The new Belgian-based “impact boutique” aims to facilitate more effective knowledge sharing within the impact investing sector by bringing together experts from wide-ranging backgrounds.
The We Are Impact Collective, an Antwerp-based initiative bringing together more than a dozen impact investment specialists, has been launched to work with businesses, NGOs, startups, and family offices to accelerate social and environmental innovation and investment.
The initiative, which styles itself as an impact boutique, plans to take a holistic and systemic approach to impact issues across several disciplines through a collaboration of mainly Belgian and Dutch-based experts, and aims to operate internationally.
The team, who also work for other organisations, come from varying backgrounds. They include impact investors, ecology and social issues experts, venture specialists, leadership advisors, finance and family professors, philanthropists, communications and business development experts, and those with experience of guiding impact-led companies.
Astrid Leyssens, the founder of We Are Impact, said the scarcity of experts with “the proper knowledge, skills, and mindset to collaborate” was the driving force behind the decision to create an initiative that would enable like-minded people to learn from each other, strengthen expertise, and inspire others to take action.
The collective is set to benefit from expertise provided by team members that had other responsibilities and were thus not easy to fit into a box.
“We see it all at once, and we want to achieve it all together. We’ll guide you on making a positive impact through inspiration, advice, cheerleading, getting it done approach, mentoring, and knowledge sharing,” said Leyssens. She is involved with a number of other impact organisations, including Amsterdam-based investor Pymwymic, where she is a board member.
We Are Impact provides advisory, training and support services for a number of areas. Among these, are accelerating impact innovation, helping stakeholders develop business models that operate within planetary limits, improving communication on impact, goals and results, improving diversity, and strengthening leadership teams so they can better achieve these objectives. Input on reporting and certification, key performance indicators (KPIs), drafting road maps, and setting up reporting frameworks is available as well.
The collective will also focus on issues relating to family offices, including how to improve collaboration between investment teams and family members.