Marrying impact and philanthropy: How family businesses can truly change the world
Examining the alchemy of shared sustainable family vision, impact investing thesis and philanthropy.
impact investing and philanthropy Illustration: Lourenço Providência

What you need to know

  • Entrepreneurial families have always had a strong interest in wanting to help shape and improve the world around them. In many cases, this takes the form of philanthropic endeavours or a focus on impact investments.
  • Today, there’s a growing demand for family businesses to contribute to social and environmental issues, without eliminating profitability – something that affects every level of the family business model.
  • Some may argue the importance of one over the other, but ultimately the two work best in correspondence with one another. To benefit the business as well the environment that surrounds it.
  • In prioritising a societal return as much as a financial one, it’s worthwhile for families to look at marrying their impact investment strategy with their philanthropic one.
Philanthropy Updated on February 23, 2024

Historically, entrepreneurial families have always had in their values, the desire and passion to have an impact around them. Be it in their community, in their home country, in the field of sports, education, environmental protection or humanitarian aid as well many other causes that are dear to them. For some, this takes the form of impact investing or philanthropy, but by approaching these holistically, family businesses have the means to change the world.

Impact investing, philanthropy and families: Why only some family businesses, more so than others?

Despite their wealth, they don’t only cultivate financial capital. They also develop and successfully leverage:

  1. Their family’s human capital: to align its members to prepare the next generations to undertake and invest together, develop their entrepreneurial orientation, take over the operations of the family business and become a director.
  2. Their societal capital: their commitment beyond their company to contribute to a positive social and environmental impact in their community, within their territories in which they have their operations and in collaboration with the public and private ecosystem that surrounds them.
  3. Their reputational capital: the ability to communicate their contribution to the major challenges they face.

About the Authors

Julien Lescs

Julien Lescs

Pyschodynamics & Impact Investing

Julien is co-founder of Kimpa, a family office dedicated to impact investing. Grandson of an agricultural family business that was destroyed in a fratricidal war, Julien has become a specialist in psychodynamics related to family business governance.

Connect with Julien Lescs

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