On a personal capacity
I am one of the 7 billion. I want my legacy to be at least one small positive contribution for future generations so that my children and grandchildren can live happily and healthily in a more sustainable world.
We live in a world of abundance: technology, resources and expertise have never been so accessible to so many. I believe that business is the best vehicle for a society to prosper, but the pursuit of profit is at the expense of people and/or the planet. Business has a vital role to play in addressing the world's greatest social and environmental challenges. Those businesses that focus on a double bottom line (financial and social performance) will outrun their competition in the future.
My focus is on active engagement with responsible capitalism: HOW a business generates revenue is more important than THAT it makes money. For this, there needs to be a shift in the way we do business, one in which we are aware of the unintended consequences of our actions. I enjoy growing next-generation companies with sustainability at the core of their business model, which value profit and social impact with equal importance.
On a professional capacity
I am a tech startup entrepreneur and social impact investment manager with nearly a decade of solid experience working across these fields combined. I have an acute ability to grow business metrics and understand how to holistically support entrepreneurs.
As an analytical, yet creative thinker from South Africa, I have witnessed first-hand – and strategically driven forward – the use of business in solving complex economic and social challenges faced by the world’s most vulnerable and marginalised communities.
As a Global Shaper, I became actively involved in using business to create social impact. Frustrated by the disparity between what an entrepreneur has access to based on their geographic location, I joined Power of Youth which bridges the access gap between entrepreneurs from Europe and BRICS. Working with social businesses made me aware that, for the most part, traditional investors often overlook social business investments. To address this problem, in 2015 I co-founded Europe’s first impact fund to be run by students. Fundie Ventures supports entrepreneurs solving real world problems focuses on the Sustainable Development Goals. I built the organisation of 55 members who source and analyse social businesses and support them to become investment-ready. Setting up and managing this impact fund has given me valuable insights into the responsibilities of being an investor, managing limited partners and, more importantly, how best to support entrepreneurs.
What is the bigger picture
I love animals, mainly furry mammals. Maybe sometimes more than human beings. I struggle to accept that the scale of our consumption and taste for a comfortable living has wiped out species and destroyed their ecosystems and that this still continues.
My plan is to apply what I am learning about how to use business for good and, through this, create environments (sanctuaries, conservations or parks) to increase the population of mammals which are on the endangered list.
The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated - Mahatma Gandhi
© 2018 Stuart Minnaar