What does it look like to put capital to work that protects the company’s mission? Big Path Capital Co-Founder Michael Whelchel and Sandra Moore of Advantage Capital explored that question in a session at Real Leaders Unite, an impact leadership summit earlier this year in San Diego. During the session on “Redefining Capital for CEOs: Impactful Transitions, Raises, and Exits,” Michael and Sandra shared insights and lessons from their years of work to create social, environmental, and financial impact by combining capital and purpose. 

Michael founded Big Path in 2007 to bridge his experience in financial markets with his interest in creating positive, lasting change for people and the Earth. Big Path works with clients who adopt a long-term lens that goes beyond typical transactional relationships. “There’s a difference between an impact investor and an investor who makes impact investments. The first is extractive in that there is only interest in the current impact. The latter is regenerative in that there is interest in the underlying mission and the company’s ability to continue to have a positive impact,” he said.  

Big Path client Vital Farms saw the differences between investors who are willing to ride a longer wave rather than seek short-term payouts. “When things got hard, the traditional investor would immediately go to cost-cutting, traditional things of trying to reduce costs,” Michael said. “Where an impact investor sees the regenerative capacity of the company’s mission and looks to longer-term value creation.”  

Watch Michael and Sandra’s full conversation to hear more about the impact investing landscape, how to measure impact, ways to identify impact opportunities, and more.