At first, it was all about the coffee. Consulting entails many coffee meetings and the cost was adding up. Plus sometimes I couldn’t face another cuppa; I just wanted to connect with people, especially fellow mission-driven folk.
Being a financial consultant, I did the math. With latte’s going for $3.59 each multiplied by 8-10 such meetings per week, the cost added up fast: about $120 a month. That made a coworking membership look like a reasonable investment even for a frugal small business owner such as myself. For 20 years I have kept Cogent overhead low so we could work with nonprofits and mission-driven for-profits. The reasonable coworking prices compared to the unnecessary caffeine made me a convert.
So why did I chose Impact Hub?
Was it because they serve Peace Coffee, a for-profit company with a social mission?
Was it the chance to connect with other passionate financial and community leaders in the Impact Investing Community of Practice?
Maybe it was the inspiring people who came through the Hub such as Eisenhower Fellow Vhahangwel Manavhela, Director for the South African Public Investment Corporation Vhahangwele Manavhela.
Or, the chance to have a private room for our whole team?
Of course another reason could be getting to know the amazing Jacquie Berglund, Founder and CEO of FINNEGANS, a beer company with a mission which donates all its profits to charity?
Or was it the cool vibe from hanging out with smart people in hoodies, our do-good techies?
Or was it to make great new friends, like YouthLens360, featured on KTCA today?
Of course, I found a home with Impact Hub/FINNOVATION Lab for all of these reasons. I came for the coffee and I stayed for the community.
Top of my mind these days is investing in line with Diversity, Equity, Inclusion values. Many institutions promised bold moves after George Floyd was murdered. Who is following through and doing this well? Racial justice requires new pathways for capital flows. I’m excited to be part of the McKnight Foundation’s Groundbreak Coalition, aiming to deploy $2b in flexible capital over 10 years to disrupt the status quo. In Minnesota we are a generous state, a charitable state, a hard-working state: we need to try new approaches to create that famous quality of life for all. We are leading a session on Place Based Impact Investing at the Mission Investors Exchange conference in Baltimore. Reach out if you’ll be there so I can include you in the informal MN meet-ups.