Claire Smith Has Created Beyond Animal, A Digital Platform To Grow The Vegan Economy

You may have heard of Claire Smith who spearheaded the launch of the world’s first vegan-friendly and climate-conscious stock index and exchange traded fund (ETF) which hit the headlines last year.

As part of her many efforts to grow the vegan economy, Claire and her team at Beyond Animal have created a digital integrated platform and we’re happy to partner with them on this vision.

Find out what Beyond Animal’s all about in our Q&A with Claire below.

What exactly is Beyond Animal?

Beyond Animal is a digital platform whose aim is to accelerate the growth of the vegan economy – that is, an economy which is free of all animal exploitation.

This encompasses a wide range of activities, tools and resources, which we are building onto the platform, all of which contribute to achieving that objective.

Why did you create it?

We created Beyond Animal because we sensed a need for a platform for individuals and organisations that are adapting to a vegan lifestyle in every aspect of their life, career, business and finances.

All of this is facilitated by a common platform to collaborate with each other and leverage the power of the network effect.

We want to ensure that as much support as possible, in the form of knowledge, expertise and money, is going towards the creation of a vegan economy, and we did not feel that this was going to happen without providing the community with a platform that was designed to fulfil that objective.

Tell us about some of the resources currently available

There is a large crowd-sourced Resource Library which brings together all types of content relating to veganism, in all forms, whether it be written, audio or video.

Topics include the various aspects and broader implications of a vegan lifestyle such as vegan products, environmental impacts, business news, health research and more.

An example of a Resource in this library is the Vegan Movie list – a collation of listings and associated group containing links to films and documentaries that were created to educate, spread awareness and inspire people on subjects related to the harm to our planet and economy as a result of animal exploitation and benefits of veganism.

We have a Jobs Board – a recently re-launched resource which enables companies and organisations to post openings where the products and ethos of the company are vegan or an understanding of veganism is an important aspect of the role.

And there’s a Business Directory – the business directory provides details of firms providing vegan products and/or run by vegans.

This extensive listing, which is searchable by industry segment, location and keyword, enables consumers to find vegan businesses they can support and enables businesses to find other businesses with whom they might partner and source or sell vegan products.

What resources and other add-ons are you planning?

The primary aim is to democratise financing in vegan businesses, to be a portal for companies providing products and services that accelerate the transition away from the use of animals to secure funding to grow their businesses.

By facilitating introductions and providing much needed structure around the fundraising process we hope to make it much easier for these companies to find the financing that they need.

We will ultimately provide a service to all types of investors (be they individual, professional or institutional) by providing access to high quality vegan-vetted deals.

What’s been the response to it so far?

To date there has been a good response, given that our marketing has been limited and we have spent much of our time building out the functionality of the platform.

We believe that traction will only grow with the addition of the Job Board and the upcoming fundraising functionality.

Who’s currently using it and how?

Our users are mainly vegan business owners and employees of vegan companies at the present time as well as a significant and growing number of vegan investors.

They are using it to connect with each other on a personal and a commercial basis and participating in the online events that we have organized or are partnering with events organisers to promote.

Many users are using it the news feed to be kept up to date with a broad range of vegan news from top outlets.

What are the benefits?

The benefit of a specific platform for vegans, as opposed to the broader social media platforms or groups on those platforms is a sharper focus. The mission is vegan and the activities and content on the platform are orientated towards growing the vegan economy.

This shifts the focus away from proselytizing and simply promoting vegan activities and content (as occurs on traditional social media platforms) towards collaboration between vegans towards a common goal and mobilizing the community as a whole.

Our goal of a vegan economy requires more than spreading awareness, it requires collaboration and action to bring non-animal products to market and to suppress any commercial activity that involves animal exploitation.

Vegan companies struggle to access consumers, find aligned employees and secure funding for their businesses, and Beyond Animal has created specific functionalities to address these needs, with its Business Directory, Jobs Board and upcoming fundraising capabilities.

How is it different from other vegan resource websites?

Beyond Animal is not just a website but a fully built out connections platform with specific features tailored for the vegan consumer and business and soon, investor.

Other vegan resource websites focus primarily on why people should be vegan and few go further than providing content and support in going vegan.

Beyond Animal actually brings in this content through its News Feed which draws content from dozens of other sources, making it a one-stop shop, and all of this content is in fact shareable to other platforms

Its business directory enables identification of vegan business by location and business sector, focusing not only on the consumer but also B2B connections.

It is not a marketplace but is accepting some product feeds to allow the consumer to select from multiple sources.

It is providing a broad range of integrated services, as opposed to addressing a single need.

What is your short-term aim for Beyond Animal?

Short-term Beyond Animal aims to be facilitating investment in vegan businesses in the forthcoming quarter.

It aims also to register many more vegan businesses and become the go-to platform for jobs in all companies that are supporting the transition away from the use of animals.

What is your long-term aim for it?

Long-term Beyond Animal aims to expand its services towards crowd raising in multiple jurisdictions and providing a path for vegan companies to come to the capital markets, supplanting those companies that exploit animals.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about Beyond Animal?

Beyond Animal is guided by its overarching vision of a vegan world and its understanding of the needs of vegan companies to be able to grow.

Its mission is to rid the world of animal exploitation and it has created the platform to enable all who want to join in this mission to join together as consumers, citizens and owners of capital to accelerate this transition and ensure the growth of a thriving vegan economy.

Visit the Beyond Animal website 

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