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Ben Guillon is the CEO of Conservation Investment Management headquartered in Castle Rock, CO. Learn more at conservationinvestment.com.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
We are the only registered investment advisers in the U.S. focused on conservation investments. We are advising high net worth individuals, foundations, and institutional investors on their investments in companies that generate both competitive financial returns and intentional, measurable, positive impacts on the environment.
WHY DO YOU DO IT?
Our big goal is to bridge the gap in funding for conservation and to allow anybody to invest in conservation ventures.
WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
Our primary impact is environmental. The projects that we are financing will improve species habitat, provide clean water, or sequestrate carbon. In the meantime, we also have tremendous impacts on the communities we touch, by improving their quality of life and providing jobs.
WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO MAKE THIS IMPACT?
The rangers and park managers across the globe who are trying to preserve their parks without a budget and sometimes risk their life (and lose their lives) in the process. We are also inspired by entrepreneurs who decide to build companies to tackle the challenges that their local community faces with environmental degradation.
WHAT’S YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
We would like for everybody to have an option in their 401k to invest in conservation.
WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THOSE DREAMS COME TRUE?
We need to find an early-stage funding mechanism that allows conservation investment ideas to develop into investible companies.
WHAT IS (OR HAS BEEN) YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
The pipeline of conservation companies that are ready for investment is very limited.
WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER LEADERS LOOKING TO MAKE AN IMPACT?
Do not give up. Manage your company as a business first with the discipline and rigor that investors have the right to expect. Impact cannot be a cover-up for sloppy management and execution.
HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
You can help us connect with entrepreneurs, or aspiring entrepreneurs, who are passionate about the environment and are looking for opportunities to align their passion with their work.
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