A deep dive on impact investing
How can we make conscious and values-based decisions about personal investments in the same way we do about other decisions we make in life? Impact investing is something I’m incredibly passionate about spreading the message far and wide, which is why I launched my Investing with Purpose interview series.
Most recently, and very fittingly, I sat down with Amy Clarke – the co-founder and chief impact officer at Tribe Impact Capital. The company is a brilliant B Corp that is changing investing for good. The team does this by helping clients to invest in companies that create a positive impact on the world and align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Brilliant. I feel so strongly about Tribe Impact Capital’s mission that I decided to invest in the company myself – a sort of impact investing inception! In our conversation below, we unpacked questions like: What is impact investing? Why is it important? What are the opportunities? What are the risks? I hope you find it insightful.
Impact investing (and ethical pension management if you’re not ready to invest) is an important part of the responsible business movement. All businesses should be a force for good in the world, and impact investing is a great way to support these purpose-led businesses. It’s also a powerful way to support the issues you care about. As Amy put it, impact investing is “giving people the chance to make decisions over where their money is invested, and ensure it reflects their values and helps to solve problems in the world”.
It was also encouraging to hear that more and more people are impact investing from a wide range of demographics. As Amy said:
We’re seeing such an incredible and really, really, broad base of people now leaning into this. There’s a curiosity there and that’s one thing I would always encourage.
It was great to hear more about ‘thematic areas’ that present some of the biggest opportunities in impact investing. These include: education, healthcare, women and girls’ empowerment, regenerative organic agriculture, energy efficiency, smart technology and digital inclusion.
Amy has been working in purpose and impact for almost three decades now (having led sustainability teams at Bank of America and Microsoft), so our conversation naturally turned towards corporate governance. Practising purpose-driven corporate governance is a big part of doing better business. This is why we support the Better Business Act at Virgin Management and changed our Articles of Association to ensure we’re prioritising all stakeholders, and not just shareholders. As I mentioned to Amy, this move away from shareholder primacy should also be reflected in UK corporate law, and hopefully across other countries too. As Amy said: “We can’t do business on a dead planet,” so it’s in everyone’s interest for business to operate sustainably and ethically.
Thank you for taking the time to chat to me, Amy, and thank you doing such great work at Tribe Impact Capital. Let’s make 2024 the year of impact.