Impact Leaders #1: Martin Leuw of Growth4Good

Following the success of Impact Hustlers, we have decided to launch the Impact Leaders podcast. This podcast features Leaders focusing on Impact Investment and Performance with Purpose, supporting the companies that are solving the world’s biggest challenges. Hosted by JP Dallmann, it shares their stories, messages and advise to increase awareness about impact leadership, investment and performance with purpose.

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Our first Impact Leader is Martin Leuw of Growth4Good.

Martin leads Growth4Good’s investment strategy and is a serial entrepreneur specialising in digital media with a 25 year track record of driving growth. From 2001-2011, as CEO and significant management investor he grew IRIS Software both organically and via M&A from small beginnings to become the UK’s largest private software house, successfully exiting the business twice to Private Equity, ultimately with a $1bn MBO, having grown EBITDA from £2m pa to £50m pa.

In this inaugural podcast Martin talks about why he is backing impact and high growth businesses. Martin envisions a bold future where every business can be a social business because this will unleash not just the capital, but the human capital to fix society’s biggest problems.

As building businesses is his canvas, he talks about the lessons learned as a serial technology entrepreneur. Martin shared that ultimately, businesses are selling customer experiences and there is a case for high growth to deliver exceptional returns to investors while meeting the needs of all stakeholders.

As someone who has been heavily supporting impact driven businesses in the last 5 years, he has seen how purpose and giving back is now becoming more and more commonly understood amongst the business community.

Martin goes on to demystify the misconceptions that being a business that is doing good will be “diluting returns” and is frequently thought of as merely being a charity or a not-for-profit.

As an impact leader who is passionate about businesses as a force for good, he is currently focused on education, youth employment, and healthcare and funds businesses through his Growth4Good portfolio.

Martin advocates business that has incorporated purpose and impact into their thinking to start acting because as he says, “not only will you realise that your business becomes a magnet for talent and customers will love it. All business can grow quicker with purpose and the side effect is that society will see the fruits of it.”

He also shared his excitement of being a founding investor and member of The Conduit, the new home in London for people passionate about social change, impact businesses and investment with a global reach, and a soon to be launched online investment platform and impact fund. He believes that this will truly accelerate the movement of impact investing.

Martin ends the interview with this inspiring message: “There is no excuse for delaying, if you can see the opportunity to do good through businesses, just do it!”

 

Highlights in this episode:

  • Martin’s investment principles
  • Why focus on the opportunity for high growth
  • What made IRIS Software the UK’s largest software house
  • What is impact, impact investment and business with a purpose
  • Investment criteria for the Growth4Good portfolio
  • Top 3 things to look for when investing in businesses
  • 3 key things that business need help with more than fundraising
  • 3 sectors where Growth4Good is focused on
  • Importance of having an A-team
  • Evolution of impact measurement
  • Lessons for the impact community

 

Useful links:

Martin Leuw’s Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/martin-leuw-988214/

Martin Leuw’s Twitter – https://twitter.com/MartinLeuw

Growth4Good – http://growth4good.com/

School Space – http://school-space.org/

Digital Mums – https://digitalmums.com/

The Conduit – https://theconduit.com/

 

Chapters:

[02:20] Always driven by growth

[06:30] Importance of customer experience

[10:10] Building businesses is my canvas

[13:00] Helping businesses to be a force for good that provides exceptional return to investors

[15:00] What is impact and impact investment?

[17:00] Business with a purpose, charities, for-profits and not-for-profits

[19:00] How to look at investment opportunities in businesses

[20:45] Importance of a team with complementary skills

[22:00] Why subscription revenue is key for business growth

[23:00] The Conduit – a community of impact investors

[25:20] Growth4Good focuses on education, employment and healthcare

[26:45] Fundraising vs strategy, door opening and talent

[29:30] Judging the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award

[30:10] Importance of having an A-team

[31:20] Evolution of impact measurement

[32:15] School-Space.org – Airbnb for schools

[37:00] Capitalism Is getting a bad name and businesses can do far better for society

[38:40] Lessons for the impact community

[40:00] Why education, employment and healthcare

[40:15] Call to Action