The TELUS $100M Pollinator Fund for Good
The Telus $100M Pollinator Fund for Good shows growth of the best kind
Inspired by Telus’ steadfast belief that good business and doing good go hand in hand, the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good was launched to cultivate for-profit enterprises that use their core business to address some of the world’s most pressing environmental and social issues.
The fund aims to drive social innovation in Canada by backing companies that care for our planet, supporting responsible agriculture, transforming healthcare, and enabling inclusive communities. Telus recognizes that investments in climate solutions and clean technology are inextricably linked to building and maintaining sustainable agriculture and healthy, sustainable communities and being part of those solutions has been a priority for the company for some time.
TELUS has been testing the strategy of social capitalism for twenty years, maximizing returns for shareholders and doing good for the planet and in local communities. Social capitalism drives all areas of TELUS’ business, from where they’re going to invest their capital, to where they focus their research and development. This strategy led to the diversification from their roots as a traditional telecommunications company to the investment of more than four billion dollars into TELUS Health, helping transform and provide easier access to our health care system.
In 2020, a desire to improve the global food system and environmental footprint led the company to launch TELUS Agriculture, a new business dedicated to leveraging TELUS’ world-leading technology to provide innovative solutions to support and digitize the agriculture industry.
Now, through the eight-month-old Pollinator Fund, Telus aims to power the biggest, boldest, bravest ideas and the next generation of startups building tech for good by investing a hundred million dollars across thirty to fifty organizations in the next ten years. The project’s primary focus will be on Seed and Series A financing, based on the company’s needs for growth and ability to scale. All investments will drive positive financial and environmental or social returns based on UN SDG alignment with a focus on specific sub-indicators, and by working with investees to identify how their solutions will contribute to the areas of impact the fund is focused on addressing.
Already the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good has invested in seven innovative organizations, each tackling the environmental, social, economic, and healthcare challenges facing our communities in unique and innovative ways.
Among them are Raven Indigenous Capital Partners, an Indigenous-led and owned social finance intermediary. Raven’s inaugural twenty-five-million-dollar fund invests in innovative, scalable, and purpose-driven Indigenous enterprises across Canada and the United States. Raven is committed to building a vibrant reconciliation economy and has invested in seven companies to date.
Tidal Vision, a manufacturer of chitosan working to make chitosan lower cost, easier to use, and better performing than synthetic chemicals has also received investment from the Pollinator Fund for Good. Already, the organization reduces the waste of four hundred thousand pounds of crab shells from sustainable fisheries and its produced chitosan solutions are used to remove contaminants and toxins from two billion liters of water per month.
Over the next ten years, the Pollinator Fund will invest in thirty to fifty companies. To date more than four hundred companies have reached out to apply or receive more information on applying for funding.
They are busy bees over at the Telus Pollinator Fund for Good, delivering positive social impacts and shareholder value and that’s not only sweet, it’s savvy.