Fact or myth: ‘social enterprise isn’t a lucrative industry’.
Myth, says Orson Stadler.
It all started with Orson’s boss at Blackrock. Orson recalls him asking, ‘What are we doing this all for? We’re playing with huge sums of money here, but why?’
That’s how Mustard Seed was born: a fund investing in socially and environmentally impactful startups with a potential for generating ‘venture-like returns’. Mustard Seed ‘seeks to connect profit with a purpose’. Orson says: ‘We don’t think that you need to do bad to do good … If you can do good, you can do really good.’
According to Orson, it all comes down to brand. ‘Brand story is actually a greater incitation of change in people’s behaviour than anything else,’ he says. ‘Think about what people will do to be associated with a brand. Buying £200, £300 stickers from fashion designers, buying outrageously expensive bags because they want to be associated with that story. We thought, what if that story was a positive story?’
Listen to the full podcast to find out more about how social impact can work for investors, the differences in time frame and how impact is measured in a prospective company.