Social Entrepreneurs and Investors Explore Sustainable Oceans Sector

Friday, August 16, 2013

Early next month, entrepreneurs, investors, and other thought leaders will gather at the annualSocial Capital Markets meeting in San Francisco. Known to many as SOCAP, this annual meeting started over five years ago. It focuses on using capital markets to advance social well-being and has covered topics ranging from mobile phone technology to agricultural finance. This year, I’m pleased to see a strong emphasis on entrepreneurial opportunities in the ocean.

This oceans focus is a first for SOCAP, and it speaks to growing activity in ocean issues by the investment and social enterprise community.

We see this momentum building with Manta Consulting’s Fish 2.0 business program too. Our Fish 2.0 Network has grown to over 600 members, and more investors and entrepreneurs are joining the program every day.

Through a variety of efforts, ocean-related businesses are gaining traction – in seafood supply chains, technology, and waste reduction. As a result, more and more investors are exploring the ocean sector. And as they do so, investors see that there are both big financial gains to be made in these markets and great opportunities to improve the condition of ocean environments and coastal communities.

I’m excited about this trend. Really excited.

Here’s why:

1. More Investments to Drive Successful, Ocean-Friendly Business Development

Despite the fact that oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth and supply protein to billions of people, they have lagged behind other topics with investors who are looking to both “do well and do good” with their money.

These “impact investors” have focused on energy and climate change, sustainable food systems, poverty alleviation, and a variety of other topics. Now they are seeing how seafood and ocean health interweave with these issues. This interest will bring more financial backing into the industry, building better, more successful businesses.

Source: National Geographic (link opens in a new window)