We see impact in the enterprises, funds, and organizations we work with at SVX US
How do we see impact?
Our View on Impact
An enterprise should intend to create a direct impact through a business model that aims to tackle a market shortfall, problem, or externality. For example, Oliberté aims to support workers rights and provide employment in sub-Saharan Africa through a sustainable lifestyle brand that includes footwear and accessories.
We also work with conscious companies that may not have impact objectives as the driving force of the company, but they intend to improve existing conditions. They may aim to use responsible principles in their procurement, production, distribution channels, environmental footprint, worker rights, and community. Klean Kanteen and Seventh Generation would be great examples of conscious companies.
Although Corporate Social Responsibility approaches are positive, we do not believe in driving impact where social benefit is ancillary or reliant on profits. Impact must be core to what our issuers do.
Impact should also be deep and/or wide. Deep impact is change in a community or neighbourhood, or changing the quality of life of a particular group of people. This may be an enterprise like Tecla, that is improving the quality of life for persons with barriers to communication or mobility.
Wide impact may have a national or global scale with modest or high growth that can touch the lives of thousands or millions of people. For example, an enterprise like Lucky Iron Fish has positively impacted the lives of tens of thousands in countries across the globe.
Unless they have deep or wide impact, we typically do not work with natural growth companies such as independent cafés or bicycle shops.
We are focused on impact in the following sectors:
- Clean Technology: Sustainable technologies in agri-tech, energy, smart cities, and water.
- Work and Learning: Work and learning technology innovations creating opportunity for all Americans.
- Health and Wellness: Diagnostic devices, digital health, assistive technologies, remote health technology, and health information management.
- Food: Natural, local and organic foods, fair trade, ethical and sustainable food.
- Social Inclusion: Employing or serving persons with disabilities, persons living in poverty, First Nations individuals, new immigrants, and affordable housing.
Our Impact Performance
Supporting Ventures: We are seeking to work with over 20 high impact, high potential issuers over the next three years.
Mobilizing Impact Capital: We are seeking to mobilize $100 million in capital over the next three years.
Creating and Retaining Jobs: We want to support local economic development by helping to create and retain jobs with issuers in our network.
National and Global Scale: We want to successfully scale SVX US across America, with the opportunity for all Americans to use the platform. We are also working with partners in other countries around the world.
Impact: We want to generate positive impact in terms of tackling our most pressing problems, from moving the yardsticks on climate change to tackling inequality. We will track our progress based on the impact performance of the issuers we have the good fortune of working with at SVX US.
Check back here for updates on our progress on an ongoing basis.
Utilize existing impact standards
There are a number of leading industry standards that have been developed for the impact investing marketplace. In our case, we leverage the B Impact Assessment developed by B Lab, examining impact on the environment, community, and workers as well as the governance and business operations of ventures. This provides a proven and verifiable third party standard where ventures can be compared across industries and geographies.
Track and publicly report your impact using demonstrable and verifiable metrics
In order to ensure that impact is being achieved, it is important to measure and report impact using demonstrable and verifiable metrics. This means that you will set and publicly report on measures like GHG emission reduction, job creation numbers, number of persons employed from marginalized communities, or number of housing units and ensure that those figures are reasonably verifiable by your enterprise or an outside firm.
You can use internal impact accounting systems to simply set and manage impact metrics, or there are existing and emerging systems like the Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS) that can provide guidance on metrics. Some organizations have also chosen to organize and align their metrics with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Utilize or modify impact management frameworks
You don’t need to create an impact measurement framework from scratch. There are a number of frameworks that you can leverage that will help you track and improve your impact over time. We encourage organizations to use the Theory of Change frameworks. There are also systems like Bridges Impact+ that are very helpful.
This is an evolving field. We don’t have it all figured out. But we would love your thoughts and insights. If you have advice for us, please feel free to connect with any of our team members.