22 Oct Up Close and Personal: Social Impact Investing in Real Life
This month, we have been talking all about social impact investing because “making a difference” is a large part of our mission.
I haven’t gotten to share in a very close-up way what I spend a lot of time working on throughout the year. But many of you know that I am constantly traveling to and from various countries in Africa. Over the past year, I’ve been truly blessed to get to know and invest in the vision of Pastor Herberts. Together, my non-profit Tricord Global and his church-started bank, Glory Bank, are working to transform the nation of Uganda through social impact investing.
The following is a transcription of the interview. One of the things that really sticks out to me here is how different the economic climate of Uganda is compared to the U.S. Here, it’s way too easy to get loans and drown in debt. Over there, it’s actually incredibly difficult to get loans—even though the difficulty means the attitudes are willing to pay back those loans.
The reality is that the church needs to go a step beyond donating to causes. We need to invest in causes! Instead of sending a dollar over there that will disappear, let’s put a dollar in the hands of someone who can reinvest that dollar over and over again. Let’s be sustainable in our social impact.
Paster Herberts on Social Impact Investing
Pastor Herberts: The Christian churches are trying to empower their own people but they can’t do it because they don’t have resources available in large amounts. And yet they can get that money in a period of time, paying it back little by little.
Billy: So they can afford to borrow it and then pay it back.
Pastor Herberts: Paying back is not a problem. Getting a lump sum of money is a problem. And the moment you don’t have that lump sum of money, you can do nothing. Someone else will come in and take it away. The Muslims know that very well and that is why we wanted to come up with Glory Bank (for the Christians). And we thank Tricord coming in partnership with GloTrans to help us.
Billy: I know people in America don’t sometimes understand the challenges as clearly as they should. Sometimes we’re so accustomed to giving money and donating money—which is very important!—but we don’t sometimes understand the need of actually using our dollars to invest and be able to help churches. And you’re saying right now that being able to borrow the money is one of the key tools.
Pastor Herberts: This is what we’ve been talking about with some investors. Donations are good. And the missionary way of running church with the old mentality is great. But I don’t think it is at this moment able to meet the needs of the church. So a donation is great. But you can’t really plant on a donation. Because you never know when you need a lump sum money. Because you depend on the donation, and someone may say “I will give you this, and maybe I will give you this in October or September.” So you have no actual money with you and yet you may need to do something there and then. And you may need to get money right away
Billy: Yeah, you need it now.
Pastor Herberts: They need it now. Also, I think, to help the church in Africa, Billy, this is my mindset. The time has come that the church in Africa can feel that they have done some things by their own hand. It’s time to feel that they have done something on their own.
Billy: So they have ownership.
Pastor Herberts: They have ownership. You don’t need to come from the U.S. all the time and say “I’m going to build you this, I’m going to build that.” I mean that’s great! I will love it. But if you can put something that can be substantial [and sustainable] that I know you’ve put a lump sum money there so I can always go and use it and bring it back, use it and pay it back. In the end, it’s a win-win. You have helped me do what I’m supposed to do. At the same time, I feel that I have worked also myself and I will praise God.
Billy: Praise God. Well, this has been good.
I hope this has helped you understand the power of social impact investing. To see the full video, click here.