The Impact for Breakfast Club is an informal gathering of people from family offices, foundations, funds, venture philanthropy as well as advisory and intermediary organizations with a common focus on greater efficiency and learning in our collective quest to support and invest in social enterprise and entrepreneurship. The geographical interests of our group span from small and growing businesses in Europe to those in the furthest emerging markets.
Our Social Investment Breakfast Club, later re-named Impact for Breakfast in 2012, began with a small circle of 8-10 people in London in 2008. It has since grown to a network of a couple of thousand people with shared interests and a desire to engage in monthly jam sessions about the challenges, models, methodologies, case studies and ideas that help us each to better navigate and understand the space between financial and social return.
Our gatherings are informal, and free-flowing discourse over structured sessions is encouraged. Our objective is to help build relationships and the learning that drive action and ultimately, capital into this sector. The discussions, led by sector experts, must follow our strict 'no pitching' policy. The Impact for Breakfast Club should be a safe space for garnering feedback and a venue for brainstorming and deconstructing the hardest questions we face as impact financiers.
We encourage our Impact for Breakfast network to spread the word and bring along colleagues, friends, and business partners, etc. to our events. Our emphasis is a focus on convening peer investors; advisors are also welcome, but sometimes invited on a secondary basis if the first round of invitations is extended to investors only. We tend typically to run our sessions mornings somewhere from between 9h-11h, starting with chitchat with over coffee and a light breakfast, followed by an brief introduction by our team, welcoming remarks by the host, presentation(s) by the selected speaker(s) or discussion guides, followed by an broader interactive discussion. We support an informal relaxed setup, and where possible discourage PowerPoint and ‘unilateral broadcast’ approaches; we often have loose theatre-style seating with or without tables and want attendees to feel as comfortable as possible engaging in a conversation.
Our monthly topics are typically brought to us by the members of the Impact for Breakfast network; at times, we recommend themes that we find of interest over time, e.g. impact investing in a particular geography or sector vertical. In many cases, we are showcasing specific models, methodologies and strategies underway across markets.
If a speaker has contacts that can offer a venue for the session, we sometimes work on this basis. Otherwise we locate appropriate venues as possible and adapt our group sizes as necessary. In some cities like Geneva and Zurich, our close collaboration with organizations - notably the Impact Hub Geneva – support us in offering ready spaces on a constant basis which facilitates the search for a host each month.
Venue hosts usually take care of the catering, offering coffee and light refreshments, e.g. croissants, free of charge. Typically, we convene a minimum of 25-30 people per month; on occasion, these numbers are far greater.