For our first Firestarters event in our brand new 2022 series, ‘The Purpose Accelerator’, we explored Ethical Investment and the ways in which our region’s purpose-driven business leaders can ethically raise more for their world-changing ideas. We brought together values-led people and organisations to discuss how we can use ethical investment to fuel growth in the Liverpool City Region (LCR). This exciting event was sponsored by Gather, a community for digital, creative and tech leaders in the Liverpool City Region.
What is Firestarters and ‘The Purpose Accelerator’?
Firestarters is a community of changemakers putting purpose before profit. Through live events with actionable next steps, we gather together inspiring people from the private, public, and third sectors to discuss how we can make positive action happen in the Liverpool City Region.
‘The Purpose Accelerator’ is our brand new event series for 2022, which will focus on helping purpose-driven start-ups and scaleups to grow, develop and provide value to the region. ‘Ethical Investment was the first event in the series, bringing together the regions’ best and brightest innovators and entrepreneurs.
Why is ‘Ethical Investment’ so relevant now?
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen a significant change in local organisations as they adapt to the new normal. As a result, many have had to retreat, whilst others have found success through pivoting their brand, innovating, and finding new ways to work together to provide value. In the LCR, the impact of the new normal created fertile ground for entrepreneurs and innovators, resulting in the opening of thousands of new organisations – many of which were values-led.
Ethical Investment set out to connect the best and brightest entrepreneurs and innovators in the LCR and help continue to fuel this rise in purpose-driven organisations.
What we discussed at ‘Ethical Investment’
The event gathered together the region’s innovators, entrepreneurs and ethical business leaders to start conversations around: “How do we make investment in the Liverpool City Region more ethical?”.
During the event, we heard from four guest speakers:
- Erika Rushton – Kindred
- Clare Lewis – FORM
- Jonathan Clarke – Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA)/Startup Grind
- Matt Latham – CIRCA5000
Erika Rushton began by explaining her work at Kindred and detailing her experience with ethical investment. She highlighted how Kindred is using its money to support organisations and people that investment doesn’t usually reach, saying:
[Kindred is] putting money to people and to places that other money doesn’t reach. We’re investing in entrepreneurialism that other money doesn’t support.Erika Rushton, Kindred.
After Erika’s opening talk, we heard from Clare, Jonathan and Matt before moving on to a short Q&A with all four guests. Here, we discussed how each of our speakers defines what a socially trading organisation is and the challenges that face these organisations.
Often, purpose-led organisations are focused on slightly smaller markets. They’re trying to address people where maybe there’s a market failure or there isn’t as big of a profit market. That can sometimes put off investors.Clare Lewis, FORM.
Then we broke up into smaller groups to have further discussions in breakout rooms. This created the perfect opportunity to dive deeper into everything that had been discussed so far.
What we’ve learned from ‘Ethical Investment’
Our fantastic panel helped to start off some brilliant conversations at the event, which were only further developed during our breakout room discussions. Some of the main topics of discussion included:
- The challenges that surround ethical investment and how we can tackle them
- Opportunities that are available to us within ethical investment
- Tips and best practice for those who are interested in learning more about ethical investment or are considering investing in an ethical way
- Suggestions around how we can make ethical investment easier and more accessible to those who are wanting to invest
What are the next steps?
We’ll be feeding back important insights and information from the event to Gather and FORM, who will be working towards actioning the outcomes. Once we’ve created these next steps, we’ll share them across the Matchstick Creative social channels. To keep up-to-date with the latest news from Ethical Investment, as well as what’s coming soon for Firestarters, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and sign up for the Firestarters newsletter.