Wow – workshop #2 of the Village Capital Fin Tech accelerator just wrapped up — so much learning, so much MORE to do. We opened up the first day of this workshop hearing from the CEO of Hitatchi Foundation describe a steel company in Baltimore – built from the ground up to do “the right thing”. This company was able to not only make a profit, but also impact their community in a positive way. Very motivating way to open up the week!
As with all things start-upy (yes, I just made up that word), It’s about measurement and results. How do you measure and communicate social impact? First, you need commonly accepted language and a vocabulary set, then you need a rating system. That’s where IRIS and GIIRS come into the equation. IRIS is the catalog of generally-accepted social performance metrics. GIIRS is the associated rating system – how well are you doing? can you quantify your social impact? – for those of you who like analogies, IRIS is to Social Impact as GAAP is to Accounting. MPOWER can now use IRIS language and vocabulary to describe social impact and GIIRS to measure our social impact. The most interesting learning about this subject was that now is the time to make these fundamental decisions – having profits tied directly to social impact in a measurable way.
Dare I say, it is so #MPOWERing to know that Village Capital has given us direct access to the thought leaders in social impact investing world such as Jim Sorenson at the Sorenson Global Impact Investing Center, the Ebay Foundation, Omidyar Networks, and so many others. We had an entire session dedicated to CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) and what that means to existing financial institutions, family offices, not-for-profits. CRA, PRI, MRI — I’m taking spoonfuls of this acronym soup, and loving every bite.
That was about where the classroom time ended and the real-world time began. MPOWER continues to press ahead – under the guidance and advisement of our amazing board – to continue to increase our value proposition and execute on our go-to-market strategy. The website might be new, the logo might be new, but it’s the same belief that in doing well by doing good that keeps the engines revving here at MPOWER.
Stay tuned for Workshop #3
Co-founder + CTO of MPOWER