Making investment work for the people

Caux Dialogue on Land and Security

02/10/2019
Michael Akampa

 

The Caux Dialogue on Land and Security (CDLS) in 2017 was a ‘turning point’ for sustainable investment professional, Micheál Akampa, who was invited to speak at its Invest in Peace conference. ‘I met like-minded people who were doing very inspiring things,’ he says. ‘This gave me a sense of renewed optimism and of family, as I was no longer alone on this challenging journey. I also had the opportunity to pause, reflect and connect with my inner self on what really matters most to me, both personally and professionally. When you leave Caux, you want to do more.’

It became clear to Micheál that investors needed to channel more capital into land restoration and creating the conditions for peace and well-being. After leaving Caux, he started work on setting up the Invest in Peace Fund, to raise money to fund land restoration and reverse desertification and climate change. ‘Initially I was working through my Africa-focused impact investment company, Traction Capital, but we quickly realized that we needed to have a global company.’ They set up RE Equity Partners, where Micheál is Managing Partner.

Some of those Micheál met in Caux are now part of his team and advisory board. ‘We also realized that we needed to work in partnership with other like-minded people and organizations so as to leverage our collective strength and build synergies rather than duplicating our efforts.’

Micheál’s experience working with funds has shown him that investments from grants, funds or equity tend to be disjointed and not to reinforce each other. Combining and blending these sources can give high impact to a small amount of capital.

How would he explain his work to people who do not know much about investment and finance? ‘That’s precisely the core of my work,’ he says, ‘to simplify the mysterious world of investment and finance, so that it can work for people and the planet as it’s supposed to. There is a big mismatch between investors and projects which have positive environmental or social impact. We aim to develop investments strategies and structures to bridge this gap.’

RE Equity’s investment models are developed for and with local people, to solve the challenges they are facing. ‘We then add structure and try to de-risk and present the projects, so that investors understand them. My wife is a priest in the Swedish church and doesn’t know much about investment and finance, so I often ask her if a structure we have developed makes sense to her. She always challenges me to focus on the people who are most impacted. If it works for them, then it works!’ 

 

Interview: Nicole Walther

Author: Mary Lean

Photo: Paula Mariane

Featured Story
Off
Event Categories
Caux Forum

related stories

YAP 2021 article square

Young Ambassadors Programme 2021: Learning to listen

When Indonesian law student Agustina Zahrotul Jannah discovered the Young Ambassadors Programme (YAP) on Google she felt both excited and hopeless: excited because she hoped it might give her the skil...

Zero waste square for social media

Sofia Syodorenko: A zero waste lifestyle is a mindful lifestyle

How did Sofia Syodorenko become involved in the zero waste movement, and what does it mean to her? Now Chair of Foundations for Freedom, she is also a representative of the Zero Waste Alliance Ukraine...

Patrick Magee 600x600

‘Where Grieving Begins – Building Bridges after the Brighton Bomb’: a live interview with Patrick Magee

The second in Tools for Changemakers’ series of Stories for Changemakers took place on 25 August 2021, with an interview with Patrick Magee, who planted a bomb at the Grand Hotel, Brighton, in 1984, w...

Summer Academy 2021 screenshot square

Forging a network of problem-solvers to build a secure and sustainable future

The Summer Academy on Climate, Land and Security 2021 brought together 29 participants from 20 countries. From Egypt and Senegal to the United States and Thailand, zoom windows opened for six hours ev...

Salima Mahamoudou 21 July 2021 FDFA workshop CDES 2021

Remaking a world in peril

The Caux Dialogue on Environment and Security (CDES) 2021 ran online from 20 July until 30 July, for the second consecutive year, comprising three open plenaries and seven workshops. This year’s discu...

CL 2021 Hope square

A Journey from Uncertainty to Possibility

2021’s Creative Leadership conference took participants on a six-day journey ‘From Uncertainty to Possibility’. Between 25 to 31 July around 150 online participants living in over 50 countries engaged...

FDFA Baobabcowherd-1 Noah Elhardt through WikiCommons square with logos

A pathway to peace and prosperity in West and Central Africa

In the context of their partnership, Initiatives of Change Switzerland (IofC) and the Peace and Human Rights division of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs organised a webinar on the them...

LPM report 2021 square

Peacemakers in the making

‘I am super happy to have been part of the Learning to be a Peacemaker course – we learned the true colours of Islam!’ wrote 18-year-old high-school graduate Nma Dahir, from Erbil, capital of the Kurd...

Choir Musical Stories

Musical Stories from Caux

‘What a magnificent presentation of stories and music’, commented one of the participants of the second in-person, by invitation, event of this year's Caux Forum Online which took place on 1 August 20...

ICBE 2021 square white background

Sustainable businesses needs purpose beyond profit

Corporations and industries need a purpose beyond profit, says Sunil Mathur, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Siemens in India and South Asia. ‘Companies’ purposes are critical,’ he explai...

Stephanie Buri and Nick Foster Opening Ceremony Caux Forum 2021

Opening Ceremony of the Caux Forum Online 2021: Swiss perspectives on peace

The Caux Forum Online 2021 opened on 5 July with a panel on ‘Swiss Perspectives on Peace – past, present and future’ to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Caux Conference and Seminar Centre as the ...

Dhanasree Jayaram CDES 2020

A closer look at links between environment and security

Food security is a key to understanding the complex connection between climate and security, Dhanasree Jayaram, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geopolitics and International Relations Manipal...

Shrouk Gamal

'A better version of myself'

'The conference showed me how much I really love to socialize with people. The members of our dialogue group asked me questions I never been asked before. This made me think about lots of things, in n...

ZimbaWomen credit: ZimbaWomen

Empowering women to enter the market

The Co-founder of Zimba Women, Peace Kuteesa, is passionate about providing women with the tools and resources to participate in their economies and develop their communities. She spoke at last year's...

Hani Abou Fadel

'Humans are made of stories'

'This extraordinary conference has changed me to be more ambitious, intellectually honest and more consistent', said Hani Abou Fadel from Lebanon after his participation at last year's Creative Leader...