Masawa Minute 14
Founders’ Mental Health Matters | Cherish Irrelevancy | + More!
This is the Masawa Minute — some ways how you can get active with us and snippets of what we’re consuming in the areas of mental wellness, social impact, and impact investing.
The summer is flying by and a lot is happening, both around the world and at Masawa — July is a month of fundraising for us and we’re revving up the engines. As we do that, we’re thinking about new perspectives, and therefore that’s what this newsletter is about. As time goes on, it’s crucial to reevaluate how we see things concerning our fields, our companies, or our habits. That’s the only way we can evolve.
If you were disappointed about losing an opportunity to go to a wellness retreat this year, no need to frown anymore — an entirely virtual wellbeing summit for corporates, professionals, and practitioners is here and taking place on July 16th.
Armed with a truly impressive and inspiring list of speakers who are set to provide practical and engaging workshops on mindfulness, health, positive habits, nutrition, this event is not to be missed. Let’s get empowered together!
ConsciousU is offering a fantastic course on transforming your relationship with money into a much more mindful and healthier one. If you’re no stranger to conflicts about money, if you’re worried how to pay your rent, if you feel like you don’t deserve the money you’re getting… This is for you!
The course will take place from July 25th until October 12th 2020, but registration is closing on July 15th (next week!), so hurry up. There’s no better time than today to learn how to handle your money and prevent it from controlling (and possibly ruining) your life. See you there!
Masawa has designed a session/workshop about workplace discrimination at SOCAP Open — conference series dedicated to social innovation and using the power of capital for good. It’s meant to draw attention to prevailing systematic biases in the workplaces and find some ways how the shift towards inclusivity can be made.
Joshua Haynes, Masawa’s Managing Partner, has a chance to be on a panel discussing why investors should take the founders’ mental wellbeing seriously. As seen in one of the articles we shared, founders are especially prone to mental disorders but also inclined to stay silent about it. By including founders’ wellbeing as part of investors’ metric for success, we can make sure that it’s not overlooked and help their companies unlock their full potential.
It’s really important to have these conversations with the public and SOCAP is offering their platform so that issues like these can finally receive some attention. However, it’s up to you which sessions will get the spotlight — if you find our workshops worth it, vote by clicking the links above or (1) hereand (2) here.
If you like what we do and wish to contribute, but don’t know how, you can become a friend of Masawa by claiming one of a few spots left to invest in our F&F Round.
If you’d like more information, contact us at email@example.com. Let’s be a part of driving change together, so that billions live life!
What we’re reading…
⛑ Let’s take care of founders!
Founders are 2x more likely to suffer from depression, 6x more likely to suffer from ADHD, and 10x more likely to suffer from a bi-polar disorder.
Most of the time, founders are seen as innovation drivers, resilient forces, or a means of generating returns, depending on your involvement in the world of investment. But what happens if we look at them as who they are — people?
We find out that they’re smart, driven, often overly perfectionist. They walk a lot of the way alone, work more than the rest, and put the company first, which often takes a significant emotional and financial toll. That can mean being more vulnerable.
Through an investor’s business lens, prioritizing founders’ mental health as well as the health of their organizations could bring an up to 20% improvement in performance. And through an investor’s human lens, opening up about shared experiences, looking out for early warning signs, and providing founders with resources to improve mental wellness creates a much more humane and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem. (Which forms an important part of our investment philosophy at Masawa).
🌵Tired of meditation? Maybe Cactus can help
Meditation is an immensely popular approach to mental wellness and likely among the first recommendations you’ll get as a catch-all to deal with every mental health issue there is. Wherever you look in the psychological and physical wellness space, it seems that everyone is doing it and getting excellent results.
But what if you don’t like it? It’s easy to feel like the whole mental wellness thing isn’t for you. Don’t give up just yet!
It turns out you’re not alone — many Americans that tried meditation this year reported feeling less than excited about continuing the practice. Cactus has come to the rescue — they launched an app that is supposed to have similar benefits, but through offering genuine, research-backed prompts for self-reflection.
We at Masawa are fans of all mental wellness approaches, so we’ll be right back after making a run to our app stores!
🌈 The news is in: why we should cherish (ir)relevant experiences
“Tell us about your relevant experience, please”. That’s a standard job interview question all of us have heard before. But maybe it’s time for it to go?
It has been discovered that indirect skills are crucial in building successful companies in new markets. Diverse experiences allow you to be more open towards new ideas, adapt to rapidly changing situations, and prepare for an uncertain future.
Besides being valuable in the environment of change, having spent time working in different sectors helps spot different trends (particularly the less common ones in your industry that can lead to the most successful innovations).
Masawa takes diversity of experiences very seriously, as the team consists of people from 8 countries and vastly different backgrounds. So far it has been working out just fine! [Thanks, Niels!]
🎲 Capitalism: an accelerator for human progress?
We’d like to share an article created by Masawa’s own Niels Devisscher, the first in a series unpacking Masawa’s ethos.
The fact that capitalism is underlying numerous fundamental issues in our society is undeniable. Mindlessly viewing all processes through a myopic lens and worshipping financial gains has resulted in irreversible damage, causing society to suffer from extreme inequality and leaving biodiversity in ruins.
However, we owe a lot to this very system as simultaneously it has resulted in a chance to have a life of quality and prosperity that not so long ago hasn’t even been dreamed of as well as provided solutions to a myriad of problems.
Realistically, we aren’t going to shift away from capitalism anytime soon, but what can be done is moving towards a fairer, more sustainable version of it.
🌍 The world of investing is craving for change
We can never be done calling for more inclusion and diversity. Not before it’s achieved and normalized as a default setting.
The representation and equal opportunities for marginalized groups basedon race, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, religion, age, disability, and country of origin are sorely missing in the world of finance. While a handful of impact investors are starting to consider diversity in their decision making, it’s not enough and bare minimum shouldn’t be the goal.
To do that successfully, questions “Who is most vulnerable? Who is burdened? Who benefits?” have to be incorporated in every decision and treated as necessary due-diligence. Impact investors are working to direct the power of capital towards changing the world for the better. Why not make sure that it’s fair along the way?
✨ Masawa Update
Oh, hi, you’ve made it this far! Congrats; we realize that this newsletter is no longer a minute, sorry. 😊
Impact Fund Location
We’ve been sorting out where and how Masawa will be registered and domiciled as an impact fund. There are layers and layers and layers of legal, tax, jurisdictional, regulatory, reputational, bureaucratic, and pragmatic considerations to consider. And the fact that we’re an impact fund that is held accountable for — and in turn holds others accountable for both the financial and social impact of our investments makes everything a bit more tricky. There aren’t impact fund schemes mechanisms that apply to what we need to do.
After analyzing lots of matrices of variables and tradeoffs, we’ve decided to set the fund up in Guernsey. Don’t worry, contrary to misconceived notions, Guernsey is not a dodgy offshore enclave for dodging taxes, it actually has stronger regulations in place than The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Luxembourg, Ireland, and the United Kingdom (and probably Delaware!), per the Corporate Tax Haven Index.
By establishing the fund in Guernsey:
- More of our Friends & Family can own a part of Masawa as Limited Partners (LPs) due to lower investment thresholds. (Quick, there are only a few spots left!)
- We take advantage of an exciting innovative ecosystem replete with concentrated private equity experience to help us find the right investors and make the best of profitable endeavors + a deep commitment to mental health and using capital as a catalyst for societal change.
- We can work alongside the regulator to craft a robust and honest regulatory scheme for impact funds, akin to the Guernsey Green Fund, the first energy-focused impact fund scheme. This helps other impact funds have an easier time getting up and running.
- We can use both debt and equity instruments in response to what is best for investees and their long term ability to maximize impact.
- Our direct non-financial assistance and ecosystem development services we undertake to nurture capital and help investees maximize profitability, impact, and organizational health can be kept in the Masawa family, alongside the sourcing and investing activities.
💭 In Closing
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Gabija works as a Marketing & Communications Coordinator at Masawa. She lets her vision of a more just, sustainable, equitable world guide Masawa’s story and inform the work towards transforming global mental wellness to make it accessible and accepted.