Cyril Gouiffes is an investment manager within the venture capital team of the European Investment Fund. His entire career within EIF has been dedicated to impact related activities, starting with microfinance in 2008, which led him to become the head of the social impact team, where he is in charge of structuring, closing and monitoring investments in Social impact funds, Social outcome contracts and Investments in impact incubators and accelerators.
Prior to joining EIF, Cyril gained unique field experience working with microfinance institutions in the Middle East. During his studies, he focused on poverty alleviation and local development at the Toulouse Institut d’Études Politiques. He strongly believes that it is a privilege to have the chance to study, and therefore his mission is to give back in some ways for this opportunity. Get to know Cyril Gouiffes who is the moderator of the panel discussion Impact investing in CEE, taking stock in the course of an initiatory journey at the CEE4Impac Day!
What motivated you to become part of the impact ecosystem? How did you start this journey?
My professional life has been dedicated to impact activities. I have always been aware that it was a privilege to have the opportunity to study and go to university, and
“while studying I always figured I wanted to give back in some ways. It led me to a wide variety of professional (and life) experience – one does not make the same choice at 20 and 40 years old!”
I have worked in NGOs, in developing markets, in public institutions and I continue to be driven by socially value adding projects. Being curious, I also reckon there are many different ways to positively contribute to society, impact investing is one in many others.
Working for the EIF as head of the social impact team, you have a thorough understanding of the European impact ecosystem. What strengths and weaknesses do you think the CEE region has compared to other parts of the world in this ecosystem?
CEE is a highly strategic region of the European Union, positioned at the forefront of the democratic aspiration of European society. It generates an auspicious vibe to foster positive social changes and upholding of core European values. The CEE region is characterized by pioneers pushing the impact agenda and contributing to a widespread evolution of mentalities. From an ecosystem point of view, the CEE region would benefit from seeing more actors, players and public support to foster the emergence of CEE impact champions. It is only a matter of time!
As the economic and geopolitical landscape changes faster than ever, what do you see as the biggest challenges and opportunities of the impact ecosystem in the next 12 months?
In order to nurture the intrinsic powerful dynamics of the impact investing market, what will be much needed in the next 12 months is stability. The current economic and geopolitical context features a lot of instability factors; impact investing and the society as a whole can only wish for an improvement of the geopolitical and macroeconomic fundamentals.
Looking further, where do you think the impact ecosystem will evolve in the next 5-10 years?
„Being optimistic, I can anticipate that in 5 to 10 years’ time, impact investing will no longer need the adjective ‘impact’ since investing will mean financially supporting businesses and projects that actively build solutions to social and environmental issues our world is faced with!”
Cyril Gouiffes is leading a panel discussion between impact investors of the CEE region at the CEE4Impac Day. As he told us, he is excited to hear about the development of impact investing in the CEE region.
“As we see from our fund-of-funds perspective the region is growing, both from an awareness and a deal flow point of view. Beyond topics to discuss I am also very much looking forward to meeting (again) with ecosystem stakeholders and getting to know exciting projects.”
Join us on the 14th October 2022, at the Budapest Music Center, and meet Cyril Gouiffes in person, too!
At the CEE4Impact Day we will explore the power of impact investing in an international environment, with international speakers and presenters coming from the CEE/V4 region, seeing what the trends are, where the gaps need to be filled and in what manner.
Agenda and tickets: www.thbe.hu/konferencia