Special Q&A Interview With Paul Allard (CEO of Impak Finance)
Powerful Tips on Cryptocurrencies, Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing
Paul Allard is the founder and President of impak Finance Inc. He has more than 20 years of experience in management, marketing and funding of innovative companies in growth environments, particularly in the media and technology industry.
Since 2015, Paul has been a senior advisor at Redwood Capital, an investment bank specialised in M&A based in New York. From 2007 to 2014 he was the founder and CEO of Engagement Labs (TSX-V: EL), a technology company specialized in real-time intelligent social media data, analytics and insights for organizations actively engaging on social and digital networks. Elabs has offices in London, New-York, Toronto and Montreal.
From 2007 to 2012, Paul was a lecturer at the Université du Québec à Montréal for a series of seminars on entrepreneurship. In 2006 he co-founded and operated AlternativeChannel.tv for 3 years, the first Multilanguage WebTV channel devoted to sustainable development. Since 2005, he has been involved in different transactions with listed and private companies.
In this Q&A interview Paul Allard shares his top tips on impact investing, social enterprise and blockchain technology to name a few.
Wait no longer, read this exclusive interview with Paul Allard below now…
What does being a social entrepreneur mean to you?
It means I am doing my part. In this world where the challenges seems to be too big for us to change the course of things, the importance for me to do something at my level with my means is significant. And yes, hopefully, if the project I am involved in can mobilize others… we are on the right path!
What inspired you to start Impak Finance?
Today, looking at the facts, we must admit that the current economic system isn’t working for the vast majority of people on the planet. Awareness of system failure is now widespread and growing.
Nevertheless, Capital is the blood of the system in which we evolve today and the banking system it’s heart…. but the system has lost it’s soul.
So when I left my last venture in 2014, I started to think of how we could give back a soul to this broken machine. And in September 2015, in Greece, I read about the Triodos Bank success in the Netherlands and Europe. This was my inspiration.
Why do people need to pay attention to impact investing?
I believe that entrepreneurs are the most powerful transformative force of our society. So if we, as a community, massively decide to support those organizations committed to the sustainable transformation of our world with our spending and investments, we may succeed in seeing the world solve its most pressing issues.
How will Blockchain technology change the financial services industry?
Wow… the financial sector will change in so many ways in the near future I cannot even think of all of them! But certainly, the most important change will be the replacement of an opaque top-down hierarchical system, with a distributed bottom-up more transparent organization offering financial services. With this technology, it will be possible to see wealth distributed according to the efforts and contributions of users collaborating towards the creation of a common good.
Why is finance important for creating sustainable development?
From the get go, “Finance” was designed to support the “real economy”. If we want to see real change happen on a massive scale in the near future, we need to pour Capital in the Social Impact Economy, and this can happen if we use Finance… keeping in mind that it needs to be a tool!
Today, in this unregulated world, unfortunately, Financial Economy supports itself for the enrichment of the 1%.
This is impak Finance’s contribution. Putting Finance at the service of a sustainable economy is impak Finance’s contribution.
What business do you admire the most (apart from yours)?
There are so many of them! Pentagonia, Tridos Bank, Rennaissance, Ben&Gerrys, Cascade Papers, Fresh City Farms, Seventh Generation, Bullfrog Power, Attira Women’s resources, etc. and etc…
What advice would you give to new social entrepreneurs?
There are so many good “best advice” for entrepreneurs out there! As far as social impact is concerned, my advice is to Focus on your intention first of all. Make sure it is clear to you, and to your team. Then, get the community to support your project. And then go for it.
If you could spend a day hanging-out with three people from history, who would they be?
Mahatma Ganhdi, Nelson Mandela and Dali
Why? What would you like to ask them?
Mahatma Gandhi, to learn how to stay focused on my intention;
Nelson Mandela, to learn patience;
and Dali, to learn how to break barriers with style!
What would you do differently in your life, if anything?
What are some of your aims for the next five years?
Fully live each moment of my life as they happen.