Impact Esq Vol. 7

Welcome to the weekend. It was a pleasure connecting with a number of impact attorneys when I was in San Francisco this month. I always walk away from those meetings feeling encouraged that our field is growing and being led by
good people. Keep up the great work everyone!

Social Enterprise

  • Post-acquisition. In October 2007, Clorox acquired Burt’s Bees for the cool price of $925 million. The beloved all-natural products brand was joining the ranks of a company known for its chemicals. Was Burt’s
    selling out? The surprising story is that they were able to bring their values to Clorox and impact the huge company. At the same time, Clorox was able to increase efficiency. After the acquisition, Burt’s was granted a great
    deal of autonomy. They knew the company could learn a great from Clorox, but they also knew they couldn’t just copy and paste from the conglomerate. So, the team created a framework for evaluating how they would consider changes
    to make, called “Adopt, Adapt, or Invent,” which set forth the following guidelines: (1) Adopt—practices that are a good fit for their company and can be adopted as is from Clorox to Burt’s. Many of the supply chain practices
    could be adopted directly. Burt’s was able to take advantage of the economies of scale and systems in place for sourcing and manufacturing. (2) Adapt—practices that are helpful, but need to be adjusted to meet the particular
    context. Some practices have a strong core concept, but cannot translate well from Clorox to Burt’s Bees. With this, team had to spend time adjusting and adapting the practice to meet their context. Most of the marketing practices
    were adapted for Burt’s. (3) Invent—when practices exist, but completely do not work in the given context, Burt’s had to invent its own processes. Learn more at Westaway Review (18 minutes).

  • Lean Data. Lean Data is rooted in two simple goals: drive down costs to measurement and significantly increase the value to enterprises of gathering data. (1) To deliver the first, Acumen invested heavily in
    remote data collection; experimenting with tools such as SMS, online surveys, and simple phone calls for impact measurement. These efforts have been highly effective at getting great data, especially in remote settings. (2)
    By focusing our data gathering and analysis on what investees want to learn, we’ve maximized the value generated. In practical terms, this often means blending social performance measurement with other kinds of customer intelligence
    (e.g. Net Promoter Score, customer archetypes, customer care performance, and more). Learn more at Impact Alpha (4 minutes).

Impact Investing

  • Peterborough Results. For years, the impact investing world has been watching a small town in Cambridgeshire England with baited breath because it was the site of the world’s first Social Impact Bond (SIB). Well…
    the results are in. In Peterborough, the One Service program worked with two groups of 1,000 male prisoners to break the cycle of recidivism. An evaluation shows the program cut the reoffending rate of short-sentenced offenders
    in the city by 9% through 2015, exceeding the target of 7.5%. The 17 investors in the £5 million bond will be repaid, with a return of a little more than 3% per year. The world’s first social impact bond reduced recidivism
    and repaid investors. Learn more Impact Alpha (4 minutes).

  • OpenInvest. OpenInvest is an automated investment advisor that builds portfolios based on the specific issues – including LGBTQ Rights, Gun Violence, and the Refugee Crisis – that matter most to investors. In
    recognition of the United Nations’ World Day against Trafficking in Persons (July 30, 2017), OpenInvest added the Human Rights in Supply Chain Screen, utilizing JUST Capital’s data to identify a set of 20 diverse companies
    that are committed to fighting forced labor in their supply chains, among other human rights abuses. They assessed over 900 companies from the Russell 1000, tracked their public commitment to respecting human rights in their
    operations, the implementation of this commitment in their supply chain, their reporting in these efforts, and whether there have been any controversies related to human rights abuses. Learn more at OpenInvest (6 minutes).


  • Get Published. I’ll be leading a workshop in Soho (NYC) this month about how to get published. Have you always wanted to write a book or articles for mainstream publications? Do you have a story you want to tell,
    but you’re not sure how to go about it? Then join us August 17th as I share how to get published. There are only a few tickets left. Get your tickets here.


Impact Esq is a monthly email summarizing the best articles on social enterprise and impact investing law edited by Kyle Westaway – author of Profit & Purpose, Managing Partner of Westaway and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. Thanks for being a member of the Impact Esq community. I truly enjoy curating this email every month and love hearing your thoughtful insights. Feel free to shoot me an email with any feedback or suggestions. If you like what you’re reading, I’d be honored if you share it with other social impact attorneys. Have a restful and thoughtful weekend.