Europe | November 7, 2019

Impact storytelling at the European Venture Philanthropy Association

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, November 7 – Representatives from philanthropy, government, venture capital, asset management and yes, startups huddled for small-group discussions at the European Venture Philanthropy Association’s meeting in The Hague, in partnership with ImpactCity.

“It’s all about the stories,” said Jussi Nykänen of Finland’s FIM Impact Investing. “I’m here to hear about the lessons others are learning.” A few that stood out:

Catalytic capital

Europe can learn from the U.S. on financial engineering and catalytic capital, said Nykänen who has mapped out a venture capital fund for investing in food tech. “Venture capital doesn’t work for land,” he says. Farmers need help to regenerate land and restore soil, so Nykänen is on the hunt for models like U.S.-based Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT (see, “Iroquois Valley Farmland’s direct public offering lets smaller investors get a share of ‘soil wealth’”).

CNote mobilizes $18 million in savings for community investment

B Corps

“As an entrepreneur, I hate the idea of certification,” said World Startup Factory’s Mathijs Koper. The founder of a Hague-based impact accelerator found unexpected benefits in the painstaking B Corp. certification process for Outside Inc., an impact advisory firm. World Startup Factory, which has equity stakes in 40 ventures, this week became the first European B Corp-certified startup accelerator.

Capoeira impact

Four hundred-year-old dance and martial arts Capoeira, developed by enslaved Afro-Brazilians, is part of a business curriculum for Brazil’s sustainability professionals. “We study capoeira to learn about dialogue,” said Amanda Burlamaqui, a business student at Fundação Getulio Vargas. “We need impact investing,” she said. “But we also need these other [large, established] companies.”