What is Equity For Good?
To significantly scale a start-up, capital is required for investment. This often means equity investment, taking on shareholders who gain an ownership stake in the business. The social enterprise sector is no different and a thriving global social impact investment market has grown with £billions being invested into mission-driven businesses.
Purpose-driven businesses focus on their commercial products or services, and the processes through which they add value, sometimes encompassing the full value chain. However, there’s another product that all these businesses create: money in the form of capital growth. When investors sell their shares at a profit, there is little scrutiny on where this value goes. If dissipated into the economy, at least some of it will do harm to the environment and to society, and counteract the positive actions of the social enterprise that created the value.
In recent decades, there have been incredibly positive developments about how businesses treat their employees (e.g. Investors in People), how a business transparently manages its supply chain (e.g. Fair Trade) or what a business chooses to do with its profits (e.g. 1% for the planet). Additionally, B Corp provides a holistic certification that a business has met minimum standards regarding its relationship with workers, customers, suppliers, the community and the environment.
And so, we set about creating an innovative social impact investment model: Equity For Good.
Equity For Good is rooted in a legally-binding pledge made by investors. They agree to reinvest a proportion of their net capital gains in another social enterprise or social impact investment fund. Alternatively, they can make a gift to a not-for-profit or registered charity.
The Equity For Good investment model allows businesses and investors to stand out as mission-driven and to publicly demarcate how the shareholder value created will grow and perpetuate good in the economy. This provides transparency for social enterprise stakeholders and reassurance for its customers and other stakeholders.
Our first Equity For Good funding raised £1.4 million.
Toast Ale (May 2018)
The investment model has been successfully proven by Toast Ale. Toast closed it's first investment round in March 2018, raising £1.4m from 29 investors who pledged to reinvest all net capital gains into social enterprises or social impact investment funds. There was a huge appetite for authentic and transparent investment opportunities for investors familiar with impact investing. As a result, Toast has been able to invest in growth that will enable it to magnify the positive impact of the business.
We're currently engaging with social enterprise networks such as Social Enterprise UK, Ashoka, Echoing Green and B Corp to talk to their members about adopting the Equity For Good investment model. If you're interested in finding out more, please contact us.
We're founded by passionate social entrepreneurs.
Equity For Good Founders
Tristram is an award-winning campaigner on food waste. He authored Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal 2009 and Bloodless Revolution 2007, and is an Ashoka Fellow, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, a WEF Young Global Leader and a Champion 12.3 for the Sustainable Development Goals. He founded Toast Ale and the charity Feedback.
Robis a social entrepreneur, currently Chief Toaster (CEO) at Toast Ale. Previously he led Ashoka in the UK, founded READ International in 2004, co-founded Generation Change in 2012, co-founded Undivided in 2016, and co-authored a book with his wife Nikki about social entrepreneurs in Africa called On the Up.
Louisa set-up Toast Ale in late 2015, and is now Chief Brand Officer. She’s a chartered management accountant and began her career at the Financial Conduct Authority. After gaining a Masters in Environmental Decision Making, she worked as a consultant at the Carbon Trust advising on sustainability strategies. She also sits on the Governing Board and Finance Committee of a local school.