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Is it possible to invest in social impact? The first such fund in the Czech Republic, Tilia Impact Ventures, intends to prove it is

Is it possible to invest in social impact? The first such fund in the Czech Republic, Tilia Impact Ventures, intends to prove it is

Is it possible to invest in social impact? The first such fund in the Czech Republic, Tilia Impact Ventures, intends to prove it is

 

Prague, 27.11.2018

 

The first fund focusing on investments with a strong social impact, Tilia Impact Ventures, was established in the Czech Republic. The aim of the fund is to support start-ups that address a wide range of societal challenges, including environmental protection, inclusion of disadvantaged people and groups, transparency in the society and quality of education. The fund is backed by experienced investors and well-known philanthropists.

 

Financial profit and strengthening of the social impact can go hand in hand

 

Internationally, we see a growing focus on impact investments as well as successful examples of social impact funds. According to a survey by the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA), in 2017, its members (including the 32 social impact investment funds) invested 545 million euros in debt, equity and hybrid financial instruments. Tilia Impact Ventures is not only the first social impact fund in the Czech Republic, but also one of the first such funds in the whole CEE region.

 

“We want to leverage on the investors’ experience from the start-up, venture capital and private equity sectors and combine it with the social sector. The aim is to offer startups a very flexible financial as well as non-financial assistance to scale up their social impact, based on a sustainable business model. Tilia is the so-called “impact first” fund that puts more emphasis on social impact than on financial returns. I am confident that this concept will attract more investors in the Czech Republic in future,” explains Silke Horáková,  co-owner of Albatros Media and founder of two existing foundations.

 

“Based on the trends in the Anglo-Saxon world,  it is only a matter of time when impact becomes the third standard alongside financial return and risk for every investment and business decision-making. With this pilot Tilia Impact Ventures fund projects we would like to show that this is possible even in the Czech Republic. At the same time we would like to experience the pitfalls and challenges that this impact criterion may practically bring. We hope to contribute to broadening of the debate about how the future of investment and business in general will look like,” adds Petr Vítek, co-founder of the Impact Hub coworking network.

 

So far, it is a pilot project, the size of the fund starts at 43 million CZK. In the next 12 months, the total fund size could increase up to 60 million CZK.

 

The fund is supported by experienced investors and well-known philanthropists

 

The members of the investment committee are highly respected investors such as Brian Wardrop (Managing Partner at ARX Equity Partners), Emilia Mamajova (partner at Espira Investments), Ondřej Bartoš (partner at Credo Ventures) and Jan Barta (Pale Fire Capital). The Fund supports the partnership of important foundations (Česká spořitelna Foundation, Karel Janeček Foundation) and private investors (founders of the fund, Jan Barta, Brian Wardrop and Emilia Mamajová, along with Libor Winkler, Martin Vohanka, Robert Tuma, Matěj Turek and others) who want to encourage impact investing in the Czech Republic together with the Tilia team. The renowned lawyers at Squire Patton Boggs also contributed to the establishment of the fund.

 

“The goal of impact investing is to finance companies and organizations whose primary objective is social impact and that use their business models in the interest of sustainability, growth and independence. Impact investing is certainly not a universal financial solution for socially responsible initiatives, but for a certain type of organizations it is a far more effective way than grants. And this is why we are involved. We believe that the number of impact-investible businesses will increase and so will the number of such investors, “says Ondřej Zapletal, director of the Česká spořitelna Foundation that represents the main investor of the fund.

 

Tailored financial instruments as well as non-financial support

 

Tilia Impact Ventures offers both financial support (in the form of tailor-made tools ranging from flexible loans to equity investments) and non-financial assistance through strategic consultations or consultations with experts and pro bono partners according to the specific needs of the particular business. The combination of financial and non-financial support aims to help investees to achieve sustainable growth, accelerate their social mission and so enhance the impact of their activities. Tilia thus connects investors interested in social impact, entrepreneurs with social outreach and professionals who can help these entrepreneurs both from business and social impact perspective.

 

The fund is planned for 9 years and aims to support a total of 8-10 enterprises. For more information, please visit the Fund’s website www.tiliaimpactventures.cz.

 

For any inquiries, please contact:

 

Magdaléna Radová

Investment Manager

magdalena@tiliaimpactventures.cz

+420732561228