Innovation · Livelihoods · Social Business · Social Impact Investing

BOP-focused businesses need to reach 100 million customers

Matt Bishop of The Economist recently interviewed prolific inventor and global poverty innovator Paul Polak about his views on how best to reduce poverty on a large scale for base-of-pyramid (BOP) populations (< $2/day PPP income). A few highlights on Paul’s comments from the below video interview: We will not make a meaningful impact on… Continue reading BOP-focused businesses need to reach 100 million customers

Innovation · Social Business

Vidagas raised $1.4M for social business

Congratulations to VillageReach for leading the successful fundraise of $1.4M from Oasis Capital, here a European social venture fund to expand their African social business, Vidagas. I have previously written about Vidagas and how they have innovatively developed a commercial business to become the largest distributor of propane gas in northern (mostly rural) Mozambique. Seattle… Continue reading Vidagas raised $1.4M for social business

Social Business · Technology

Rechargeable batteries as a social business

I met up recently with Whit Alexander, a co-founder of board game company Cranium which they sold last year to Hasbro. He has provided the seed funding for a new social business venture called Burro. Whit believes that there is a huge opportunity to develop quality branded products and a distribution channel optimized for the… Continue reading Rechargeable batteries as a social business

Social Business

Delivering propane as a social business

Vidagas is currently the leading distributor of propane in northern Mozambique … the least developed and primarily rural portion of the country. It has recently become profitable and is raising additional capital to expand into additional provinces of Mozambique and beyond. What’s most interesting about Vidagas is that it’s a social business. It was started… Continue reading Delivering propane as a social business

Opinion · Social Business

Social business wealth sharing examples

Unitus Leadership Summit 2008 In October, I had the opportunity to travel to Indonesia to participate in a leadership event (sponsored by Unitus) for CEOs and senior managers of some of the world’s most innovative and fastest-growing social businesses. Most of these businesses are in the microfinance sector with a few in other emerging social… Continue reading Social business wealth sharing examples

Opinion · Social Business

Distributing wealth created by social businesses

There are an increasing number of social businesses which have the opportunity to have both dramatic positive social impact as well as significant generation of wealth. What I’m referring to are what I call “hybrid social businesses” … those which have objectives to deliver social impact and are structured as “for profit” shareholder-type entities. I… Continue reading Distributing wealth created by social businesses

Microfinance · Opinion · Social Business

Critiquing microfinance, Part II

This is a continuation from Part I which focused on a recent New Yorker article. New York Times Article Elizabeth Malkin recent wrote an article in the New York Times called, Microfinance’s Success Sets Off a Debate in Mexico where she outlines some of the issues in the debate on the commercialization of microfinance. This… Continue reading Critiquing microfinance, Part II