Blog : Impact Investing: how to best use your funds
By Petra Cauwels, Impact Investment & Operations Manager at Mustardseed Trust, Feb 2023
Impact Investing are investments made with the intention to generate positive, measurable, social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. At Mustardseed Trust, it is often called “best use of funds”. A way to learn how to best use your funds, is to do it together.
Hosted by the latter, Wire Group, on the beautiful historical Sonnenborgh in Utrecht in the Netherlands, Toniic invited its members in Europe on the 6th of February 2023 for a Meetup to improve member engagement in the impact investment world. But first, what is the connection between Toniic and Wire Group?
One of the founders of Wire Group, Tera Terpstra started the Toniic community in Europe a few years ago to create impact and noticed that it had grown significantly: she began Wire Group as she saw the growing interest in Impact Investing within Europe.
Wire Group's purpose is to contribute to a conscious economy. They guide wealth owners in investing their wealth more consciously. Recently Wire Group changed her legal structure to a cooperative with steward owned elements to be fully purpose aligned.
Even strikes in public transport did not prevent people making their way to the venue.
Representing Mustardseed Trust I attended this event. Although I am experienced in the global securities services field, I am quite new to impact investing. I attended the meet-up with the hope that I would learn and meet like-minded investors. Toniic’s approach enabled us to talk to most of the participants. So I speed dated many like-minded people that evening.
What did I learn by going on this journey together?
One of the take aways was to gain insight from a Dutch experienced investor:
“Beyond impact, evaluate if you can make a difference. If you intend to invest in a fund which contributes to a solution, look even further. Research if it is already covered by other investors. If that is the case, you won’t make an additional difference. So try to invest in securities that are contributing and are not financed by others yet.”
Another take away was presented by Wire Group itself: Stewardship. Steward-ownership is based on the principles that profits serve the purpose of the company (and for instance cannot be extracted by the shareholders). The other principle is that the control over the company — i.e. the majority of the voting rights — is always held by people who are closely connected to the company. These principles can be a powerful tool for economic change and impact.
An example of a company who recently changed their structure to steward-ownership is Patagonia. The goal was to preserve the company’s independence and ensure that all distributed profits are used for climate protection and the preservation of undeveloped land around the globe.
Our thanks go to Toniic for organising this very special event and especially energising members by deepening impact by learning together.
Mustardseed Trust is an early stage investor in Ecosystem Restoration Camps, URDT/ARU, Zeitpolster and Investing in Regeneration Podcasts. More examples of Mustardseed Trust’s Impact Investments can be found on https://www.mustardseedtrust.org/partners
-Though we prefer to refer to it as our partners-
Beyond impact investing, see if you can make a difference.