How to Use Finance to Change the World: An Evening with Finance Matters

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Last night, we hosted Madeleine Evans of Finance Matters – a cross-corporate community of finance professionals in London with a strong interest in helping the financial industry drive social change. It is a community and project platform open to all current and ex-professionals from the financial services and investment community who want to use their talent and capital for deliberate, positive, social or environmental impact – either by operating outside or inside the finance community.

In Bathtub 2 Boardroom yesterday evening, thirty finance professionals sat around to learn more about impact investing:

“Impact investing is one form of socially responsible investing and serves as a guide for various investment strategies. According to the definition of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN): ‘Impact investments are investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate a measurable, beneficial social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. Impact investments can be made in both emerging and developed markets, and target a range of returns from below-market to above-market rates, depending upon the circumstances.'”

Madeleine mentioned the following points:

If you want to be part of the conversation, you have to know how to speak the language.

Learning the jargon of the sector really helps to boost credibility in interviews. The first place to start building this knowledge is through reading reports like those provided by Big Society Capital, GIIN, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review

Spend time learning about the various organisations in the space. 

A fuller list can be found on slide 4:

Twitter can be a valuable tool in building knowledge and insider info before transitioning into the sector.

While Twitter is often mistaken for a platform on which you need to broadcast to the world. Our very own Matt talks about the power of Twitter here. Twitter can also be a powerful listening device, and if you want a personalised news feed, following Finance Matters’ (@FnceMatters) “Following” list will give you access to the same industry news that they themselves read.  

Overall, Madeleine pointed out that everyone is still learning about the space as it is a new field. She talked about the importance of networking and we heard a story from a fellow Escape member about one transition from the finance industry into impact investment. 

She had started her career at a big investment bank and then did a Kiva fellowship in Asia. Afterwards, she had worked for another big commercial bank for awhile, before then working for Kiva full-time. At Kiva, she met more people in the social finance space and is now working for an impact investor. The transition took a few years – reminding us that career change is rarely an overnight process. 

What is Escape the City all about then?

Frustrated by climbing the corporate ladder, we decided to build a community to help people build meaningful careers doing work that matters – to them and to the world. We help talented people find fulfilling work by making big career changes, building businesses, & going on big adventures. We’d love you to come with us on this journey.

How do you get involved?

1. Job Seeker? Create an Escape Profile to get matched to exciting jobs. 2. Aspiring Career Changer / Entrepreneur? If you’re in London, come and see us at The Escape School. 3. Want to stay in touch? Subscribe to one of our newsletters. Find us on Facebook or @escthecity.  

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