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Promoting social entrepreneurship and impact investment

Piet Colruyt is one of the four family directors of the Colruyt’s store chain. In 2010, he created the holding company Impact Capital and is investing locally in promising companies. He is also one of the jury member for the BeLux area of the Chivas Venture 2018 competition.
(Featured Image: Piet Colruyt, jury member of the Chivas Venture 2018 competition for the BeLux area / Image Credit © Chivas)
What is Impact Capital?

Impact Capital is my own impact holding, investing in both social first and finance first impact investing opportunities. And promoting social entrepreneurship and impact investing in Belgium. Focus is in 4 domains: Retail, Renewable Energy, (sustainable) Real Estate and Rethinking Economy.  Main investments of Impact Capital are: Colruyt Group (Retail), 3E (Renewable Energy technology), Re-Vive Brownfield Fund (sustainable Real Estate), SI² Fund (First Social Impact Fund in Belgium), CEI (Clean Energy Invest), LESS (Local Energy Saving Solutions) & Wattson,…

“Too many societal challenges (climate change, poverty, mobility, aging,…) are not yet addressed with sustainable business solutions.”

Why did you chose to invest in social entrepreneurs?

I invest in social entreprises and inclusive businesses where the societal mission is combined with a for profit business model because I see Money as a means to change the world instead of being the ultimate goal. Too many societal challenges (climate change, poverty, mobility, aging,…) are not yet addressed with sustainable business solutions: those challenges are a growing market, an opportunity rather than a thread. Finding the right solutions to those issues, makes it possible to combine “doing good” and “doing well”.

“The strength of the Chivas Venture program is for me the promotion of this unknown middle between traditional philanthropy at one side and business as usual at the other side. Social organisations have to experiment with other income generating models and even for profit social business models.”

What are the strenghts of Chivas Venture program?

The strength of the Chivas Venture program is for me the promotion of this unknown middle between traditional philanthropy at one side and business as usual at the other side. Social organisations have to experiment with other income generating models and even for profit social business models. Classic companies can be inspired by those social enterprises always some years ahead in tackling societal challenges. Promoting this third way, is what I and Impact Capital also want to do. For the candidates, the competition and especially the coaching sessions are enriching as well. For the winner the intensive coaching in the UK with Skoll Foundation together with peers is a unique experience. The potential reward in dollars is only the cherry on the cake.

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