Achieving the Global Goals through Impact Investing and Social Entrepreneurship

In start-up and entrepreneurial communities we talk a lot about fundraising, sales and revenues, so sometimes one might get a very Uncle Scrooge kind of a feeling like we´d want to pinch every penny out of everything. Well, we do – but we can do it not just for the benefit for ourselves, but for the benefit for our planet and every one of us living here.

In their talk, Ari Eisenstat, CEO and Founder of DREAM VENTURES GLOBAL, an idea-stage impact venture fund with the mission of funding the next generation of socially, environmentally, and technologically conscious entrepreneurs and Zephanii N. Smith, National Council at United Nations Association, discussed the opportunities for Impact Investing and Social Entrepreneurship. This post will give some insights to the topic.

UN Sustainable Development Goals
On September 25th 2015, UN countries adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and people like every one of us.

As Zephanii and Ari point out in their talk, these goals are especially important to us as we might be the last generation able to do something about the future of the planet Earth. Ari and Zephanii covered each one of the goals and gave some ideas of how we, as startup founders, investors and entrepreneurs can contribute into achieving them.

Hidden potentials for business

  • Goal 17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

    30 per cent of the world’s youth are digital natives, active online for at least five years. But more four billion people do not use the Internet, and 90 per cent of them are from the developing world. Governments and NGO´s cannot solve this problem alone – we need public-private partnerships, that would go beyond borders and implement solutions that address this issue.

  • Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies

    Corruption, bribery, theft and tax evasion cost some US $1.26 trillion for developing countries per year; this amount of money could be used for some many better reasons. It is said that the opposite of the war is not peace but creation. In the world so connected, there lay so many opportunities to cooperation and coworking.

  • Goal 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

    The new Morgan Stanley report shows that sustainable investing has a higher return and lower volatility than traditional investing. We could build our cities to be able to grow our economy while integrated in the environment, but we need technologies and smart solutions for that.

  • Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources

    Oceans cover three quarters of the Earth’s surface, contain 97 per cent of the Earth’s water, and represent 99 per cent of the living space on the planet by volume. We see the development of new systems of how we can live on water, take out the plastic from oceans, 3D-print floating cities. But that´s just the beginning. 

  • Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

    It is still possible, using a wide array of technological measures and changes in behaviour, to limit the increase in global mean temperature to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Major institutional and technological change will give a better than even chance that global warming will not exceed this threshold. In this lay affordable and scalable business options that will allow you to earn revenue but do good for Earth.

  • Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

    Each year, an estimated one third of all food produced – equivalent to 1.3 billion tonnes worth around $1 trillion – ends up rotting in the bins of consumers and retailers, or spoiling due to poor transportation and harvesting practices. Sustainable consumption and production is a key factor to strengthen our economic competitiveness: doing more and better with less.

  • Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

    Many challenges exist to maintaining cities in a way that continues to create jobs and prosperity while not straining land and resources. These include congestion, lack of funds to provide basic services, a shortage of adequate housing and declining infrastructure. All kinds of AI or smart solutions could help hugely to run and build cities better. 

  • Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries

    There is nothing inevitable about growing income inequality; several countries have managed to contain or reduce income inequality while achieving strong growth performance. How to reduce the inequality and not fall into communism? Well, we could develop solutions that would allow people own their means of production, creating therefore more fairness. 

      Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

      Why is it so important to thrive towards innovation? Without the development of new technologies and innovation, industrialisation will not happen. Industrialization’s job multiplication effect has a positive impact on society. Every one job in manufacturing creates 2.2 jobs in other sectors. So without industrialisation development will not happen.

    • Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

      Nearly 2.2 billion people live below the US$2 poverty line and that poverty eradication is only possible through stable and well-paid jobs. New industrial revolution that is happening and new financial models can help us to do so. That´s way the invention of new disruptive technologies plays such an important role.

      Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

      One in five people still lacks access to modern electricity and 3 billion people still rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating. New resources of energy ad technologies that can produce or process these resources are fundamental for achieving the goal. 

      Goal 6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all

    • Clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in. Yet each day,nearly 1,000 children die due to preventable water and sanitation-related  diarrhoeal diseases. Solutions that would help to clean water on spot, in catastrophe or rural areas – that is what is needed.

    • Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

      Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. And it makes businesses boom also. Contribute to reducing the inequality and you´ll not be just doing the right thing, but you´ll directly contributing to the welfare of every one of us.

    • Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning
      An estimated 50 per cent of out-of-school children of primary school age live in conflict-affected areas. A lot of people lack basic literacy skills, yet they are the workforce of tomorrow. Solutions that advance learning and developing digital literacy skills, could do a great difference here.

    • Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

      Poverty, diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria, insufficient sanitation – these things kill people every day. Whether it´s HealthTech, BioTech or something else – every successful new solution can save lives. Think of that.

    • Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

      It is time to rethink how we grow, share and consume our food. If done right, agriculture, forestry and fisheries can provide nutritious food for all and generate decent incomes, while supporting people-centred rural development and protecting the environment. New technologies are needed to succeed in this.

    • Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

      Poverty is more than the lack of income and resources to ensure a sustainable livelihood. Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion as well as the lack of participation in decision-making. Contributing into any of the above-mentioned goals, will help to end poverty as well.

    According to Ari and Zephanii, we have more than enough resources to make the world a better place. It´s just a question of setting or changing your mindset. Latitude59 is just the conference to get new inspiring ideas. Get your ticket from here and join us on May 25 – 26 in Tallinn, Estonia!