Written by Guillaume De Keijser
General Manager of Namahoro Investment Group
I recall my first communication with non-profit organisations and local political parties. It was about a month ago and I was doing some research for Namahoro. One of the first things I noticed was the gap between non-profit organisations, the government and the commercial businesses. The first two were not as open for discussions as we from Namahoro had hoped. Mainly because, according to them, our aims are different. But I dare say – they are wrong! It is possible for organisations of different levels to share a goal. The approaches we use often differ, but commercial companies, which primarily focus on profit, can be charitable by nature too. Benevolent work based on the liberal workings of the market can lead to durable social impact organisations. The question today is: how can we best stimulate this phenomenon?
To tackle this issue thirteen countries are now working together through the Social Impact Investing Steering Group (GSG). They have mapped out the challenges that these social impact organisations are facing today and they are also explaining how social impact investing is already changing the world. Their report explains the amount of people who are starting social businesses is rising remarkably.
GSG is led by Sir Ronald Cohen who has passionately been active on spreading the news. As he explained in his guest article on Forbes, he believes that social enterprises will play a more important role in the future. Sir Cohen has purposefully been comparing it with venture capitalism which has been a major catalyst for the unbelievable evolution in the technological world.
An honourable world
We from Namahoro want the world to be a more righteous place. More and more, people are taking social considerations into account. The Huffington Post is dedicating plenty of space to the matter. Not only the global leaders but also young people are following the movement. Banks like Wells Fargo are offering their clients an array of social solutions when it comes to their investments. Allowing them to choose and let their money be invested in causes they believe in. The question is not if other banks will follow suit, because they will. The question is rather when? And how?
To conclude, profits and social benefits are being linked more and more. The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) is following this trend and showing how to take action. Social impact organisations are empowering women in Bolivia, and supporting renewable energy in Mongolia. Companies like Ecosia, an internet search engine, have promised to invest 80% of their profits in planting new trees and they are empowering local populations while planting those trees. The social impact of for-profit companies has been recognised. Today we have to discover how a whole community can promote this type of investments faster, leading to a better future.