#68 – Planet-Friendly Profit: Insights into Funding a Better World

with Mike Winterfield, Founder of Active Impact Investments

68-mike-winterfield-active-impact-investments

Mike Winterfield spent 20 years in the tech industry, specializing in service companies and SAS products, primarily working in the realm of professional recruitment and operations. He’s worked for 14 years in a collection of executive roles for award-winning companies. 

Just under two years ago, he knew he wanted to make a more significant positive impact with his work, which is when he approached a socially responsible financial advisor about switching his entire portfolio over without taking a financial hit. This is how he founded (and is managing partner of) Active Impact Investments—a venture capital firm that exclusively supports small to medium-sized social ventures in their early stages—helping them scale their impact and profit by providing funding and extensive capacity-building services to their portfolio companies. Pretty quickly into their existence, they became a certified B-Corp, participating in that community and aligning with its values.

Mike considers himself to be an accidental VC, not really coming to this space from a traditional finance background, but rather from this approach of having deeply understood the operations of businesses, working well within the weeds to understand what it takes to develop a business model that is both successful and sustainable.

Rightfully so, Mike considers this a strength to his firm’s approach to investments in the impact space. It’s super interesting to get the definition of impact investing in the words of someone so deliberate and intentional to what they do as Mike. 

In our episode, Mike goes into extensive detail on what impact investors do and how they make a significant environmental impact and social impact while still getting a substantial financial return.

We talk about the unique approach to Active Impact Investments versus other investment funds and private equity firms that are primarily in the United States. What kinds of companies and founders do they work within the stance of quantitative and qualitative measurements, especially as opposed to other financial institutions? We also ask Mike what has him most excited about his work specifically and the developing space of socially responsible investing. 

“A lot of people for a long time have always thought of the sacrifice that you probably should make at times for your values, but the exciting one for me was where it can become added. You’re not sacrificing. You’re going to get a job and make a living, and you’re going to work at a company where you’re more engaged because you believe in the raw mission.” -Mike Winterfield

Topics Discussed: 

  • Mike’s 20 years in the tech industry and his transition into Impact Investing
  • The edge that allowed him to move into the financial space successfully
  • His insights and outlook on what impact investing is
  • Active Impact Investments’ unique approach to operating in the industry
  • The effect impact investing has on social and environmental wellbeing
  • What Mike is most excited about moving forward in his line of work
  • Resources for those interested in the impact investment space

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