Our first mixed motive investment

In the autumn of 2021, we were excited to finally launch our Impact Investment Policy and in spring 2022 we made our first social investment in the Zinc 2 fund…

The Zinc 2 Fund is an early-stage venture capital fund that backs mission-driven talent to build brand new commercial and global businesses that address our greatest societal problems – and one of those programmes is about improving the quality of later life. The others also support wider well-being issues: improving mental health, protecting our natural environment and helping people impacted by automation and globalisation. The new fund backs 500 diverse entrepreneurs to create brand-new ventures from scratch and invest in 100 of the ventures they create. The founders Zinc backed in its most recent venture builder programme are > 50% women, 15% black, with an average age of 38.

The fund has been cornerstoned by the British Business Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds programme, which supports new and emerging VC fund managers who target the early-stage equity gap.

Our missions are a call to arms: ‘Who wants to quit their jobs and spend the next decade or more solving this problem?’ Each mission unites people who care deeply about the same unsolved problem, cutting
across the traditional silos (by industry, profession and private/public/charity) which get in the way of innovation. The mission-led approach has not only attracted brilliant entrepreneurs, with thousands of people willing to quit their job and join the Zinc programme. It also attracts fantastic experts and partner organisations who are equally passionate about the mission and want to help the entrepreneurs succeed. Each of our programmes has 100 Visiting Fellows and an extensive network of partners.

Paul Kirby, co-founder of Zinc

One of Zinc’s key missions is about improving the quality of later life and we’ve been impressed by the approach they’re taking to supporting their founders in taking alternative career paths. We share a vision around catalysing the radical social change to address some difficult problems and creating real impact.

Susan Kay, CEO Dunhill Medical Trust