A quartet of Finance in Motion staff members have introduced the basics of impact investing to students at a Dutch university, and they responded with pitches for a wide range of funds.
Working with Paul Smeets, coordinator of the course Responsible and Sustainable Investments, part of the master's program in Sustainable Finance at the University of Maastricht, representatives from Finance in Motion charged the class with developing an idea for a development fund that tackles a social or environmental problem. As part of the “FiMovation” project, the students were asked to provide and analyze the investment thesis, potential investees, the geographic focus and the target investors, and then address feasibility, scalability and innovative factors.
Simon Sonnekalb, a senior officer for Strategy and Planning at Finance in Motion, sat in on the presentations of the students’ fund ideas, and he lauded the cooperation with the university. “Overall we are highly satisfied with this project,” which was the first of its kind for Finance in Motion. In fact, some of the concepts may even have a chance outside the vacuum of academia, he said. “We received some very interesting proposals which may trigger ideas within Finance in Motion.”
To assist the students, Sonnekalb joined Finance in Motion staffers Charlotte Rieser, senior officer, Technical Assistance, and Marco Kaiser, a company director and project leader of the Arbaro forestry fund, and Bela Paproth, an investment analyst. They helped students learn about impact investing and guided the projects. Members of the class pitched Fund ideas that included off-grid electricity, recycling of e-waste and urban mobility in developing nations.