Green Chi Group started out with a simple goal: to insist upon transparency and fairness in investing. The company evolved into an education platform, business accelerator, and non-governmental foundation in the short span of ten months. Green Chi’s tagline, “ecosystemic investing, education & media” is based on the principals of literacy, transparency, and fairness and is fully embraced by its founders and advisory board as a way to share their investment knowledge and to spread innovation, sustainability, circularity, and inclusion.
Loyola University Chicago
Green Chi Group is comprised of two separate organizations that focus on individual parts of the overall mission. The first is Green Chi Academy, an online education platform aimed at teaching the circular flow of money through impact and activist investing. Green Chi Academy has developed an investment app, tools, and content to help individuals understand financial interactions in their personal lives, their communities, and in society as a whole. The second is Green Chi Accelerator, aimed at developing and scaling sustainable and circular companies within their portfolio, helping to unlock a $4.5 trillion market over the next ten years. The Accelerator is also helping companies transition from the linear extraction model to a circular model of business. The portfolio spans numerous sectors such as biotech, education, healthcare, tourism, and food; basing the circular models on the unique demands of each sector and company.
The inspiration behind Green Chi is hidden within its name. While it originally started out with an idea to educate people about investing and the markets, as the company grew, so did the inspiration behind it. During an interview with the CEO and President of Green Chi, Henk Abbink, the meaning behind the name Green Chi was explained and the inspiration was revealed. Chi is the life force energy known as the joy of being alive or the breath of life. Within the context of the company, Green Chi is money as a physical manifestation of the universal life force, or chi. In simpler words, “Green Chi stands for money as a force of energy for doing good in the world and doing good is good for business.” Henk Abbink and the co-founders of Green Chi, following the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, are striving to create an investment, education, and media platform that improves quality of life by fostering sustainable, inclusive, circular, and cradle2cradle thinking in products, solutions, and services.
While Green Chi is still within the startup stages, it has been able to partner with a number of strong companies and individuals to begin forming a stable foundation. Green Chi has already gained traction with Green Chi Academy in educating students and individuals on basic investment principles, as well as impact and activist investing, during alpha testing. Green Chi Accelerator has also shown promise as companies continue to join the portfolio and transition towards circular business models while simultaneously growing. Additionally, Green Chi Group is bringing together students, investors, corporations, and governments to help build connections and unite individual communities into a singular, worldwide community that supports innovation, sustainable development, and the circular economy. An important initiative in this context is Green Chi’s development of an inclusion and access platform that caters to the needs of the global disability community. The finished platform will be based on the abilities of this community and the expected launch will be in 2021.
Currently, less than 9% of the world’s economy is circular. However, upcoming generations have started creating unique consumption trends that support creating sustainability and equality for all, including business practices. The Sustainable Development Goals have become part of consumption trends for recent generations as a growing social consciousness and global awareness influences purchasing patterns. The circular economy focuses on society-wide benefits by redefining growth from one that is based in the linear economy approach to one that is instead based on decoupling economic activity from the extraction and consumption of finite sources, thus avoiding waste. There has been massive growth in the circular economy in recent years around the globe, from governments setting aside money and grants to foster sustainable development, to organizations such as Circle Economy, the Circular Club, and Circular Hotspots and foundations, such as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, that contribute to growing and educating everyone on the benefits of the circular economy. Green Chi is able to capitalize on this economic movement through the Academy’s educational approach and the Accelerator, in helping to transition and grow companies within a circular economic model. Green Chi considers financial literacy a core life skill in the modern global economy and is going a step further in developing proprietary tools and an app with a gamified approach that will appeal to and educate members on personal finance. This program will be offered to schools and individuals beginning in fifth grade as the company aims to create future generations with a strong knowledge of finance, the circular economy, and sustainable development.
The benefits of sustainable development and the circular economy are varied depending on the sector of business to which it is applied. As Green Chi interacts with a number of different business sectors, the social and environmental benefits are equally vast. The most prominent social benefit is increased access to educational tools. Financial investments can be complex and difficult to learn about, but Green Chi is simplifying the market tools and creating an accessible app that will provide equal access to finance education for thousands of people. In terms of environmental impact, educating and transitioning companies to a circular economic model reduces the linear extract and throw away economy model that is widely prevalent today. The circular economic model focuses on improving the overall wellbeing of all the individuals impacted within the lifecycle of a product, including designing products that last longer and utilizing renewable and accessible resources. The “circular economy is a sustainable economy model” because it allows business and society to focus on human, social, economic, and environmental areas of sustainability all within the same model.
Henk Abbink, CEO & Founder
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Business Website: https://greenchigroup.com
Year Founded: 2020
Number of Employees: 2 to 10
Green Chi is an ecosystemic investment, education and media platform inspired by the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.