Viewpoint: Impact Investors are not Funding the Patagonias of Tomorrow—and That’s a Problem
By Harry Doull
The impact investing community does not always agree on everything. But ask any impact investor who the figureheads of the environmental movement that they look to for guidance are, and they’re likely to answer “Patagonia,” without skipping a beat.
Patagonia is a global apparel brand with roughly $1 billion in annual revenue and considerable environmental street cred. The Ventura, Calif.-based company and its leadership are now perceived as parental figures of the Certified B Corporation movement and to the new strain of regenerative environmentalism.
The individuals holding the $114 billion purse strings of “impact money” broadly share this view. However, and ironically, if Patagonia were starting up today and looking for financing, it would never receive funding from this group. And if it did, it wouldn’t become Patagonia as we know it, but something far less significant. That’s concerning because it means we are potentially missing out on the Patagonias of tomorrow.
Why is that? And what can we do to change it?
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.