that this must be a “sell-out” ripples through the socially minded business audience of 150. The conclusion is wrong.
Welcome to the Net Impact Conference 2011 in Portland, Oregon; two and a half days of absolutely exhilarating conversation about business and the progress of the world.