Name: Cindy Chin
Twitter handle: @cindylchin, CLC Advisors, LLC
Country of Origin: United States
Organization Name: CLC Advisors, LLC
Organization Website: http://www.clcadvisors.com
About Organization: CLC Advisors, LLC is a firm of trusted advisors and management consultants focusing on development and execution strategies to build and incubate value-based business ventures and innovation. We work with global businesses, government institutions and organizations in both the private, public, and social sectors. Whether it is through thorough analysis, streamlining or restructuring for our clients’ needs, we are dedicated to finding solutions for business models to expand into the growing arenas of impact investing, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, and philanthropy venture capital.
With our network partners we connect our clients with investment funds, PE firms, hedge funds & venture capitalists who are looking for impact opportunities and alternative investments. Global leaders who have a deep understanding & compassion for social responsibility, business growth and the triple bottom line: social, environmental and economic returns for broader economic growth.
We provide advisory services in innovation, leadership and management expertise for private and public companies in addition to NGOs, think tanks and philanthropic institutions. We believe that leadership is crucial to the direction of companies and invest time in assisting with strengthening teams for strategic expansion as an incubator for growing companies, creative business sectors and new ideas or concepts. In the growing field of philanthropy venture capital, we step into new and unchartered territory by bridging the gap between the humanities and the finance world. Execution is key.
What inspired you to start this organization?
CLC Advisors, LLC was started based on the ideas of creating social impact during the downturn of philanthropy and capitalism over seven years ago during the midsts of the U.S. capital market crisis. I had a deep interest in what the future of jobs and sustainability efforts would look like. I realized that philanthropy was not enough in order to sustain non-profit institutions or social impact initiatives. A new asset class and industry was being born.
What is strategy? “In essence, choosing a unique and valuable position rooted in systems of activities that are more difficult to match in the economic basis of competitive advantage to the level of the specific activities a company performs.” Since that time, we have grown by focusing on strategic advisory and capital investment work to bring to fruition ideas, creating solutions and products by leveraging the alliance of people and talent in science, technology, the arts and public policy/political roles in both the for profit and non-profit worlds. We have a portfolio of projects across several social impact areas in private and public sector collaborations.
Goal. My goal is to help people mobilize and deploy private resources, including money, time, social capital and expertise, to improve the world in which we live. It is one of my personal measurements for success.
What is the next big step you hope to help your organization reach?
Large-scale advisory projects and initiatives. I prefer idea and conception strategies on how to grow companies or start them and then scale. The projects I’m passionate about focus on specific companies, partners, and startups that are in the aerospace, STEM, climate change, environment, energy, and sustainability areas, but we have also taken on projects in the arts, music or film. In the past seven years, our reach has crossed borders and oceans to Western Europe, Africa, MENA, East Asia and the Pacific, Southeast Asia, and South America. We are growing our portfolio and work in the Nordic countries, East Asia, Southeast Asia, South America, and Africa. I would love to do a project with NASA’s or CERN’s innovation hubs and leverage their research and development into a private sector business or company. Also, some thing in the area of healthcare and safety. It has been on my vision board for over five years now.
Women entrepreneurs. We also have a strong interest in investing and mentoring women entrepreneurs. Venture funds now look for women entrepreneurs and diversity. After McKinsey Global Institute study and IMF research reports showed that advancing gender equality, meaning the advancement of women, can increase the annual global GDP (growth domestic product) by $12 trillion, or 11%, by 2025. The public, private, and social sectors need to act to close the gender gaps. In a full potential scenario where women play an identical role in labor markets to that of men, as much as $28 trillion or 26 percent could be added to global annual GDP by 2025.
Mentorship. Mentorship is key to help young entrepreneurs grow their businesses. I would not be where I am today with the support of a wide network of people and their generosity and wisdom. Don’t only pay it forward, also pay it back.
What has been your biggest obstacle as an entrepreneur?
In the beginning, the biggest obstacle was convincing investment firms the vision, economical, and financial impact of social entrepreneurship and for-purpose companies. Most investors were only interested in alpha revenue business models and a singular bottom line, not a triple bottom line. With the expansion and growth of social entrepreneurship like Big Society Capital’s initial investment fund of £600 Million and Goldman Sachs’ social impact bond in the criminal justice system, investment firms and corporations have since realized the importance of social responsilibity in their growth and corporate strategies.
What advice would you give other emerging entrepreneurs?
I’ve learned many lessons, but the most important are patience, perseverance, and an absolute belief in your vision. Invest in yourself through knowledge acquisition, build your network by surrounding yourself with the best talented minds, and know that experience is often underrated so don’t always go for the quick return or solution. There is a quote from Mark Suster who said, “Lemons ripen early. Great companies take time.” I have more of a Warren Buffet approach to business than probably most investors. I like to build companies that will last more than 25 years that pay dividends.