15 October 2019
Funds for Good: ethics and return on investment are compatible
Would you like to invest in meaningful projects? Are ethics and local development issues that you care about? Funds for Good is an example of a promising business model addressing this.
We are committed to recognising projects and companies where ethics, sustainability and profitability are not incompatible interests. We met Nicolas Crochet and Patrick Somerhausen, co-founders of Funds for Good, to find out more about their activities and the social project of this particular fund.
After 12 years’ experience in the financial sector, working for one of the biggest fund managers in the world, Nicolas Crochet was keen to combine the social and ethical values that inspired him with his professional career. This led to the creation of the company Funds for Good in 2011, together with Patrick Somerhausen. Its business is distributing quality investment funds through financial intermediaries (bankers and insurance brokers) so that the investments in these funds generate a tangible social impact.
Investors feel a tangible impact
Funds for Good pursues two meaningful activities: it offers ethical and sustainable investment products and dedicates 50% of the profits generated to the financing of projects developed by unemployed persons. The support is not limited to the financial arrangements; they also coach new entrepreneurs.
More than 200 projects financed
To date, Funds for Good has financed more than 200 projects. To properly understand the impact that investors can have when they choose sustainable investments, the company's first project is quite revealing. Nicolas Crochet explains that Mme Neri had been forced to sell all her assets when she was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 60. Following her remission, she wanted to go back to work, by taking over an Indian restaurant, but no bank was willing to finance her project. That is how she came to approach Funds for Good and was able to open her restaurant.
The investors are thereby helping people like Paolina Neri to realise their projects. If they want to take their commitment further, Funds for Good offers them the option of becoming volunteers or coaches. All the information is available on their website.
The investments offered by Funds for Good all have an ethical dimension. Good governance, the environment and solidarity are among the selection criteria for them and for other funds of this type. The main idea is to favour investments that are likely to deliver benefits that will have a local and tangible impact via interest-free loans and the training offered. On another note, Nicolas Crochet and Patrick Somerhausen pointed out to us that the profitability of the investments they were offering matched, or was better than, traditional investments. So, are you ready to invest in the future?
Funds for Good and other actors of change in the sector of sustainable investments feature among the stakeholders at conferences on this subject organised by ING. Please feel free to consult our 'conferences' page (FR) to find out more.