Superpowers for Good
Superpowers for Good: Leadership Lessons From—And For—the World's Great Changemakers
Australians Build Global Impact Crowdlending Portal - s11 ep41
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Australians Build Global Impact Crowdlending Portal - s11 ep41

LendForGood’s Cameron Neil Explains the Power of All-of-Us Being the Largest Untapped Impact Investment Fund on Earth
Transcript

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I’m not a financial advisor; nothing I write in Superpowers for Good should be considered investment advice. You should seek appropriate counsel before making investment decisions.

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Devin: What do you see as your superpower?

Cameron: The resonance through my story is that I build things that matter.


“Our perspective at LendForGood is that all-of-us is the largest untapped impact investment fund in the world,” says Co-Founder and Director Cameron Neil.

LendForGood is a global crowdlending platform based in Australia. Cameron explains the relatively simple model:

What we're using here are pretty simple standard agreements where, as a borrower and impact enterprise founder, you kind of know what your cash flows, repayments and timelines look like at the outset. 

And as a lender, you know that as well. There's some certainty and some clarity coming into it that says, “I'm going to back you, and in return for me backing you, you're going to repay me on these terms at these times.”

By using straightforward debt agreements, the deal structures are relatively simple, making it easier for ordinary folks to understand as investors.

Simple debt models are also open to a host of entities, including nonprofits and cooperatives that may issue debt but can’t sell equity. 

“We think it's a hopeful and courageous act to, as individuals, invest in the future, invest in a better world in a very tangible way by backing these enterprises,” Cameron says.

Throughout his career, Cameron has been honing an ability that has become a superpower: building things that matter.


AI Episode Summary

1. Cameron Neil is the CEO and founder of LendForGood, an Australian crowdfunding portal that specializes in debt deals for mission-driven companies.

2. LendForGood is designed to democratize impact investment, making it accessible to ordinary people, not just high-net-worth individuals or sophisticated investors.

3. The platform provides a way for individuals and organizations to collaborate and support impact enterprise founders who are creating positive change in their communities but struggle to access capital from mainstream markets.

4. LendForGood utilizes debt as a simple and flexible financial tool, providing a more inclusive option for funding impact businesses, including those that may not be structured to offer equity.

5. Debt deals offer clarity and certainty with defined repayment terms, appealing to both borrowers and lenders and providing an alternative to equity investment.

6. Cameron highlights the importance of community involvement in crowdfunding and the potential to build local community wealth by allowing individuals to invest in local initiatives they care about.

7. Crowdfunding platforms like LendForGood enable people to make investment decisions based on personal values and connection to causes, considering the emotional and impact-oriented aspects of investing.

8. Cameron identifies his superpower as being a builder and creator, having a track record of constructing intangible organizations and systems that mobilize people toward social change.

9. He recounts his work in building the Fair Trade movement in Australia and New Zealand and how it shifted mindsets about what business can achieve, influencing consumer expectations, business practices, and even legislation.

10. To those looking to initiate change or build something new, Cameron advises building a support network of individuals with diverse skill sets and adopting a lean startup methodology—starting small, learning quickly, and gaining momentum.

To learn more about LendForGood or connect with Cameron, individuals can visit LendForGood.com, which accepts global participants or connect with Cameron on LinkedIn.

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How to Develop Building Things That Matter As a Superpower

Cameron describes how he builds things that matter:

I've got this ability to see or understand things that need to be. And then can do the nitty gritty, dirty, getting your hands dirty stuff of actually making that work, and all those things are required with that in terms of collaboration and partnerships and relationship building and articulating a vision and strategy and all those kinds of things that go with building. 

That's how I think about myself, and how I think about my superpower is I've got this ability to build with others in collaboration, in partnership and to drive getting something from 0 to 1.

He shared the story of his success in building the Fair Trade Association of Australia/New Zealand. As the first employee–starting at half-time–he built an organization with over ten employees and a $1 million annual budget. More importantly, he helped build a movement that has global impact on both people and the planet. 

Today, consumers expect manufacturers to bake fair trade into the goods they purchase. Legislation around the world prohibits child labor and modern slavery.

Collaboration was critical to his success, working with diverse individuals and communities to build a movement and change mindsets.

Similarly, he offers some tips for building things that matter. 

  • The first is to build a team that includes people with different skills than you have. 

  • Second, you’ve got to test your hypotheses quickly to see what works and what doesn’t.

By following Cameron’s example and advice, you can improve your ability to build things that matter. With practice, you can make this skill a superpower that enables you to do more good in the world.

Remember, however, that research into success suggests that building on your own superpowers is more important than creating new ones or overcoming weaknesses. You do you!


Guest Profile

Cameron Neil  (he/him):

Co-founder and director, LendForGood 

About LendForGood: LendForGood is democratizing impact investment through its decentralized crowd lending platform.  We are connecting courageous impact enterprise borrowers, impact intermediaries, and a global movement of individuals and organizations who lend their capital to unlock impact potential and growth to create a world we all want to be part of. 

Linkedin: linkedin.com/company/lendforgood/ 

Website: www.lendforgood.com.au

Biographical Information: Working at the intersection of finance, business, technology, and startups, I'm passionate about transformation and evolution of human systems beyond our failed (and failing) 20th-century models. 

My interests currently lie in fuelling the growth of the impact economy in Australia, the Asia-Pacific, and around the world.

Catalytic capital, frontier finance, collaboration and cooperation, Zebras. A better way is possible and necessary.

Living and working in Naarm, the unceded land of the Wurundjeri peoples of the Kulin nation. 

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/cameronneil

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