So we’re one month into Lockdown.
Firstly, I’d like to say thank you to the people who’ve supported me, Resonance and the community of social enterprises we serve over the past month. From our amazing team at Resonance and our investors, to the brave social entrepreneurs and my peers leading other social impact investment firms - I’ve drawn strength and inspiration from all of you. We’ve always been in it together. And we are now more than ever before.
Our world has changed more dramatically and more quickly than ever before. It’s been the strangest of months. I have felt panic, exhaustion, confusion, humility, encouragement, hope, energy and even (slightly embarrassingly) excitement. The truth is that each week I felt all of them in differing amounts and in a jumble of overlapping sequences. However, most importantly for me, I have felt more supported than ever. Especially by my amazing board and leadership team.
But this crisis has masked some important milestones and events. They may seem minor in the current context, but they were significant for me – indicative of some of the things I’m most proud of at Resonance. Learning to celebrate the little things on the journey towards the ‘big dream’ stops us from missing the point along the way. As John Wooden put it: “Little things make big things happen!”
So here they are, in no particular order, five moments of calm (perhaps even progress) amidst the chaos that we've all faced this last month.
1. Firstly it's Resonance's birthday! 18 years ago this month I set out on this adventure to help pioneer a better financial system, one where you could profit through purpose. We're still getting there!
2. We’re keeping things moving with 3 new investments this month. One of these was prompted by the current Covid-19 crisis, and the other two were ‘business as usual’ just as relevant today as last month. With stories surfacing of businesses not being able to access capital, it felt really good to provide some steadiness amongst all this uncertainty.
3. The board of one of our community enterprises, after careful but rapid review, continued undeterred by the current situation completing a major property acquisition. This included navigating the signing of legal documents that had to be witnessed through a window of one of director’s homes (see below). The design team also haven’t broken their stride and will now submit a planning application shortly ready to develop six supported living flats for adults with Learning Disabilities.
4. One of our portfolio social enterprises – a café supporting people with dementia – has found a way to carry on after having to shut their doors. They instead collaborated with another of our investees who were facing high demand for meals delivered to isolated people across Dartmoor. This is a great example of social enterprises using Resonance in this crisis: we kept our lines of communication open and facilitated ways people could help each other. And we found the solution together.
5. Finally, it was a very proud day for me this month to make the last distribution to investors of Resonance’s first ever impact fund - social impact achieved, financial returns delivered! I often coach social entrepreneurs to get themselves to a place where they genuinely WANT to return capital to investors. Why? Because the more social enterprises demonstrate they are good stewards of capital, the more we will see the flow of capital accelerating into their hands. In the month when public equities have been at their most volatile for 30 years, this achievement felt all the more meaningful. It has been additionally heart warming to hear several of the fund’s investees standing firm in their communities, channelling surplus funds and co-ordinating local efforts in response to today’s crisis. Investing should always add more value than it extracts.
What struck me about all these examples is that the common thread of success is rooted in community leadership. All of these stories are built around organisations deeply embedded in their communities. I think it’s an indication of what we can expect to survive beyond this global emergency. Over recent years, we’ve suffered at the hands of increasing social and economic dislocation; perhaps we can do better than just go back to normal.
Sign up today and keep up to date with all our latest social impact news, innovations and insights so you never miss a thing.
Resonance Limited is a company registered in England and Wales no. 04418625
Resonance Impact Investment Limited, a subsidiary of Resonance Limited, is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm number 588462.
Disclaimer: This website does not contain, constitute, nor does it form part of, an offer to sell or purchase or a solicitation of an offer to sell or purchase, any securities, investments or financial instruments referred to herein or to enter into any other transaction described herein. Resonance is not providing, and will not provide, any investment advice or recommendation (personal or otherwise) to you in relation to any securities, investments or financial instruments or transactions described herein. Whilst all reasonable care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this website, neither Resonance nor its officers accept any liability for its contents or for any errors or omissions.