I have spent almost a quarter of a century working in the very profit motivated world of finance, in one guise or another. During this time, I have met a number of individuals who would easily fit the caricature of greedy banker, corrupt business leader or short sighted politician.
In 25 years, however, I have also met many more individuals who have gone out of their way to use their personal wealth and professional skills to support local communities, social innovation and economic development.
As Andrew Carnegie told the world in the 19th century, surplus wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to administer in his lifetime for the good of the community.
There has never been as much need as now for new approaches to meeting social needs. In our post crisis world, we cannot argue with the fiscal restraint that governments around the world are having to implement. This is why I have chosen to focus on promoting social enterprise, to helping organisations that address social issues in innovative, impactful and sustainable ways.
I believe private finance providers are seeing the tremendous potential of social investment and want to meet the public demand for money to "do good". In this spirit, I personally give money, advice and time to support such organisations as well as encouraging my personal and professional circle to do the same.
What has impressed me most, however, tis he courage, vision and tenacity of the many social entrepreneurs I have had the privilege to know. This is an incredibly diverse ecosystem, covering public and private sectors, local and international, people and planet, social and financial.
Perhaps my perspective is clouded as a mother of teenage twins who view the world with a great more cynicism than I ever did. And, as a ethnic minority woman myself, I know how hard it is to get that first step on the ladder of opportunity, much less find a big enough platform for others to have their chance.
I can be grateful for the opportunity to travel the world, for the chance of an Ivy League education, for work mentors who guided me and for a personal resilience that has allowed me not only a second and third act in my professional life, but now with Integriti Capital, even a fourth.
What I can do with these gifts is pass it on.