An ESG Training for
Venture Capital Investors
‘Leading in ESG’ is a unique fit-for-purpose training developed by VentureESG with KfW Capital and the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt to enable venture capital investors to integrate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles across fund and investment processes.
Why ESG and why the training?
Why ESG matters for VCs?
ESG (environment, social, governance) principles and impact increasingly matter for VC investors: integrating considerations across the investment process (decision making and due diligence), internal fund management, and portfolio support (post-investment) has material consequences and has, until recently, been a gap in most VC funds’ practices.
While investing in ‘impactful’ businesses (environmental, social or otherwise) is also becoming increasingly common among VCs (and will hence form part of this training too), ESG is a full-body-workout for all VCs, regardless of their specific objective.
Why the ‘Leading in ESG’ training?
While the momentum among VCs around ESG is building, we at VentureESG want to support the ecosystem with fit-for-purpose training. Following an initial pilot in Q4 2022, co-developed with the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt and German state-LP KfW Capital, this training combines our unique industry insight with best practice examples, tools, and voices.
The training touches on all internal practices, routines, and processes and cuts across a large variety of subject areas and functions such as investing, portfolio support and stakeholder management. Integrating ESG across the investor and startup value chain with a VC-specific approach (including frameworks, resources, and tools) will prove to be essential in growing the next generation of ‘good’ and responsible startups.
The goals of this training programme are simple: educate participating VCs on both the basics of ESG and help with its concrete implementation across fund processes. We can differentiate four concrete goals:
Establish a baseline understanding:
there is much confusion between ESG, impact, ethical and responsible investing, and many other concepts and practices. Defining and rationalising what ESG and impact stand for is a first step towards common practice and avoiding ESG-washing. We will provide evidence and examples for the ESG business case in VC.
Support the move to concrete action:
after establishing a common baseline, focusing on concrete action and implementation for VC investors and portfolio teams is the crucial step to enable change. As part of the training course, we will propose practical tools for VCs (e.g. our ESG framework and portfolio support tool) and show how they can be adopted by different people across VC functions.
Learning by doing:
each of the sessions will not only consist of an easy-to-understand explanation of key concepts and tools, but also of an interactive exercise, case study, or application. Split up into smaller breakout groups or in the full plenary, we will spend time thinking about how ESG and impact play a role in VCs’ practical day-to-day roles concretely.
Inspired by industry leaders:
during most sessions, we will draw in external speakers to share short, pointed, and specific examples of a learning or ESG/impact application from their own practice. Building on the network of ESG and impact leaders of VentureESG, BMW Foundation, and KfW Capital, this set of practitioners, investors, and LPs adds another layer of depth.
What to expect
Some key insights from our training sessions
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