The Editors’ Post: Suzanne Biegel – the impact investor whose legacy ‘would require many lifetimes to honour'
Sad news this week for the impact investing world, plus a Big Issue Invest launch and new data about Canadian social enterprises.
At Pioneers Post we were sad this week to learn that Suzanne Biegel has died. We have reported on her work as a champion of gender-lens investing, and more recently climate-focused investing, for many years.
In 2013, in Pioneers Post, Suzanne set out the challenges facing women in social finance: “There are too many all-male or mostly-male panels of speakers at our conferences, a disproportionate number of male voices in even the social finance and social entrepreneurship media, and a disproportionate number of men on the investment committees and management teams of the impact investment funds, incubators, and most angel groups in our space.”
She added: “I’m out to change that.”
And change it she did, as a co-founder of multiple initiatives and as a tireless advocate of women in finance.
There is a disproportionate number of men on the investment committees and management teams of the impact investment funds, incubators, and most angel groups in our space
Ten years after that Pioneers Post article, earlier this year, Suzanne announced that she had terminal lung cancer, simultaneously launching her “legacy project”, a US$1m investment to kick-start a new endowment, Heading for Change, tackling climate change and gender inequality.
Our managing editor, Anna Patton, was keen to find out more, and Suzanne extended a warm invitation to her home in London where Anna joined Suzanne, her husband Daniel Maskit and Luna the kitten to discuss Suzanne’s life’s work.
Anna concluded that Suzanne was “a people person through and through”, with an enormous enthusiasm for making collaborations happen, co-investing rather than working solo, and throwing parties. While there may have been fewer big parties during her last months, the urge to bring people together persisted, and she was more impatient than ever to make a difference. You can read all about Suzanne’s many projects and ambitions in Anna’s beautiful profile article, Suzanne Biegel: ‘It took me having a fatal illness to come back to my original self’, which we have lifted the paywall on for now.
While the impact community, Suzanne’s family and many friends mourn her loss, it’s clear that her legacy will live on.
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