article-header

News

Growing a healthy social enterprise with new impact investors

News

Back in April this year, I shared our ambitions for growing our company and improving our business operations, specifically by raising more capital and strengthening our organization.

After spending our summer working towards these goals, I’m happy to share some big news: we’ve secured investments totaling € 6,5 million from pioneering impact investors who share and strongly believe in our values.

Scaling up for greater impact

These new investments will help us kick off Fairphone’s latest growth phase. To start, part of the investment will be used to keep reaching new audiences to increase the awareness of and demand for fairer electronics. Specifically, we’re working to expand our distribution network in Europe to respond to a growing interest from mainstream commercial channels like operators, resellers and business-to-business procurement.

Following this strategic move, scaling up our production volumes will allow us to have more leverage with suppliers and therefore more opportunities to negotiate a healthier, more future-proof supply chain. It means we will be in a better position to put our principles into practice, including improving the availability and lifespan of spare parts, sourcing fairer materials and improving working conditions.

 

Members of the team and visitors soon after we moved to our current, more spacious offices, in January 2016

From the operational side of things, we will use these investments to keep expanding our team and further professionalize our operations. We’ve already made an important move in that direction by hiring Eva Gouwens, the former head and “First Lady of Chocolate” at fellow B-Corp Tony’s Chocolonely. So she not only has great taste, but she also comes with a deep understanding of how to successfully lead a growing social enterprise. Eva will join me in the executive board as our Managing Director.

Generous support from impact investing pioneers

A big share of the investments follows from the generous commitment of two impact investing pioneers, Pymwymic and DOEN Foundation. Impact investing is a fairly recent concept in the financial world, and occupies the space between venture capital and donations. It basically means investing with the intention of generating benefits for society and the environment, in addition to profits. It is great that we’ve been able to set up a partnership with investors who share our values.

 

 

Members of the Fairphone team and Management team at our office. 

Pymwymic (the Put Your Money Where Your Meaning Is Community) is Europe’s oldest impact investing group. In 2016 the group created the Impact Investing Cooperative to bring together wealthy individuals and families who want to make a positive impact. Its first thematic sub-fund, ‘Pymwymic Healthy Ecosystems Impact Fund’, focuses on disruptive and innovative business models that restore and conserve our ecosystems. And they’ve selected Fairphone to be the recipient of their very first investment!!

We’ve also received funding from DOEN Participaties, the investment fund of the DOEN Foundation. Established in 1991, the organization is focused on supporting initiatives that are working towards a green, socially inclusive and creative society. The DOEN Foundation also played a role in Fairphone’s initiation, providing capital to help us transition from an awareness campaign to a company in 2013.

Expanding our governance structure

Besides adding these two new impact investors, we’ve also expanded Fairphone’s governance structure to ensure we have the right checks and balances in place to enter the next phase.

With the addition of Eva, we now have a two-person executive board. This is supported by a second level of governance in the form of a recently created supervisory board, which currently includes five members. While the supervisory board members do not represent the company externally and are not involved in the day-to-day business of running Fairphone, they provide additional accountability for key decisions and play an important role in protecting the interests of the company and its social mission.

In a couple weeks, we’ll give Eva the opportunity to tell you more about herself and what she’s working on at Fairphone. We will also introduce you to the supervisory board members and provide more insight into the new governance structure. In the meantime, we’ll be working together to develop and kick-off a growth map that will support our social mission and maximize our impact.

 

Share this post

Related posts See all posts

  • Fairphone wins 2024 Koning Willem-I Prize

    Fairphone wins 2024 Koning Willem-I Prize

    Fairphone is a Dutch social enterprise. And for a Dutch social enterprise, it doesn’t get bigger than this. Fairphone is proud, honored and beyond thrilled to have won the prestigious Koning Willem I Sustainable Entrepreneurship Plaque for 2024. The award is a testament to our steadfast mission to right the wrongs of the electronics industry,...

    Read more
  • The new Fairbuds are getting excellent reviews

    The new Fairbuds are getting excellent reviews

    It’s been almost a month since we released our new Fairbuds to the world. With replaceable batteries in the earbuds and the charging case and a design that’s built to last, the Fairbuds are a modular marvel that’s all about that premium sound. It’s no wonder that, within days of its release, iFixit gave the...

    Read more

Fairphone Newsletter

Want to stay in the loop with all things Fairphone?

Suscríbete a nuestro newsletter para enviarte noticias sobre nuestros proyectos

Suscríbete a nuestra newsletter y recibe 5€ de descuento en tu próximo pedido.

Enviaremos el €5 de descuento al correo electrónico que haz especificado en el momento del registro. El código de descuento puede ser utilizado en tu próxima compra superior a 75€. Por favor ten en cuenta que nuestro principal idioma de comunicación es el Inglés. Al suscribirte, aceptas que la información que nos envías será procesada de acuerdo a nuestra Política de Privacidad y Términos de uso.Te pedimos tu nombre y dirección de correo electrónico para enviarte nuestro newsletter con noticias sobre nuestros proyectos, puedes darte de baja en cualquier momento si así lo deseas.

Close