Covestment in Good Business - Generous Minds

Generous Minds

8. Decent Work and Economic Growth 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 17. Partnerships for the Goals

Overview

Generous Minds is an established cooperative with a shareholder point system, which bases ownership on invested hours of work. The percentage ownership of Generous Minds is constantly changing based upon the total contributed hours of each co-owner. Co-owners are rigorously vetted before joining and are required to invest with a recurring entrance fee to become and stay a co-owner of the Generous Minds cooperative.

Authors

Sylvester Piu

Sylvester Piu

Fang Wan

Fang Wan

School

TIAS School for Business and Society

TIAS School for Business and Society

Professor

Mirjam Minderman

Mirjam Minderman

Innovation

The creation of a “Covestor” platform through a cooperative matrix structure has allowed Generous Minds to stay ahead of the game. Generous Minds is a co-owner only cooperative with no employees on the payroll. This provides for a significant advantage through lowering the overhead costs of the business and creating a large group of aligned experts.

Through Covestment, Generous Minds enables good companies to become great. Co-owners are highly motivated to perform, as their stake within the business is on the line. In addition to this, projects and internal decisions are vetted and voted on by the co-owners, requiring a majority vote to be accepted. Co-owners hold each other accountable in performance while also being constantly challenged through ensuring the selected projects will benefit society.

Fair-Prizing – While Covestors bring their expertise to the table, clients are also incentivized through a fair pricing model that offers lower than industry standard prices for consultations. A prospective social enterprise can utilize Generous Minds resources through a variety of entrepreneurial pricing options. The Covestors work under no-value-no-pay principles and are rated by customers at the end of each project so that the quality of the work is ensured, as well as the formation of mutual trust. The fair pricing system was enabled through the low overhead costs of a self-regulating organization structure and no permanent expenses related to the hiring of employees.

Covestment in Good Business - Generous Minds

Inspiration

After a steep rise within the advertising world heading toward a CEO position in 1999, followed by a full-time consultancy period until 2011, Ronald Beuk stepped back and decided it was time for a change. Believing in creating “real positives for the future,” Ronald initiated the Generous Minds cooperative. He had the idea of creating a company, developed as a world-wide-movement, that makes changes in both the consulting and investing systems to make the world a better place.

He did not want to simply become a boss in the advertising industry or make money as a one-person company working for his mortgage. His desire was to create a positive impact on the world. In his words, “My impact is more than my bank account.” It took two years to develop Generous Minds from an idea to a full Co-operative.

Overall impact

Covestment is core to the Generous Minds business, enabling the company to create exponential value creation throughout society. By offering fair-pricing and providing access to an expansive network of Minds and Money, social enterprises now have an opportunity to approach a one-stop-shop for all their business needs.

- Generous Minds has talked with over 800 enterprises of which over 200 fell into the Good business category

- Generous Minds has committed to more than 50 long-term partnerships

- Generous Minds has invested approximately €400k into social enterprises

- External Financiers have invested more than €10 million from external financiers


Business benefit

The introduction of Covestment brings a unique element of risk to the Covestors of Generous Minds. By having “skin in the game” through ensuring fair pricing and investing with prospective clients, members of Generous Minds are intrinsically motivated in the long-term to ensure success with their partners.

The use of a Co-operative legal entity with a Sharepoint system also ensures members are engaged and keep up-to-date with business ventures, ensuring the sustainability of the firm. Generous Minds has built extensive capability around the expertise of its network and covestors.

Social and environmental benefit

Consultancy has typically been viewed as an external resource used only in times of need. The Covestment model built by Generous Minds not only promotes business sustainability but exemplifies the need for a change in the business mindset. As the growth of venture capital and start-ups has been vast, there is a need for an example in the industry to invest not only for profits but to be the guardian of industry standards as a whole.

The influence and focus on social enterprises and the support structure provided by Generous Minds through knowledge, capital, and networks act as a pillar for best practices. The rigorous methodology created by Generous Minds not only ensures that projects are enabled, but selected projects have a true opportunity to make the world a better place.

In order to ensure the selected companies match the societal and environmental goals of Generous Minds, a hearing board selection mechanism is adopted. In this mechanism, Generous Minds completes the first-round selection from documented stories provided by the potential companies. Only those companies with clear and unique propositions, societal and environmental objectives and vision can move to the second round, where a minimal two-hour meeting is held to ensure alignment with the enterprise, before being introduced to the collective of 33 Covestors and the Generous Money network. The selection criteria of the meeting include the following: the approval of no less than 50% co-owners is required for a company to pass the second round and be admitted to the business scheme.

• The company is an impact-first enterprise

• The company is willing to work collectively with Generous Minds in appreciating advice and criticism from General Minds in the process

• The company is open to being introduced to the Generous Money network if an introduction would be relevant to boost the impact of the Good Business

• The company is able to generate stable revenue with the impact-first business model


Interview

Ronald Beuk, Initiator (Founder)

Photo of interviewee

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Generous Minds

Generous Minds

Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, NL

Business Website: http://www.generous-minds.com

Year Founded: 2013

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

Generous Minds is a unique business consultancy with a complete offering of services to grow a good business to a great one. Through a collective of like-minded impact-driven financiers, entrepreneurs, and consultants, Generous Minds joint ambition is:

To solve societal problems in an entrepreneurial way by accelerating and magnifying the success of Good Business.

With a focus on businesses that do good, whose products, services, and organizational structure directly contribute to a better world.

The Covestment offered by Generous Minds is a blend of consultancy with investment. Consultancy from Minds is provided by business experts in the co-operative and network, while investment is funded through Generous Money, a combination of impact-driven 3rd party financiers and the co-owner funds of Generous Minds. Through the personal investment of time and money, the Covestors of Generous Minds commit to ensuring the long-term success of good businesses they support.