2019 was a year of significant personal change for our team – and further validation of the solutions we are providing to the impact market in our corner of the world
What a year! We had a bunch of personal stuff go down – Cameron welcomed a second son in March (Liam), David lost his father, and Paul and his family relocated to New Zealand in the latter half of 2019.
While our personal lives obviously had an impact on our business, we are proud of where we’ve got to at years’ end. From August 2016 to December 2019, Red Hat Impact has placed $874,875 in 26 loans with 9 clients, working with 27 investors. We’ve also been working with 5 other clients in advisory roles. Thank you to all of you for making this possible, and trusting us with your money and time.
This year we’ve found greater clarity on our own purpose:
- Solving the problem of the ‘Missing Middle’ in capital for impact enterprises through our crowd lending debt model – and scaling it
- Helping our clients with solving the problems they have identified and maximising returns for their beneficiaries
- Collaborating with other intermediaries and organisations seeking to grow impact enterprises and drive necessary innovation in finance to support this
The clarity on our purpose came on the back of attending the Impact Investment Summit in Sydney in November. All three of us found it challenging and provocative. Two things emerged pretty clearly: 1) we need to consider and be wary to counter the power imbalance (those with the capital vs those who need it) in impact investing, 2) the need for impact capital to get political, given the very large impacts that governments and regulation have on the social and environmental problems we are working to solve.
Innovative use of capital in the Pacific
Speaking of important problems to be solved, we were invited to attend a design workshop with an inspiring group of stakeholders and businesses from the Pacific to explore creating a trade finance vehicle. The vehicle would provide loan capital to reduce the cost of materials used by Pacific enterprises – most of which are founded, run by and employ women – that produce menstrual health products. Material inputs account for 80-90% of the cost of goods, so if these costs can be brought down through the innovative use of capital, these enterprises will improve margins and be able to unlock other business opportunities. Thanks to Pacific Rise for the invitation. It was a privilege to be involved and we’ll be collaborating with stakeholders to get the ideas to implementation in the year ahead.
Early Ethical Entrepreneur Pitch Comp & Moral Fairground
We continued our partnership with Moral Fairground for their Ethical Enterprise Conference, and in particular our participation as a judge and prize sponsor for the Early Ethical Entrepreneur Pitch Comp. It’s a highlight of our year, supporting emerging founders and their ideas for making the world a better place. Last year we awarded our prize to Dave & Marteen at Jaunt and this year we selected Em Casey with her idea It Makes Cents. We’ll be back in 2020!
Red Hat Impact was privileged to join an amazing Mentor Network for a new rural enterprise accelerator in Beechworth. Check out https://breakoutaccelerator.org.au/. We were very impressed with the 10 innovators, and will likely be working with some of them on achieving their goals in 2020.
We are privileged to work with a diverse group of founders and operators. Here is our current client list.
- Etiko – https://etiko.com.au/
- 99th Monkey – https://99thmonkey.com.au/
- Upward Dog – https://upwarddog.com.au/
- South Pacific Cocoa – https://makiragold.com/
- Sparkke – https://www.sparkke.com/
- Interplay Project – https://interplayproject.com/
- Happily Made – https://happilymade.com.au/
- Pure Pod – https://purepod.com.au/
- The Founders Vision – https://www.thefoundersvision.com.au/
- Jaunt – https://jauntmotors.com/
- Living Joy – https://www.livingjoy.com.au/
- SisterWorks – https://sisterworks.org.au/
- StartSomeGood – https://startsomegood.com/
- ATEC – https://atecbio.com/