Enabling early-stage finance : leading by example

People going through life, career and relationship crises often attribute the actual change to a single Moment of Truth : that instance where the confusion of Analysis-Paralysis gives way to clarity.

I had that 3 months ago, after months of genuinely pondering where this specific Blog would start, given where my previous blog, Beat the Grind, ended and even contemplating a reply to a reader’s comments. That’s the challenge of confusion — nothing is certain.

How does one take a stellar professional services career and make it meaningful and impactful and sustainable?! when fear of failure hobbles energy.

I had just completed the Cambridge group project, global COVID policy was bumbling along making things uncertain and my previously successful business, RedPepper Mergers was floundering as a consequence of my loss of passion for ‘cold money’ and ‘hard tech’. It certainly was time for me to Beat the Grind, quit whinging and walk my talk.

These are the steps I took.

I found a partner, Chris : a passionate and energetic professional — perhaps not ESG sector knowledgeable but amazingly eager to learn and add fresh perspectives; perhaps not as life experienced but not as age-cynical and who embraces being mentored with energy and fearlessness. Together, we face reality. much stronger.

Then we morphed RedPepper Mergers : historically an advisor to high-growth tech start-ups raising investment capital and driving sales growth. Chris and I have decided to fail fast and be bold! trying on strategic cloaks until one fits and feels right — engaging the symbiosis of Profit, Purpose and Planet.

RedPepper Mergers knows and understands early-stage ‘enablement through risk capital and investment’ so Profit is covered. We redefined our consultancy sector to be broadly defined as ‘sustainability’, but with a goal of addressing the 10 current biggest problems (defined by CISL in ‘Rewiring the Economy’) and in this we found our high-level touchpoints to Planet. And finally, we ditched fear of failure and any reference to risk-minimisation and began to believe in the active and tangible part as consultants and advisors, that we can play in a better future and found our first Purpose.

But passive engagement and academic theorising has never been my happy place. I am a believer in passionate expression, leadership through trailblazing engagement and a Nike “Just do it” attitude.

So, to Beat the Grind, we are launching GreenPepperInvest : a Australian crowdsourced funding platform for equity investment in sustainability models and SustainaSeed, a partnering initiative between ourselves and a Japanese company, whom I met while studying at Harvard last year. (Thank you COVID!). SustainaSeed focuses on crowdsourcing gifting philanthropy and product support for sustainability ideas which are not high growth but still commendable. We launch both platforms this side of Christmas!!!

Our first Australian SustainaSeed offering will in fact also be RedPepper’s own company, aptly named Beat the Grind — focusing on a circular economy business model, to repurpose coffee grinds produced by office workers who drink coffee as a break from their own grind. More on this later.

However, we want to support and nurture as many business models as we can, which support sustainability, disregarding their Unicorn investment potential, maturity stage or revenue growth potential. Our sole investment requirement is that they meet our Change Index entry threshold, a proprietary RedPepper Mergers scoring framework designed to indicate to what extent a business is truly impactful and sustainable, measured against the SDGs and developed as part of my CISL Analytics Paper and Strategic Action Plan.

And we have so much more in the pipeline …. but I prefer to under-promise and over-deliver, so if you are interested come back in 6 months for the next progress update.

Our call to action for you ….. does anyone want to be a brand ambassador and appear in our 3 minute brand launch video?

And we are always looking for international partners — so if you want to get involved with SustainaSeed in the UK or Europe or Asia and you are filled with energetic Purpose for a balanced Profit and Planet, email us on bigpicture@redpeppermergers.com.

Creator, energiser, philosopher, environmentalist financier and start-up evangelist.