Making an Impact
Since we like to practice what we preach let’s spend a little more time on the subject of making an impact. This is the ‘share’ portion of the Return-on-Life wealth model. Over the years we have discovered a number of things about this topic. It seems to be somehow considered a separate activity from making money, as if the two are not connected. It is almost always left too late in life. The high that we experience after helping someone is much more fulfilling than the high from being helped. If you don’t write your life book someone else will. After you’re gone you won’t be remembered for near as long as you think.
We do a lot of networking on the road to find great people to work with. We mix in strategic partnerships and alignment conferences with biannual journeys to East Africa. We encourage people we meet to learn about making an impact and to be involved. This includes our Advisors. We hope that everyone comes to realize that money is like talent, it isn’t worth much if it isn’t put to use. Here are a few Salutes to particular groups and initiatives that we are involved with.
1.Supporting start-up entrepreneurs in developing countries. Particular current areas of interest are in East Africa. We have developed relationships in Tanzania that supply us with small business owners we can work with. Instead of repayment of support funding, these entrepreneurs donate their products and services to their community. Besides expanding their own businesses, they are now able to have better lives and help others as well.
2. The local small business owner community. Not enough of us appreciate our business owners. These folks are the backbone. All revenue for society to operate comes from here. Together their employees, their connected families, their suppliers, and their customers all form a vital impact link. We are always passing along our advice in this area, and have been involved with economic development and trade associations.
3. The empowerment of women. We believe that support and entrepreneurship are key components here. We sponsor a young women’s initiative by St. Lawrence College and Enactus and were thrilled to see close to 100 women students show up to present business case analysis and proposals at their annual event. On the other side of the globe we developed a training program for displaced women in the Congo.
4. Education in developing parts of the world. Here we support a number of projects in Africa that match our philosophy. Our main initiatives include training of farmers to increase land productivity, children’s education, and the purchase of land and buildings to enable local entrepreneurs to develop.
5. Helping foreign investors bring their dollars to Canada. We do this by providing personal introductions to opportunities and managing accounts for direct investing by expats. There are many reasons why you would want to invest your money here. Opportunities in real estate and resources are plentiful. Canada has one of most stable financial systems in the world. In 2008 we weathered the storm far better than most, and our banking institutions were the envy of everyone. Business feels safe here with crime rates well below average and corruption negligible. An environmentally conscious population gives us good name globally. We sit alongside the USA, who is a great trading partner to have next door.