Last week, Pymwymic received an official confirmation that we now hold an EuSEF passport. This makes us the 1st fund in the Netherlands to obtain one, and the 6th in Europe. What does this entail and why is this such a major milestone for Pymwymic? Our Managing Director, Rogier Pieterse tells us a bit more about this achievement.
Rogier, congratulations as this is quite a milestone for any social impact fund! Can you tell us why this is such a milestone for Pymwymic?
Rogier: Thank you! First of all, you can only qualify for this passport if you are truly, genuinely, impact focused and this is a big thing regulatory wise because we are the 1st EuSEF holder in the Netherlands and the 6th in Europe! In addition, we are now able to openly market our Cooperative in Europe so for us that is a huge milestone. Furthermore, it fits perfectly with Pymwymic, being a frontrunner for years, being the first B-corp in the Netherlands and the first formal European venture fund focusing on the three P’s – people, planet, profit.
What is the EuSEF passport and why did Pymwymic apply for it to begin with?
Rogier: EuSEF stands for the European social entrepreneurship funds regulation which covers alternative investment schemes that focus on social enterprises. What this essentially means is that Pymwymic can formally, and proactively, market itself as an investment fund to investors across Europe and we are not limited to just the Netherlands as we were before. This is especially interesting for us as we aim to eventually market the Pymwymic cooperative in Germany, France, Italy, UK and so forth. Therefore, it’s extremely important to us to have the official regulations to be able to do this freely within Europe.
How does the EuSEF passport work in practice?
Rogier: Through the EuSEF passport, our regulatory body the AFM, is essentially guaranteeing to other European countries that we have met the relevant criteria to act as a responsible fund within Europe worth investing in, without us having to go through local regulations.
This process took quite a long time! What did we have to prove in order to receive the EuSEF passport?
Rogier: Everybody was talking about the EuSEF passport, however nobody knew exactly how it worked in practice. We started in June 2018 and first and foremost, we had to prove that our explicit aim is to have a positive social impact and address social objectives, rather than only maximising profit. We had to prove this by showing that we had a minimum of 70% of our business activities be with a social purpose (in Pymwymic’s case its 100%). We had to demonstrate this through our proper governance structures, conflict of interest procedures, capital statements, articles of association and show that we had proper impact methodologies in place for impact measurement.
Thank you Rogier for your time in sharing this with us. Congratulations, good luck, and hope to see you soon throughout Europe!