The first angel investor network in Scandinavia focused on impact investing just launched today. Impact Invest Scandinavia, which was initiated and founded by SE Forum Chairman, Shawn Westcott, along with SE Forum business coach, Ruth Brännvall, is a non-profit organisation which promotes the growth of social and sustainable enterprises by supporting investments that deliver measurable social as well as financial returns. Impact Invest Scandinavia is the Scandinavian representatives of Toniic LLC, a global impact investor network.

“We connect investors with the sharpest social entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs in emerging economies,” said Ruth Brännvall, CEO and co-founder.

More companies are starting today in order to not only make money, but also contribute to a social or sustainable development. More public sector players are also beginning to provide support to the group of companies. The pioneering countries in impact investing, the U.S. and Britain, have investor networks that have been created specifically to focus on the so-called impact investments. One of the most significant global players, Toniic LLC, is expanding its operations in Scandinavia, and this network will be driven by startups Impact Invest Scandinavia.

Roots in SE Forum’s activities

“You could say this new initiative has it’s roots in SE Forum,” says Impact Invest co-founder and SE Forum Chairman, Shawn Westcott. “Since joining SE Forum’s Board in 2011, I’ve been meeting some really promising social entrepreneurs, but they are always saying how hard it is to access early-stage capital for their enterprises.”

“At the same time, we’re seeing a growing number of investors who are curious about impact investing, but having trouble figuring out how to go about making such investments.”

“So I started to convene small groups of investors in private roundtable sessions to discuss how they might invest in these entrepreneurs. I was fortunate to have some powerful advocates come and help, including Kevin Jones at SOCAP, Charly and Lisa Kleissner who founded Toniic, and Jonas Ahlen from Storebrand. Following the continuing momentum globally, and here in Sweden after the SOCAP conference in Malmö, it felt like it was time to start harnessing the interest toward action.”

Co-Investing for Impact

The network is aimed at active business angels and investors who want to invest jointly with others and gain access to a global pipeline of entrepreneurs. The investment philosophy focuses on early-stage companies in emerging markets and/or in Scandinavia, which can both display an attractive commercial potential and Social ROI.

Over the past three years the social capital market has demonstrated that it’s real, it’s big and it’s growing. Investors are finding more and more interesting investment opportunities and the network [Toniic] represents a new type of active, socially aware investor,” said Kevin Jones, a founding member of Toniic and founder of Social Capital Markets (SOCAP), which had its European conference in Malmö this past spring.

The founders of Impact Invest Scandinavia, Shawn Westcott and Ruth Brännvall, have extensive experience in entrepreneurship in a global perspective and is the business angels. As Chairman of the SE Forum, and as CEO of Njord Consulting AB, both bring a broad range of contacts to entrepreneurs on a global level, and professional experience in early-stage financing.

Those who become members of the Nordic Impact Investment network will have access to a pipeline of companies seeking capital, connections to other potential co-investors and an IT tool for the investment process and portfolio of companies.

Impact Invest Scandinavia is a trademark of the company SiiN AB (SVB), a non-profit corporation that promotes sustainable economies by supporting investments in entrepreneurs and organizations with the potential to change the world for the better.