Behind Knowledge for Good: Kimberly Eynon
Everyone at AlphaSights has the opportunity to volunteer for Knowledge for Good (KFG), our social impact business unit. We partner directly with impact investors, social entrepreneurs, or nonprofit consultants, providing our knowledge-search services at the same quality and efficiency that we offer to all our clients, but at no or low cost. With this new series, we hope to share stories and shed light on the talented people behind KFG.
Read on to hear from Kimberly Eynon, an associate on our London private equity team who also manages one of our KFG partnerships, to learn more about her experiences and about the future of KFG.
How did you get involved in Knowledge for Good?
I took on my first KFG project at the earliest opportunity possible, which was about three months after I joined AlphaSights. I wanted to get a good understanding of my core role on our private equity team first. I came to AlphaSights from the social enterprise industry, so it was a great way to bridge my background with my new responsibilities. My first volunteer project was for an Ashoka fellow in Colombia, whose organization works to engage young adults in local politics. Surprisingly, it was very challenging! But I got to play a large role in educating the client about AlphaSights and recommending experts, so it turned out to be an interactive and rewarding experience.
This past winter, I took on the role of leading the Ashoka account. Ashoka is a fellowship program for social entrepreneurs with 3,500 active participants worldwide. Because Ashoka is so large and AlphaSights has employees in nine different offices, there’s exciting potential to expand our client base in every region!
How do you feel AlphaSights helps the social impact sector?
Our knowledge-search services give our consulting, private equity, capital markets, and corporate clients a competitive edge; KFG’s no different! GIIN’s 2017 Annual Impact Investor Survey says that 70% of impact investors face some or a lot of competition for impact investments. We’ve seen the need for our services grow alongside the demand for social impact investing. And we’ve responded by taking on more and more impact investing and social enterprise clients who are making the critical decisions that drive growth in this space.
What has been your favorite project thus far with KFG?
My favorite projects are ones I feel a personal connection to. Right now we’re serving an Ashoka fellow whose organization educates young boys in India about gender inequality and teaches them to combat violence against women. This project resonates deeply with me because my father lives in India and I spent a lot of time there growing up. Many of my girlfriends who live in India experienced violence in some form. Our client had never heard of AlphaSights before we started working with him, and it was amazing to learn how grateful he was for our help, and that our services are already making an impact.
What do you feel KFG brings to your life at AlphaSights?
In April, I had the opportunity to represent AlphaSights at the Skoll World Forum for Social Entrepreneurship in Oxford with our Social Impact Manager Natanya Meyer. I met some of my clients in person for the first time and spoke with many prospective clients. There, I began to fully understand and appreciate our impact as a segment and the opportunity AlphaSights allows for associates to get involved in groundbreaking projects.
How do you feel KFG has impacted your professional development?
Each KFG project encourages me to learn and develop in a different way. Running my own account gives me more responsibility earlier on in my career, and I have to put more work into networking and following up with clients on a regular basis. From a business development perspective, I am constantly searching and engaging more Ashoka fellows that could benefit from our services. If projects have a longer timeline, I get to dig deeper into the subject and find advisors by reading articles and contacting experts in the social impact space. This allows me to fully engage with the challenges of the social issue our client is tackling and work more closely with the client.
How do you see KFG growing over the next few years?
We’ve seen a rise in global demand for our knowledge-search services across all of our business units. With the impact investing boom, I believe we’re gearing up for years of high-growth here! Although this is challenging, it also means we can be creative in how we deliver our services. Luckily our senior leadership supports us with the resources we need to work with as many influential partners as we can. KFG has also started integrating with our other segments like private equity and consulting. I think this movement will continue as we’ve seen more impact investing initiatives growing out of established funds.
Visit https://www.alphasights.com/kfg to learn more.