We are delighted to see Hedda Pahlson-Moller, our European Client and Investor Relations correspondent, featured on the front page of the Luxemburger Wort, and a special mention of eRevalue as a way to help businesses manage ESG issues. Translated for our English readers pleasure, the article reads as follows:
Portrait of a Responsible Entrepreneur
Hedda, Business Angel
Article by Thierry Labro
Being 5 feet 9, with blonde hair falling on her shoulders and a discreet smile, Hedda Pahlson-Moller is one of a kind. Even if she wanted to, the Swede, born in Quebec in 1975, could not be like other women. She does not go unnoticed anywhere.
Her story begins at age two, in Connecticut, where her father, an engineer, develops his business in a hurricane of life, between his boats, his marina and his companies, and a committed and applied social worker mother. The grasshopper and the ant are soon separated. The young woman is ten years old. “My father gave me the basics or pragmatism… and my mother the obligation to give back to society what society gave us.”
A War Hero Ancestor and a Countess For a Grandmother
Born a free spirit, the Rhode Island Basketball player embarks into international relations. She discovers at the American Embassy in Berlin that “the world is not changed so easily.” Farewell to politics, frustration sends her to humanitarian activities.
She heads to New Delhi to work for an NGO, the Centre for Science and Environment. She virtually drapes herself with a sari, the traditional and colourful dress worn by Indian women, and recalls her Spartan living conditions on the spot. As if to assure that stripped of everything, it is perhaps there that she has learned the most from human relations.
Asia brings her to the Development Bank of Japan and then the Swedish Embassy. The European returned to the land of her illustrious ancestors. She is the great-granddaughter of Major Pahlson, a legend of the Swedish Army, who allowed Finland to save honour at the end of the Second World War by hiding away state secrets before the dreaded arrival of the Soviets.
She is also the granddaughter of Gunilla Bernadotte, who became Countess of Wisborg thanks to Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte, when she married in second marriage the fifth and last son of the King of Sweden, after the latter had renounced his title to marry a Swedish journalist.
Hedda’s father returned to Sweden and bought the Manor and Park of Rottneros, which inspired “Ekeby” by Selma Lagerlöf, one of the most famous novels of Swedish literature – Selma was the first woman to receive a Literature Nobel prize in 1909. “It’s an extraordinary place, surrounded by forest, where I spend each summer with the kids.”
Like politics, Humanitarian work does not satisfy her desire to change the World . “In the 1990s, NGOs did not have the means to do this. I figured I was going to get there through entrepreneurship.”
The year 2000 favoured her: her first job takes her to Hewlett Packard. Between Belgium and France. “I was in Grenoble. It was so difficult for me who had known New York, New Delhi, Edinburgh and all these cities … One day, on my way home, I stopped in Luxembourg. I instantly adopted this country and I believe it adopted me. Even though recently, someone I love very much told me that I will always be a ‘usual suspect’. This does not sound negative to me at all.”
Hedda “the romantic” begins a third course, a third cycle in entrepreneurship in Copenhagen and throws herself into business, social investment and social innovation.
She is aware that her bulimia of change seems inaccessible to most of those who would like to play on every board. Her resume is a testament to the twenty or so start-ups on which the business angel watches over, the two companies she runs, and the five other structures, companies or think tanks in which she drives her energy.
“I make mistakes, I sometimes make bad investment decisions,” she acknowledges naturally with her Swedish culture of peace, while her American fibre drives her to continue to engage. “Slowly comes a wave that recognizes that social investment can have a positive influence on business. Before, entrepreneurs paid taxes for the state to take care of the common welfare and wanted to make a profit. Now they understand that profit can be made by taking social dimensions into account. In many different ways, with happy, fulfilled employees, with values that are conveyed in terms of image or with the disappearance of trouble with justice.”
“Let’s Hack Capitalism!”
She grabs a teaspoon. Would like to twist it as you twist your neck to a rumour. “If we were to calculate all external costs, the matter that we’re going to have to reinject somewhere, to get it from the other side of the world, the circular economy really makes sense. BT, Ben & Jerries, Unilever and many other companies have understood this. Let’s hack the capitalism! “
“eRevalue”, which is in her equity portfolio, has developed a tool that helps decision-making in management, in terms of environment, governance and social benefits. “Since they have been using it, some companies have become ‘first movers’.” The first ones to strike gold, and they discovered it almost by chance. A Luxembourgish tradition, even if this company does not (yet) have Luxembourgish clients.
The entrepreneur has become business angel. The business angel became a professor for the Sacred Heart University and for the University of Luxembourg. Neither grasshopper nor ant, but a butterfly that lives every day as a new day. Who spends each day hand in the hair of her two blond heads seeing how Luxembourgish society has changed during the last ten years.
“At the beginning, at university, there were five students in my classes. Young men who dreamed of becoming entrepreneurs. Today the rooms are full, 30 to 40 year old women! There are more Luxembourgers too. The entrepreneur is no longer the one who did not really work, “she says.
Her first lesson is tolerance to failure. “There is no success without prior failure. At the age of five, the majority of entrepreneurs fail! But the worst part is that 70% of them did not try again! That is what we need to change. ”
Her latest project, the latest one she committed herself to, equilibre.lu, promotes gender balance in the professional world. “In my mind, there is no difference. I am here in society. There is everything in us, a part of femininity and a share of masculinity. The rest…”
To read the full article go to: http://www.wort.lu/de/business/portrait-d-un-entrepreneur-responsable-hedda-business-angel-58b436bca5e74263e13ab390
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