Every day, Sarah Cone, the impressive and down-to-earth founder of Social Impact Capital, receives emails from passionate entrepreneurs who have innovative ideas that will make the world better. The next challenge is to predict which ones will scale and give her investment partners a return that can match or exceed more conventional ventures.
Covering compassionate leadership gives me rare access to business visionaries, like Sarah, and I realized that being part of these interviews could be a great learning opportunity for our high school and college interns. I invited my nephew, Aidan Donnellan, to join us, and Sarah was happy to have him because she often has her young daughter on her lap during business meetings. As he heads to college in the fall, I hope he remembers Sarah’s wisdom, “you don’t need to compromise between making a good living and making a difference in the world.”
She never imagined that she would have a career in finance. She was committed to making the world a better place and studied interdisciplinary studies at Evergreen University and later received her law degree from UC Berkeley. After college, she went down the non-profit track but also developed a love for investing.
She started investing in stocks at a young age and had an “aha” moment 15 years ago when she realized that she could practice a much more meaningful approach to investing that blended making a difference with making a profit. She has been backing entrepreneurs who are building companies driven by social good ever since, eventually opening her own shop that she runs today from NYC with her virtual team.
Sarah’s firm is funding big ideas that make an even more significant impact. I was impressed with her unique approach that is paving the way for entrepreneurs to make real social change. While things feel uncertain and maybe even a little scary, impact investing is proving to be a good bet for Social Impact Capital that focuses on early-stage social capital investments. Many of her investments are performing well during this unprecedented time.