30 Jul Impact Investing: The Way Forward for REBUILD globally
written by REBUILD globally Founder, Julie Colombino
In my life, I have been given a chance to travel the world conducting business and sharing my ideas on fighting poverty. I know this opportunity is a gift, one that I do not take lightly. Through my incredible experiences I have learned so much about the kind of woman I want to be, and how I want to invest my time and money. Social entrepreneurship and ethical fashion have been how I choose to advocate for change, and where I have channeled my passion and power. I believe at the core of my being, that our individual purchasing power is one of the greatest weapons that each of us possess in the battle against extreme poverty. Over the years, it didn’t matter where in the world I lived, or which currency I was using.
The common denominator I have witnessed has always revolved around the ability to earn, spend, save and most importantly INVEST money.
This story begins, as most things in my life, with sandals. Nearly 9 years ago while I was living in Haiti, I knew we would need to export our handmade footwear into the US market. A decade-long friendship with Carrie Musalimadugu allowed me that chance when she transformed her garage as our first ever deux mains “warehouse”. A few years later, her sister, Sarah Grafton, of Grafton Wealth Management Firm in Winter Park, Florida, became one of our most famous runway models at our annual charity fundraiser, Runway to Haiti. My relationship with this incredible family only deepened over the years, as they continually committed to investing in a local social business with a global reach. I will never forget the day Sarah called me to offer my team (of mostly young women) the chance to take control of our own financial security, in a way that resonated with the core of our beliefs. She offered me a partnership with their family firm so that we may start strategically investing our retirement dollars with purpose.
Now, I have the ability to not just talk about impact investing, but to participate in it.
Grafton Wealth Management Group, has empowered me and my team to invest our money in ventures that don’t hurt the people or the planet; rather to invest in the long-term ability to naturally provide food, air, water and sanctuary for people of the world.
I am overwhelmed with pride when I think about our partnership because I believe we are responsible for our future. At the end of the day, money is power… we all know that. I now have an investment portfolio that reflects my values and beliefs. My dollars are generating positive social and environmental impact, along with a financial return for my future. The data proves you actually can have it all, if you choose to invest differently. We need more firms and more individuals divesting in harmful practices that our planet can simply not sustain. Shouldn’t we all feel just a little responsibility for the planet and the greater good? I am so grateful to be continually connected to those who are willing to look at innovative ways to protect our future.