Many of the challenges we face require levels of innovation that only impact investing can foster and provide. To keep taxes low and come through the ongoing energy crisis, we need breakthroughs in tackling climate change. To ride through the current and any future pandemic, we need to future proof and decentralise our healthcare system through technology. To prepare for a huge shift in our labour force, for automation and its impact on skills requirements, and for supply chain disruption – we need new technology to enable training and education.
“The Wei Forward Report”, written by Lord Wei of Shoreditch, the social entrepreneur and Conservative peer, and commissioned by Future Planet Capital, the international impact investment group, sets out how venture capital can provide the solution to harnessing university-originated innovation, enabling a next generation of entrepreneurs to supercharge efforts to solve the biggest problems like climate change, health, educations, and security issues, whilst still delivering profits for investors.
Backing innovative solutions to solve pressing issues does however require collective action, the report calls for a concerted effort to be made by all stakeholders to unlock venture’s potential and proposes a series of policy measures, including:
- Governments must play a larger role as a procurer of innovation and encourage impactful venture investing with green and impact-oriented tax breaks, rewarding the next generation of young savers to back impactful investing
- Pensions industry regulators should take a more balanced risk approach and favour impactful investing. To not do so, given the societal and planetary risks we face, is a risk itself; one that the regulatory system should be accountable for, alongside protecting the immediate financial returns and assets of members.
- Society and the general consumer must play a more active role in holding legislative, ruling and regulatory bodies to account, using tools such as the Companies Act 2006, Section 172.
Lord Wei of Shoreditch, Member of the Future Planet Capital Advisory Board, commented: “We have come a long way in reversing the crises of our age, but to secure this progress for future generations requires us to go further; to not just talk green but act green. The technologies needed to achieve Net Zero simply do not exist today, nor do the tools to protect us against the next pandemic. To secure these, there needs to be a dramatic increase in the flow of capital to the world’s best scientists and engineers.”
“While much of the responsibility for expanding impact investing rests with VC investors and founders, policy makers, regulators, LPs, pension funds and consumers must all play a critical role in bringing impact to mainstream adoption must be recognised and harnessed. Through this report, I hope to kickstart a practical conversation as to how we can all endeavour to deliver positive change.”
Douglas Hansen-Luke, Chair of Future Planet Capital, added: “We at Future Planet Capital have always believed in the power of profit and purpose; creating channels for large scale investment to back the best brains tackling the biggest global issues. There is now a general recognition that science and centres of innovation have a fundamental role in addressing global challenges and that the government and private sectors can materially accelerate and scale the impact of their work. We grew out of that desire to make difference, and I look forward to working with many likeminded stakeholders to help put this report’s ideas into practice.”