An Interview With Beth deBeer

Beth deBeer

Impact Consultant and Financial Advisor 

107e43d.jpg

Beth deBeer is founder of iImpact Consulting Network, LLC. She has advised funds, family offices, and contributed to leading industry reports on how to integrate impact investing practices into asset management. She has played an influential role in helping to build the field of impact investing in Israel, and has worked to engage the American Jewish community in value-based investments. Beth sits on the board of LAVAN, a nonprofit with a mission of bringing impact investing to the Jewish community. She holds a Series 65 Investment Advisor Representative, a Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Studies from the University of Michigan, and a Masters in Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.  

iImpact Consulting Network (iImpact) is a platform for impact consultants and advisors around the world to share in knowledge, resources, and opportunities. iImpact aims to provide innovative ideas and sustainable solutions for today’s global challenges through research, events, and advisory services. 

What inspired you to start your business?

I started my business because I saw both a need and an opportunity. While traveling to Ethiopia in 2007 I noticed that there were a plethora of aid organizations, yet little collaboration or coordination of efforts. When I graduated from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, many of my former classmates assumed roles as consultants to organizations ranging from the United Nations, World Bank, to smaller NGOs and non profits. We often would connect and work together on projects, and I thought if these “independent consultants” could share in their knowledge from around the globe, both they and their clients would benefit. What started informally grew into an organization with consultants in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas who specialize in different impact areas, approaches, and tools to address current global challenges.  

What social problem(s) are you trying to solve?

iImpact is not targeted to solving one specific social problem or issue. However, the projects our consultants work on address challenges that align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Consultants specialize in the types of strategies they use to address these challenges, for example some use impact investing as a tool for social change while others take on a human rights and business approach. 

What are some of your successes? 

Our success is in the community we have been able to build, and the quality of relationships we have been able to develop. Through our events and network, we have seen first-hand people connect and begin effective and strategic partnerships. These have been signs of success which we wish to continue to see over time. 

What do you wish you would have known when you started?

 I'm am not one to have regrets, and while I had a vision when I started, I had no idea of how things would unfold. I think this is part of the beauty of how the business developed and organically evolved. 

What advice would you give to someone else just starting?

My advice for someone just starting a business is to have patience and be flexible. Entrepreneurs are often encouraged to “stay focused”, and while it is important to stay committed to your vision, the ability to adapt will ultimately enable you to succeed. Growth does not happen over night, and you never know what the connections you make today will lead to tomorrow. 

 

Can you list three resources that helped you along the way and could help others?

  1. Mentors who helped me to pave my own path 
  2. Networks like Schusterman ROI which provided me with both the encouragement and capital to take the risks needed to grow
  3. Friends and family who supported me through both ups and downs 

Connect with Beth on linkedin