Liet van Beuningen

“Alone you go fast, together you go far.”

Liet started impact investing only 1 year ago, in the midst of the first lockdown, after she joined PYM's Women's Wealth Matters event. It was the start of a whole new life for her.

How did you find out about Women’s Wealth Matters?
It was my cousin Anne who forwarded the Women’s Wealth Matters invite to me. She thought I’d find it interesting. My whole family actively invests, but not necessarily in impact.

Hearing so many women talk about using capital for good was the trigger for me.
I hadn’t heard a message like this before. It gave me permission to think of my wealth as a tool for good. It sounds so logical now, but at that time it was a revelation.

If you could define three values that guide your investments what would they be? 
(Bio)Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
A recent investment I made embodying those values is in the Web3.0 space. Boss Beauties is an organization led by an amazing team out of NYC that empowers girls and women at the forefront of technology, leadership, and creativity. The other investment I am closing this month is in Carbon Equity, a fund of funds run by two fantastic female founders. The fund’s investments are all focused on sustainability and moving the needle on climate change.

What has made you so passionate about these values? 
Growing up on a farm in Portugal, having studied and worked throughout the world, and now living in the Dutch countryside, I have experienced firsthand the decline of biodiversity in my own lifetime. I have also seen the beauty that diversity can bring, and the power of capital as a force for good.  

What are some more examples of companies you’ve invested in that further this vision? 
I see 2 mega-trends that I believe will be tremendously disruptive in the coming years: the move towards plant-based foods and the emergence of Web 3.0. I want that disruption to be positive.

Recently I made a direct investment in Monkeys by the Sea, a Dutch company with global ambitions to make plant-based fish alternatives mainstream. I have also joined the board of Decade of Action, a collaborative act-tank supporting regenerative agriculture. I am excited to play a role in connecting regenerative farmers with producers of plant-based foods.

What excites you about the world of Web 3.0 and blockchain technology?
I am very excited about the possibilities this technology offers for impact investing. I have always looked for a way to make impact investing more accessible to a broader audience and I believe blockchain technology will finally make that possible. These new technologies will fundamentally change the way we work, exchange money, and create ownership of both virtual and real-life assets.  Currently, 81% of all transactions in Web 3.0 are performed by men.  By investing in initiatives such as Boss Beauties, I am looking to demystify, demasculinize and democratize this emerging tech space. 

What are you doing to learn more about impact?
I’m a very social person, a connector. For years I’ve been hosting dinners and bringing groups together. When I discover a topic I want to know more about I find people who are interested as well so we can learn together. There is so much information out there, this way we can filter through it as a group and we invite speakers to learn even more.

Since September we regularly come together with a group of 12 women who are interested in Crypto and the Web3.0 Space for example. Investing is not the goal, but it does happen.
Up next is a circle called ‘Women in nature’. We’ll be talking about regenerating the land and where women stand in this. There is still some room for a few extra women to join if any PYMers are interested, we do prefer keeping the groups small though. 

What would you say to someone starting out in impact investing? 
Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you admire and ask for help and advice. I am so grateful for all those people that have taken the time to mentor and support me in this journey.
I also found it helpful to really focus on making impact in a specific area that is close to your heart. 

Lastly, create or join a small group of people that are on a similar journey and learn and grow together.
It’s great that PYM started the Impact Circles. I personally joined the one hosted by Corinne Heijn and Didy van der Schilden. It’s a group of all women and here we do talk specifically about impact investing. It’s very special and helps immensely. 

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