Andrea Nemtin knows how to make things happen. She knows how to create an environment that allows an idea to take root, grow and flourish, leveraging the right tools, people and influence. It’s a skill she’s been honing since her first job at AdBusters Magazine, where she ran advocacy campaigns for nonprofits, promoting social justice and environmental issues, such as saving old growth forests of Clayoquot Sound. Later, as a social entrepreneur and founder of a documentary production company, she focused on amplifying the stories of people on the frontlines of change.
Today, Andrea is the founding CEO and President of Inspirit Foundation, a philanthropic foundation dedicated to promoting inclusion and pluralism through media, the arts, and the support of young change leaders. It’s also the first foundation in Canada to commit to investing 100 percent of its assets for impact.
“If our mission is to create a more inclusive society we can’t do that without engaging in issues of money.”
“What interested me about Inspirit was that it started with a spiritual imperative to create social change,” says Andrea of the organization’s vision of helping create a more inclusive society where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. But there was also a pragmatic attraction to Inspirit Foundation and the possibility of taking these ideas and building something that could make a difference. “That challenge was really exciting to me.”
Not surprisingly, for a new and progressive-minded organization, impact investing was on Inspirit’s radar right from the start. It was woven into its fabric and it just made sense, says Andrea whose personal portfolio followed the same logical conclusion. “The opaqueness of term deposits and RRSPs always bothered me on a personal level,” she explains. “And on an organizational level, if our mission is to create a more inclusive society we can’t do that without engaging in issues of money.”
With social, environmental and economic factors so integrally linked in a changemaking organization, using all of one’s assets to make that change seems the right choice. But in Canada, foundations legally need only spend 3.5 percent of their capital on their missions. “That seemed a little out of whack to me. Why wouldn’t we have all our assets in line with our vision?” She wondered at the time. “We know the power of capital, what capital can do.”
"In Canada, foundations legally need only spend 3.5 percent of their capital on their missions... 'Why wouldn’t we have all our assets in line with our vision?'”
So, with the support of the board, experts and investment companies like CoPower, Inspirit is now working toward a 100 percent impact portfolio and ensures every investment they make aligns with their impact themes: Increasing Livelihoods, Building Community Infrastructure, Increasing Access to Arts, Culture and Services and Supporting Climate Change Solutions —the four drivers that allow an inclusive and pluralistic society to thrive.
Andrea had first heard about CoPower from others who enjoyed the positive returns and solid investment it offered. She says it was pure FOMO that got her to jump on board too, both personally and professionally. “As a young and smart company, CoPower is able to articulate their impact and use technology in ways that allow them to be efficient and proactive,” shares Andrea.
“If the temperature goes up by six degrees, it doesn’t matter how much money you have. And it’s going to take a lot of money to keep it from doing that.”
For those contemplating their own jump, Andrea is unequivocal. “Investing is all about the future,” she says. The only question is what kind of future you want to invest in. Is it one where climate change has been addressed and mitigated? Is it one where income disparity has become smaller? Is it one that embraces a just society?
Besides, she adds, “If the temperature goes up by six degrees, it doesn’t matter how much money you have. And it’s going to take a lot of money to keep it from doing that.” Impact investing is a way to shift capital to areas that require it. It’s about creating the environment to make things happen - something Andrea knows well. “It’s all about creating the change that we need to see.”
Editor's note: Andrea has personally invested in CoPower's second issuance of Green Bonds (Green Bond II), while the Inspirit Foundation invested in both the CoPower Catalyst Fund and second issuance of Green Bonds. CoPower's third issuance (Green Bond III) is now available for investment.
The client testimonial that appears on this page was solicited by CoPower and may not be representative of the views of other investors or potential investors in CoPower Green Bonds. Please consult the CoPower Green Bond Offering Memorandum for all material information in respect of CoPower Finance Inc., CoPower Green Bonds and the terms of the offering.