This is Romy, and I have the pleasure of introducing you to Chef Bee and Jasmine of social enterprise Detroit S.O.A.R! They have an inspiring story of joining together around health food for some very interesting reasons. This is a true story of how we are better together! Stay tuned at the end for a really fun song by a Detroit artist. As a matter of fact, you might want to find your dancin’ shoes while you are listening, so you are ready.
Latrice McClendon is quite an entrepreneur and just an all around amazing person. On this episode, we will hear about one of her businesses. She has at least one other venture with her husband. And, of course, you know I love music around here, so we will hear from another Detroit artist and their full song at the end of the episode so stay tuned!
Hear from a creative brother and sister team making toothbrushes for some good causes. Fun! And, of course, at the end, we have a great song from a Detroit artist….always one of my favorite parts of the episode.
Welcome to another episode of the Bonfires of Social Enterprise. This is Romy. I am your host for this show. We had a little gap in our postings there, sorry about that! Sometimes I am doing too many things and it catches up with me. Well, we have a great guest today from Virginia. Shout out to our listeners in Virginia! Hamilton Perkins is the founder of a business called Hamilton Perkins. Hamilton and his team are working with Thread International to make bags and other accessories from some of the recycled plastics in Haiti. He has very interesting story. Be sure to stay tuned for a great Detroit artist group called The Infatuations. You will feel like you are transported back in time with their great song.
Mile High Workshop
What's going on in Denver social enterprise manufacturing these days?!
Romy catches up with Andy Magel of the Mile High Workshop manufacturer in Denver, Colorado.
Great song the end!
Today, we are moving to the Impact Investing Inglenook to talk to Don Lee!
Don has been quite a visionary around social enterprise local investing and has begun to change the way many people are investing in the Detroit area. His has passionate rationale and incredible enthusiasm – It is quite contagious actually. We have a very special surprise artist at the end of this episode for your listening pleasure so stay tuned!
Check out a social entrepreneur of a different kind. She is a rapper!
You will have an opportunity to learn how the social and business sides come together for impact with Nique Love Rhodes!
On this episode, Romy catches back up with Jeff Adams of Artesian Farms in Detroit. She interviewed him in Season 1, and his hydroponics facility has changed immensely. Jeff has had a lot of investor engagement. He has taken on program-related investments, loans, and direct equity.
Pingree Manufacturing of Detroit
It is all about veterans on this episode! We hear from Jarret Alan Schlaff who is the founder and the main visionary over at Pingree. He shares how the whole idea began and, even, how the name came to be near the end. You won’t want to miss it! Stay tuned until the end when we share another great Detroit artist with you.
Jay Rayford of Social Sushi catches us up on all of the changes in his social enterprise. He and his bigger team of four have been the champions of proving out your product through pop-ups! You will hear how they really built a large following before even opening their restaurant. And, after our interview, Social Sushi went on to win $150,000 toward their restaurant because the community was so inspired! And, as usual, we have a great song and Detroit artist for you to close out the show.
This episode has a lot to do with building, construction, restoration and the skilled trades. Jacob walks us through a large part of his journey, how he arrived in Detroit from Los Angeles and how he was inspired to hire men from the neighborhood for the transformation of homes.
Bamboo Detroit Update with Amanda Lewan
Romy catches up with co-founder, Amanda Lewan to hear about the most recent expansion of one of Detroit's hottest hippest co-working spaces. Listen in to some of the secrets of the success including the special nature of the diversity in members and programming.
Detroit Horse Power lifts, heals, and empowers!
David Silver shares an update on all of their expansion in the hearts and minds of the Detroit Youth!
Community partners make his organization strong and talent-rich. Great song by a Detroit artist!
Kids and horses are a great match.
Kresse Wesling updates us on up-cycling used fire hoses and discarded leather for luxury use!
Romy catches up with Kresse Wesling. Kresse shares intimate insights on thoughtful expansion and overcoming those times when other's minimize your work. Great new product line and authentic conversations on social enterprise.
Song included by Detroit artist at end. Fun Fuel by Reece Robertson in Traverse City, Michigan
Amy McIntire joins Romy for an update on the goat farm. Amy shares how the business has evolved from just making soaps and lotions to conservation 'scaping'. Join in to learn how she is putting 'Kids on the Bus' in this great catch up. Great music from another Detroit artist at the end.
Michelle Smart of Bags to Butterflies in Detroit!
Romy interviews Michelle Smart, founder and creator of Bags to Butterflies. Learn how Michelle is empowering women returning from the prison systems to be all that they can be. Transformation and incredible business ideas are moving this social enterprise into possibility.
T-Rex’s, Lions, and Honey Badgers, OH MY!
As my two year old son and I were enjoying the amazing weekend weather in Michigan, we sat on our deck in the backyard, munching on pretzels and singing a rousing round of Old McDonald Had a Farm. When it would come time to say which animals were on the farm, my son would name all sorts of non traditional and traditional farm animals, T-Rex, Lion, Giraffe, and Bunga (Bunga is a honey badger on the Disney Series, The Lion Guard) just to name a few. Without missing a beat, he would growl, roar, grunt, and make different sounds depicting his ideas of the noises that these animals would make on the farm. Me, as the doting Mom, would join him in singing, praise him for his imagination and his ability to pronounce the dinosaur species, and then think to myself, “never stop imagining and creating, please continue to use your abilities to change and enlighten the world, kid. No matter what the world thinks as traditional, you keep striving for solutions that pave your way.” Because who needs a traditional farm or way of doing something if someone can create a new way doing and seeing things!
Old MacDonald's Farm
Strange as this may sound, as I think about Impact Investing and how far it has come, I can picture my son’s idea of Old MacDonald's farm.
Farms are amazing places that cultivate life and over the last couple of years, we have seen new life being breathed into Impact Investing with a renewed focus on Social Entrepreneurs. As the globe’s goal for this movement to infuse and create capital pools to support these inspiring people, my goal is to enhance this spot light and shift capital and focus to LOCAL social entrepreneurs.
When I think about generating momentum focused on local social entrepreneurs, I immediately think of different aspects of the financial/investment world. I envision my son’s idea of Old McDonald’s farm, traditional and non traditional animals on the farm, all together and trying to make it work. One of the exciting things is, this is happening now, across the country, with financial professionals. I see each financial professional, depending on how they are structured, playing an important role on the Impact Investing farm.
First, large traditional investment firms, I picture them as the T-Rex’s on the farm. Strong, large, steady, ready to lead, and visible. These firms are already embracing Impact Investing. When I speak with their financial advisors I can freely use the terms, ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) or SRI (Socially Responsible Investing) and I no longer get looked at like I am crazy, YAY! While Impact Investing is still a fairly new conversation for their clients, these firms are leveraging their established strong and steady approach of offering these types of investments to their clients. They utilize funds that must clear through rigorous internal due diligence programs. Then their advisors then have access to these funds.
To this, I say, AWESOME! Creating Capital Pools is necessary! To see that Impact Investing is getting this kind of support and validation, frankly, it is invigorating, exciting, and illustrates that this is a movement that is here to stay.
I also learned that the local offices of traditional firms are open to the local impact investing conversation and have graciously invited me in to speak with their clients, yet, they are limited on what they can do from a local impact investing stand point. Compliance plays a major role at these firms and on the risk scale, local private impact investments are considered very high risk, and can, at times, make compliance very uncomfortable. From those that I have met with, they recognize the importance of having a specialist, or the farmer, if you will ;), and myself and Gingras Global are happy to fill that role.
Second, Independent Financial Advisors, those not affiliated with a large broker dealer, I picture them as the lions and giraffes on the farm. Strong, more agile, independent, ready to act, alert, and these professionals are also embracing Impact Investing. While they may not get the top down support as the traditional investment firms have, these advisors are eager to learn more about this topic. They can more freely incorporate impact investing into their client conversations. These client conversations can cover the gambit of types of Impact Investments. Learning about and discussing global/national publicly traded Impact Investing mutual funds to uncovering what is happening locally, they do not have the same confines as your traditional investment firm, yet still have compliance requirements that must be met.
I have also had the amazing opportunity to partner, present, and educate several Independent Financial Advisor networks. They have graciously opened their doors to allow me to not only speak to their advisor networks but have invited me to client meetings as well. They understand that for the right client, local impact investing will be a very valuable part of their planning conversation and will also leverage the expertise of the farmer, me, to help facilitate these conversations. In addition, these advisors can freely use the tools we have created (Impact Capital Discovery Report (ICDR), Impact Capital Match Analysis (ICMA), and Reporting Library) to help foster the local impact investing conversation with their clients and help them with the next steps. All the while aligning with my goal of creating more local capital pools.
Third, Family Wealth Management Offices, I picture them as the the Bunga’s (or honey badgers), of the financial advisor spectrum. Bunga himself, is a strong, new idea generating, committed character, and honey badgers in general are fierce, quick, and ready for battle. I think this perfectly sums up the family office advisors approach to including impact investing as part of their client’s holistic financial planning conversations. As with all financial advisors, they are committed to their clients, however they can be nimble to include new ideas and concepts without having the same compliance limitations.
Family wealth management offices have been very eager to include Impact Investing as part of their client conversations. What they also taught me is that their clients are leading the charge for education and opportunities to invest locally instead of nationally or globally. These offices are openly embracing myself and Gingras Global and leveraging our expertise and tools (ICDR, ICMA, and Reporting Library) to deliver local impact investing conversations.
A Good Farmer
Now, as you can imagine, with T-Rex’s, Lions, Giraffe’s and Honey Badgers on the farm, there is a lot of activity around impact investing coming to the forefront. But as any good farmer knows, if you do not cultivate and interact with each animal properly, the message and effort can get lost along the way.
But fear not! Being able to work with so many passionate people all rallying around Impact Investing and fully supporting client education is awesome! By being able to share the story of local impact investing and having that story being told by multiple voices, then backing that story with a strategic tools that facilitate a thought provoking process, this farmer knows that it is only a matter of time before more investors get involved in the local impact investing scene.
Jennifer Davis-Papa is the Managing Director of the Financial Professionals Division at Gingras Global. Jennifer has more than 20 years of experience in the field of investing and is a catalyst and inspiration to many on this journey of Impact Capital.
Reach out to Jennifer.DavisPapa@GingrasGlobal.com
~Speak Truth ~ Demonstrate Impact ~ Declare Life~
Listen in to the powerful testimony of a great leader, his overcoming a poor education and his will to push for experiences for the kids in the neighborhoods of Detroit. Hear why Khali has adopted the phrase 'books before boxing.'
This is an incredible story of a true change maker!
The full transcript is available on the site show notes- Use the button 'Full Transcript'
Season 3 kicks of with a great social enterprise out of Chicago's South Loop. Get to know owners Amanda and Brandon Neely and listen how they overcame fears, built community, and decided that free is no good! As they sourced ethical coffee, they built a business and even took on a PRI!
Head over now for full transcript and a great story by clicking HERE