Jenna Nicholas Talks Socially Responsible Investing
Green Builder sat down with this 30-something investment trend-setter to explore her work bringing social justice causes together with smart investing.
Jenna Nicholas grew up in London with a set of core values around engaging in social and environmental justice. In this exclusive interview, we explore her background, work, and philosophy, hoping she might inspire others who want to “live their values.”
Through her consultancy, Phoenix Global Impact, Nichols helped to build the Divest-Invest Philanthropy, a coalition of foundations pledging to divest from fossil fuels and invest in new-economy solutions. Nichols went on to work with Calvert Funds, investing into socially responsible businesses and funds, jump starting her career.
Jenna Nicholas, Vice President of One Planet VC and CEO of Impact Experience
As she notes in the interview, Nichols noticed a disconnect between companies and funders from the communities they were investing in. In response, she co-founded Impact Experience, aimed at creating “intentional spaces” to build bridges between investors/entrepreneurs and communities that have been overlooked or underestimated.
Most recently, Nichols has been working with One Planet Group to guide some of their investments and mergers and acquisitions to align with their values. They are investing in early-stage businesses that seek to have a positive impact on the world, including education technology, future of mobility, healthcare, etc.
Nichols says she’s been edified to see the transition towards institutionalizing socially responsible investing, because historically large financial institutions were skeptical about impact investing. She’s also encouraged by the intergenerational wealth transfer that's happening, as younger generations take the wealth of their families and align their investments with more progressive values. Through mainstreaming impact investing, Nichols hopes to see more opportunities in the field and lower barriers to entry.
As is clear in the interview, Nichols approaches her work with passion and intelligence. She sees this next generation as powerful game changers. The world is overwhelming, yes, she says but even small steps create a ripple of impact.
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