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

Social Business · Social Impact Investing

The funding gap for BOP businesses

Well-run microfinance banks are now starting to attract new and interesting sources of growth capital from investors including Legatum, Unitus Equity Fund, AAvishkaar Goodwell, Vinod Khosla, Accion Investments, Sequoia Capital and many others. This is great news as the “elephant in the room” issue for microfinance is that globally microfinance is currently serving at most… Continue reading The funding gap for BOP businesses

Social Business · Social Impact Investing

Businesses focused on the world’s poorest

I am increasingly convinced that businesses focused on serving the world’s poorest 4 billion citizens are a very good investment whether you are looking for financial return and/or positive social impact return. That is, for those of us who seek to end poverty, the scale and sustainability potential of businesses focused on this “market segment”… Continue reading Businesses focused on the world’s poorest

Microfinance · Social Impact Investing

Ebay enables investing in microfinance

Ebay recently opened a new web site called MicroPlace which enables individuals to make loans to the world’s working very poor. This enables what I refer to as Socially Responsible Investing version 2 … choosing to make a positive social impact with your investing. Here’s generally how it works: You can preview the investment options… Continue reading Ebay enables investing in microfinance

Social Impact Investing

Patient capital

Good video on the concept of patient capital from TED conference. Jacqueline Novogratz is pioneering new ways of tackling poverty. In her view, traditional charity rarely delivers lasting results. Her solution, outlined here through a series of revealing personal stories, is “patient capital”: support for “bottom of the pyramid” businesses which the commercial market alone… Continue reading Patient capital

Microfinance · Social Impact Investing

Innovative Microfinance Equity Fund

Unitus announced last week that they’ve raised a US$23 million private equity fund to invest in microfinance. I was able to catch up with Chris Brookfield, Director of Unitus Equity Fund, last week to find out more about this announcement. Dave: What is Unitus announcing today?Chris: Unitus is announcing the closing the Unitus Equity Fund… Continue reading Innovative Microfinance Equity Fund