Fighting for a good cause and making a change used to be fueled solely by altruism and one’s true calling rather than making a profit and was easily dismissed as charity. But now, with social entrepreneurship on the rise, sustainable growth proving to be profitable, investors are also turning towards impact businesses with beneficial social or environmental impact alongside a financial return. A new economy is emerging, where doing good and making money is not mutually exclusive anymore.
The UN’s call-to-action, the 17 interconnected Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. Impact entrepreneurs are an important part in driving this change as they build strong businesses, not for the sake of earning money in itself, but rather for the accomplishment of creating viable companies with a vision and solutions that can make the world a better place to be. So step by step, we can get closer to actually achieving these goals by 2030.
SDGs are adopted by 193 nations and Nordic countries are top-notch when it comes to implementing them, successfully turning global goals into local actions. Impact startups, showing potential for social and environmental impact as well as financial returns, are leading the way. According to a Danske Bank survey, the most addressed SDGs are Health & Well-being, Clean & Affordable Energy, Sustainable Cities and Responsible Consumption & Production in the region.
Addressing the goals in itself would not be enough for growth, Nordic startups also found the most lucrative markets that benefit from achieving the Global Goals. The top 4 markets are Food & Agriculture, Cities, Energy & Materials and Health & Well-being according to the Better Business Better World report by Business and Development Commission, World Economic Forum, that claims achieving the goals could raise trillions in new market opportunities in ways that extend prosperity to all. Most of the Nordic impact startups are operating in one of these domains, and this fact alone can help secure funding.
Globally, impact investing is on the rise: the assets classified as impact investments managed by the investment services organisations that responded to the annual survey doubled in 2017, amounting to approximately 228 billion US dollars according to the Annual Impact Investor Survey 2018. Impact investing is also a way of promoting SDGs while reflecting the values of investors.
Want to know more on how to cope with challenges and build a sustainable impact business or gain insights on impact investing?
Join us at Arctic15’s Impact Track on 5-6 June in Helsinki, where we are debunking myths, compare SDG strategies and discuss the state of impact entrepreneurship from both founder and investor point of view, with a goal to find new ways to develop and commercialize technology for impact.
Speakers on stage are Kamran Elahian, Founder and Chairman, Global Innovation Catalyst, Adeo Ressi, CEO&Founder, Founder Institute, Sami Nupponen, CEO of Goodio and Akash Bhavsar, Founder of WaterQuest Technologies with firsthand founder stories, Anix Lynch, Managing Partner, Expara VC Fund, Katja Bergman, Partner, Brightly, Mikko Kumpulainen, Partner, Voima Ventures and Jonathan Nelson, Managing Director, Hackfund. Stage moderated and track curated by James Digby, Managing Partner, 3B Ventures.
Get your tickets here.