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Webinar: Clean Tech or Green Tech? Working Towards a Sustainable Climate

Posted By Stephanie Buck, Aspen Institute, Friday, November 18, 2016
Updated: Friday, November 18, 2016

We know that dozens of ANDE members are working hard to tackle and prevent the negative consequences of climate change and environmental degradation. This topic was explored at the ANDE Annual Conference and in a recent webinar, focusing on how cutting edge technologies and creative partnerships are working to achieve a more sustainable climate.

If you missed the webinar on November 9th, we invite you to view the recording here.* 

This webinar connected global themes related to impact investment and environmentally sustainable products and technology with the local challenges that ANDE members and partners have faced in specific markets, including Brazil and Mexico.

The webinar featured special guests from WTT and from New Ventures, and was moderated by Kate McElligott, ANDE's Director of Strategic Development. The webinar focused on themes and topics presented in the Impact Inventing: Going Green report released by ANDE earlier this year. We recommend reading the report in order to get the most out of this webinar recording. 

If you have further questions, please feel free to reach out to Stephanie Buck ( 


*Webinar password = ande

Tags:  webinar 

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Off-Grid Refrigerator Partnership

Posted By Anne Stewart, Jibu, L3C, Thursday, November 3, 2016

Fellow ANDE Members: if you are interested in applying for the Global Leap competition for an Off-Grid Refrigerator solution,  Jibu would be happy to discuss partnership. While Jibu does not have refrigerator technology, we have a successful sales & distribution model in East Africa implementing innovative water filtration technology. Please email <> if interested. 

Global Leap Awards: Off – Grid Refrigerator Competition.

The Global Lighting and Energy Access Partnership (Global LEAP), in partnership with USAID's U.S. Global Development Lab, Power Africa, and DfID has launched a joint call for high efficiency, low-cost off-grid refrigeration solutions. This call for proposals is part of the 2016-17 Global LEAP Awards Program, and is the first investment focused on stimulating innovation under Scaling Off-Grid Energy: A Grand Challenge for Development. The competition aims to increase the availability of high-efficiency, low-cost, high-demand refrigeration technologies, and in turn drive demand for off-grid solar solutions, such as solar home systems and mini-grids. Submit nominations by January 20, 2017.
For more information, please click here.

Tags:  East Africa  energy  Entrepreneurship  fridge  Jibu  refrigerator  water 

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IGNITE Conference 2016 (Amsterdam - Nov 16th)

Posted By Rosanne van de Poll, Spark, Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, November 1, 2016

We are thrilled to invite you to the IGNITE Conference 2016!

This year, SPARK and International Finance Corporation, have teamed up to bring you an interactive experience on the subject of ‘Tackling Instability, Radicalisation and Forced Migration’.

Entrepreneurs and refugees connected to SPARK’s international offices will be in attendance and offering their personal insights into the importance of education and entrepreneurship for stability in conflict-affected regions.

We are excited to be able to offer some of the world’s leading experts under one roof. For example, keynotes will be delivered by esteemed economist, Sir Paul Collier (University of Oxford), UNDP's Development Response to the Syrian Crisis, Gustavo Gonzalez, Liberian entrepreneur, Mahmud Johnson, and many more. Participating organisations including, UNDP, The Hague Institute for Global Justice, WO=MEN and the University of Mosul.

Discussions surrounding specific topics, such as 'How to Promote Sustainable Investment in Fragile Countries', 'The Impact of Women and Social Enterprises', 'Libya: How to Move Forward', 'Peace Building Effects of Employment in the MENA Region' ‘The New Pioneers: Diaspora Entrepreneurs’ and 'Rebuilding Syria', will be explored in intimate workshops led by industry specialists throughout the day.

The conference will be held at Beurs van Berlage in the heart of Amsterdam, on Wednesday 16th November, 2016. Please click here for tickets! :

Speakers and programme updates will be available on our website (, Facebook ( and Twitter (@SPARKorg)

We look forward to welcoming you to #IGNITE2016.

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  #IGNITE2016 

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Presenting the report Moving the Needle: Critical Success Factors for Scaling Asset Finance

Posted By Paula Rodriguez, InspiraFarms, Monday, October 17, 2016

A new report by Epven, with support from the Shell Foundation and the Small Foundation, explores the challenges and emerging solutions to scaling asset finance options for small and growing agribusinesses (SGBs) in developing countries.

 The investment opportunity in agribusiness assets in emerging economies runs into the billions of dollars. The social and environmental benefits that can be gained by reducing food losses, increasing employment and enterprise sustainability, as well as empowering women and rural communities, are equally significant.

 Despite this opportunity, most small-scale agribusinesses in developing countries lack access to reasonable financing options for acquiring such assets, falling into the “missing middle” and facing a combination of unrealistically high collateral requirements and unaffordable interest rates. It s estimated that formal financial institutions meet less than a sixth of the $200 billion in demand for financing from smallholder agribusiness globally.

 Asset financing is one form of finance that is quickly emerging as a promising new model with a growing number of providers diversifying into the sector. The report Moving the Needle: Critical Success Factors for Scaling Asset Finance examines the potential of asset finance to reverse this financing gap. Reflecting the first-hand experiences, innovations and perspectives of over 70 asset finance experts in Kenya, Guatemala, and India—the “coal-face” of the industry—the report highlights four critical success factors that drive scale in asset finance:  

1.     The asset must be liquid to act as its own collateral. There must be a market for the asset, and resale value must be measureable.

2.     SGBs must demonstrate their capability to effectively utilize the asset. The use of cash flows is recommended for the calculation of financial viability and creditworthiness.

3.     SGBs must have a stable and secure market for the expected outputs of the asset. Having secure contracts from buyers in the agricultural sector is a positive incentive for financial institutions and for securing a stable stream of revenues for SGB’s.

4.     Network organizations like ANDE, the GIIN and the Sustainable Food Lab support more and better ecosystem collaboration between technology companies, financial service providers and producers and buyers along the agricultural value chain.

The report summarizes key roles for the main actors of the asset finance ecosystem, followed by detailed recommendations for capacity developers, 2nd tier investors, donors, DFIs and foundations, technology companies, and the financial service providers at the coal face.


To read and download this report by Epven, with support from the Shell Foundation and the Small Foundation, please visit

TITLE: Moving the Needle: Critical Success Factors for Scaling Asset Finance

Authors: Tim Chambers and Jack Luft

Contact Person: Tim Chambers (




Tags:  Access to Finance  Agriculture  ANDE Members  asset finance  farming  impact investing  impact investment  inclusive business  innovation  Investors  microfinance  post-harvest  small and growing agrobusiness  value addition 

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Hurricane Matthew: Fonkoze's update and response

Posted By Natalie Parke, Fonkoze, Friday, October 14, 2016
Updated: Friday, October 14, 2016

As Fonkoze launches its response to Hurricane Matthew, we are mindful of the critical importance we can play as a local institution with an unprecedented network of infrastructure and clients. The 2010 earthquake in Haiti proved that effective recovery and relief comes from local, on-the-ground organizations that can respond with contextual experience and knowledge. Fonkoze is a 22-year-old Haitian organization with 45 branches, 950 employees, and more than 200,000 clients and members in every corner of the country. Fonkoze is committed to providing support to clients that will help them to rebuild their homes and livelihoods in a sustainable manner. Fonkoze’s assessment of Hurricane Matthew’s impact is ongoing, but it is already clear that the need is overwhelming, and we gratefully welcome contributions from partners.

Hurricane Matthew Overview

Hurricane Matthew, a Category 4 hurricane, hit Haiti on October 4, 2016. It was one of the most powerful storms to hit Haiti in several decades. According to the latest United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Situation Report, at least 473 people were killed; over 1.4 million Haitians (nearly 13% of the population) are in need of humanitarian assistance; and 2.1 million have been affected by Hurricane Matthew. In coastal areas of the South department, the World Food Program reported a 95% loss of housing and harvest. There are reports of 60 cases of cholera per day, up from 20 cases per week before the hurricane. Media and telecommunications channels in the south were severely damaged, which meant information about devastation was initially slow to emerge.

Fonkoze Action Plan

Sèvis Finansye Fonkoze (Fonkoze Financial Services or SFF) is eager to get operations running smoothly in all of its branches but particularly in the most hard hit areas; this is vital to enable clients and communities to access funds through their accounts and remittances transferred from other parts of Haiti and abroad. We are already seeing a spike in the number of transfers being sent to individual accounts as well as NGOs and churches from partner organizations overseas.

The eight most affected branches (Okoto, Okay, Aken, Ti Rivye d’Nip, Bomon, Lavale, Fondeblan, and Jeremi) serve 17,359 borrowers; we expect it to take some time to reach all of our clients, though Loan Officers have already begun contacting Center Chiefs. The outstanding loan portfolio for these branch regions was $2,472,445 as of September 30. SFF has established the following action plan estimated to take approximately two months:



PHASE I: Ensure all staff members are alive and well.

Complete. All of Fonkoze’s staff are accounted for, though many lost their homes and all their property. For one staff member, all he has left of his home and possessions are the clothes he was wearing when the hurricane hit. Assessment teams report that some areas are “completely unrecognizable.”

PHASE II: Ensure all affected branches are fully operational.

Partially complete. All Fonkoze branch offices have been open since Monday, October 10, in spite of a very challenging situation. Fonkoze is working with Digicel to repair communications networks in three of the branch offices which are, nonetheless, able to process transactions through remote support from other branches.

PHASE III: Assess and address damage to clients

Establish assessment tool

Complete. Operations has created a post-hurricane client assessment form for field staff to use. A similar form has been created for affected staff, themselves.

Analyze loan portfolio

Near completion. The loan portfolio is being sorted into categories: clients finished loan repayment; clients nearly finished; and those who have just begun.

Conduct client assessment

Ongoing. Field staff will visit and interview all affected clients in their Credit Centers and assess damage to business/livelihoods using assessment tools.

Distribute/adjust loans accordingly

Not started. Upon completion of client assessments, SFF will disburse new loans to clients who can support them and write off loans for those unable to repay them. CARE and Catholic Relief Services have service contracts with SFF to facilitate unconditional cash transfers to hundreds of the most vulnerable families. CRS has already disbursed $160 to each of 154 families through SFF’s Okay branch.


Fondasyon Kole Zepòl (the Fonkoze Foundation) has been working through its four departments to assess the impact of Hurricane Matthew on the lives and livelihoods of clients. Here are the latest updates from the Fonkoze Foundation’s teams:

·         Preventing cholera and waterborne disease: Nurses in Fonkoze’s Boutik Sante (Community Health Store) Program have been contacting the community health entrepreneurs. The health team will launch an intensive campaign on October 17 to train Community Health Entrepreneurs in its Boutik Sante Program and other Center Chiefs on hygiene and cholera prevention—a training to be replicated in their credit centers. Participants will also receive a 30-day supply of water purification tablets to distribute to each client in their centers, reaching nearly 25,000 households. They will also learn to train community members how to prepare oral rehydration solution (ORS) and to practice good hygiene, such as handwashing and safe food preparation.

·         Reaching the ultrapoor: Fonkoze’s Chemen Lavi Miyò (CLM) Program for the ultrapoor its assessment of CLM households. Thus far, it is clear that those located at high elevations suffered the most damage. The CLM Program has an emergency fund built into its budget to support its members in crises. In the event that the existing funds are insufficient, the team will welcome support from existing and prospective donors.

·         Supporting recovery of small businesses and associations: Fonkoze Foundation’s Zafèn Program works with five clients in the South and with 36 Village Savings and Lending Associations (VSLAs) in Grandans. At least two associations and one individual have lost their business due to the hurricane. We are working to reach out to the VSLAs; unfortunately, the staff member responsible for working with them lost her home. The Zafèn team will finalize the detailed analysis of their clients over the coming week. Kiva Microfunds, a longstanding partner, has offered to collaborate on a post-hurricane recovery loan product which could include a new loan to the clients to restart their businesses with a prolonged repayment period. 

·         Disaster mitigation and preparedness training: As part of Fonkoze’s long-term response, we will continue to provide community-based education like that offered by our Ti Koze course; one of the key sessions of the course is disaster preparedness.

Fonkoze’s Experience: Disaster Mitigation and Response

As a Haitian institution, Fonkoze is adept at navigating the complexities of working in a failed state with limited infrastructure, insecurity, economic instability, and climactic crisis. Our meticulous stewardship of donor funds meant that in 2010, we reported on every penny received in response to the Haitian Earthquake; 95% of the funds went directly into the hands of those in need and the rest supported Fonkoze’s unfaltering operations.

Fonkoze is committed to mitigating the impact of shocks by bolstering the economic resiliency of clients as well as their skills to protect themselves and their families. For over 20 years, Fonkoze has overcome one challenge after another to enable our clients to respond and recover when confronted with shocks—political crisis, economic instability, and natural disaster. Fonkoze’s response to some of the most devastating natural disasters included:

·         2004 – Hurricane Jeanne destroyed one of Fonkoze’s largest branches in Gonayiv and the homes and assets of 1,500 clients. Fonkoze offered to cancel the interest on the outstanding balance of these clients’loans and to fold those balances into new interest-free loans with extended repayment periods. Every dollar of those loans was repaid. The program’s success was reported at the World Microfinance Summit in Halifax in the fall of 2006, and has been widely praised.

·         2008 – Hurricanes Fay, Gustav, Hanna, and Ike destroyed the homes and/or businesses of approximately 18,000 clients. Fonkoze again forgave interest on outstanding loan balances and also provided loans specific to recovery: Kredi Siklòn (Hurricane Loans). Fonkoze’s money transfer services also provided a valuable lifeline for clients; more remittances were handled in 2008 than in the six previous years, combined.

·         2010 – Haiti’s 2010 Earthquake killed over 200,000 people. Fonkoze’s head office and three branches were destroyed; five employees were killed; 470 staff were left homeless or in compromised living conditions; and over 19,000 clients’ homes and/or businesses were destroyed by the earthquake. Yet Fonkoze remained open even when commercial banks were not functioning. Fonkoze worked quickly to distribute remittances—some of the very first “aid” to reach the poor and vulnerable—totaling $95,816,784 in 2010. Fonkoze cancelled the pre-earthquake loan balance for 10,445 qualifying earthquake victims and distributed one-time cash grants to 19,811 clients and their families, benefiting 85,150 earthquake victims. And Fonkoze built a new earthquake-resistant headquarters in Potoprens.

Tags:  Haiti  Hurricane Matthew  Microfinance  Women 

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Announcing the Third Call for Applications for the CHMI Learning Exchange!

Posted By Allison Ettenger, Results for Development Institute, Wednesday, October 12, 2016

applICATIONS OPEN FOR the CHMI Learning Exchange


The Center for Health Market Innovations (CHMI), in partnership with Solina Health, is thrilled to announce its third Call for Applications for the CHMI Learning Exchange! Applications are due by November 13th.

Download the application here

Recognizing the excellence and innovation within our global network, the CHMI Learning Exchange aims to facilitate structured learning partnerships between organizations that are profiled on CHMI, helping programs to improve business practices, adopt innovations, or scale-up or replicate an aspect of their model to a new market. Learning Exchanges help connect health program managers to their peers for a focused opportunity that can help organizations strengthen their health businesses, and expand access to improved quality care.

The CHMI Learning Exchange will provide funding of up to US $8,000 to successful applicants to facilitate learning partnerships. Programs that apply for participation in the Learning Exchange may also be considered for participation in a Learning Collaborative - an additional in-person opportunity to work with your learning exchange partner and other programs in our network that share similar programmatic challenges[1].  To be eligible for this opportunity, at least one program must be based in West Africa[2], and both programs must be based in Sub-Saharan Africa

CHMI has seen firsthand that peer learning activities can be a valuable tool to support programs on their path to scale, ultimately reaching more people with quality, affordable care. In April 2015, CHMI awarded its second round of learning exchange grants to five winning applications. Representing ten organizations and six countries, these new partnerships allowed program managers to improve and scale-up their models; past grantee activities range from replicating supply models, improving management and operational processes, building financial sustainability, and adapting new client safety systems.

A Learning Exchange Focused on Sub-Saharan Africa

Following the 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak, the global community refocused its attention on the fragmented health systems in West Africa. While many activities are implemented in West Africa with government support, there is a limited presence of peer learning opportunities in the region for private providers.  Allowing innovators from across the continent to connect with West African programs helps CHMI to share tacit knowledge, understand country contexts and regional trends, and promote South-to-South learning partnerships.

Is this opportunity right for me?

-Are you a healthcare manager running a program in Sub-Saharan Africa, aspiring to scale up your program or enter new markets?

-Are you struggling with a central question around your business model, one that other program managers may have insight into?

-Could you benefit from traveling or engaging virtually to learn from a similar healthcare program, either in your country or internationally?

If you answered yes to any of the above, the CHMI Learning Exchange may be a good opportunity for you!

What is a Learning Exchange?

A Learning Exchange is an engagement between two or more organizations to share knowledge around a particular need or business practice. Partners may be based in the same geography or in different countries.

Because peer-to-peer exchanges are customized to address an organization’s particular and current need, they can be limited to the scope necessary to catalyze institutional change. 

How does a Learning Exchange work?

Learning Exchanges will involve one or more healthcare organizations acting as lead partners and knowledge partners. One of these partners must be based in West Africa, and both programs need to be based in Sub-Saharan Africa

Lead partner: A “lead partner” is a healthcare organization profiled by CHMI that will develop the application for the CHMI Learning Exchange and be responsible for disbursing funds to other partnering organizations. The “lead” partner can be the “learner” in a traditional “mentor-mentee” relationship; or, the lead partner and knowledge partners can represent similar organizations that may offer complementary skills, expertise, and ability to learn from one another. Lead partners should contact potential knowledge partners through CHMI or through other channels to solicit their agreement to apply for the CHMI Learning Exchange. Please contact if you require assistance in contacting programs through our website.Knowledge partner: One or more healthcare organization(s) that work with a lead partner to exchange knowledge through activities specified in this application. Knowledge partner(s) should agree to participate with a lead partner prior to being named in an application for the CHMI Learning Exchange.

Both partners should discuss the scope of the learning agenda, the way in which learning will take place, and its intended impact.

The lead partner will submit an application to the CHMI Learning Exchange. The lead partner will assume responsibility for meeting outcomes, submitting reports, and determining whether and how funds are shared between partners. The knowledge partner will provide their organization’s commitment signature on the Lead partner’s application.

A cohort of organizations will carry out their unique Learning Exchanges over a six-month period, from December 2016 through May 2017. At the conclusion of the Learning Exchange, partners will reflect on what worked and what didn’t work, and share their experiences to benefit the broader CHMI community. 

Learn more and apply by November 13th. Please contact us at if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you! 

Apply today

Tags:  Base of the Pyramid  business training  Health  Private Sector  social enterprise  social entrepreneurship  Training & Events  West Africa 


Bridging the Skills Gap - Successful Private Sector-Led Initiatives

Posted By Christiane Rudolph, Deutsche Investitions und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), Friday, September 30, 2016
Updated: Friday, September 30, 2016

World Bank Group and DEG Session in Washington, October 5 2016


Bridging the Skills Gap - Successful Private Sector-Led Initiatives

The World Bank Jobs Group and DEG, the German Development Finance Institution, invite to a joint session on Bridging the Skills Gap. The cases discussed in the session are part of the study “Bridging the skills gaps in developing countries: A practical guide for private sector companies, published by DEG. The study provides companies with a tool to pursue meaningful developmental and business activities to close skills gaps. The practical relevance of the study is supported by a three-step approach based on theory, practical examples, and field testing.

Date: Wednesday, October 5 2016

Time: 3:00 - 4:30 PM

Location: Washington, DC. World Bank, Room C2-131, MC Building,1818 H St NW, Washington, DC 20433


Background on joint session

More than 200 million people are looking for jobs globally. Simultaneously, companies are facing difficulties filling vacant positions or finding suitably skilled staff. These skills gaps – the difference between the skills needed for a job and the capabilities of the workforce – not only represent a major constraint for businesses, but also for social and economic development.

The joint session will focus on:

-       Demonstrating the economic benefits of addressing the workforce skills gaps via the private sector;

-       Raising awareness of skills related challenges amongst businesses, governments, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs); and

-       Promoting partnerships between governments, the private sector, and NGOs to support private sector-led initiatives that bridge skill gaps

The session will be moderated by Michal J Rutkowski, Senior Director, Social Protection and Labor and Jobs, The World Bank Group, welcome remarks by Ursula Mueller, German Executive Director, The World Bank Group.

Discussants for the panel discussion in the session are:

-       Harry Anthony Patrinos, Manager, Education, The World Bank Group

-       Bruno Wenn, CEO, Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) - Germany’s Development Finance Institution (DFI)

-       Md. Abdul Jabbar, CEO, DBL Group, Textile and Apparel Manufacturer, Bangladesh

-       Michael J. Handel, Associate Professor of Sociology, Northeastern University and Research Fellow, United States Bureau of Statistics


Background: DEG Study: Bridging the skills gaps in developing countries

The study “Bridging the skills gaps in developing countries: A practical guide for private sector companies, published by Let’s Work Partner, DEG, evaluates how private entrepreneurs can close the skills gaps via targeted measures implemented within the workforce, suppliers, and local communities. In cooperation with the Boston Consulting Group, the study was produced as a contribution of the Association of European Development Finance Institutions within the global Let’s Work Partnership.

The study provides companies with a tool to pursue meaningful developmental and business activities to close skills gaps. The practical relevance of the study is supported by a three-step approach based on theory, practical examples, and field testing. It includes the following:

  • A user-friendly guide for practitioners consisting of six steps, including a self-analysis tool, offers companies a practical guide to recognize skills gaps and how to successfully bridge them.
  • An outline of proven examples shows companies specific and detailed ways of closing gaps on three levels – staff, suppliers, and local communities.
  • A new practical assessment method for private-sector activities that bridge skills gaps. It offers companies different data situations, which is necessary to quickly and meaningfully assess their assessment.
  • The win-win situation of private-sector activities for bridging skills gaps on three levels – employees, suppliers and local communities – is analyzed and demonstrated using selected case studies for the first time. Local people, staff, suppliers and the company will benefit from this.
  • The approaches developed – guide for practitioners, self-analysis tool, and assessment methods – were tested and optimized by conducting case studies with five customers.


Link to the study:

Contact | Ulrike Dangelmaier,

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  DEG  Development  Education  Private Sector  Skills Gap  Training  World Bank Group 

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Assessing the Impact of Social Enterprises Using the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and IRIS

Posted By Patricia Haines, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University, Wednesday, September 21, 2016

By Joe Schuchter, Associate Director of Social Impact Assessment, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship

Social entrepreneurship is increasingly recognized as a means of addressing the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems. However, assessing the impact of social enterprises continues to be challenging. Part of the challenge is to find a shared language of impact in the myriad approaches used by social entrepreneurs, impact investors, and development agencies to code, classify, and interpret impact.

Two of the more prominent approaches are the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Global Impact Investing Network’s (GIIN) IRIS. At first glance, the SDGs and IRIS appear to use different “languages” for different audiences. To better support social entrepreneurs, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship decided to explore the alignment of these two approaches, and its ability to support impact assessment more broadly.

What Are the SDGs and IRIS?

Adopted by the UN in September 2015, the SDGs were introduced as an iteration of the Millennium Development Goals, which were established in 2000.[i] The SDGs include 17 goals formulated into 169 targets, and additional indicators for those targets.[ii] Collectively, the SDGs are focused on ending poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring prosperity and well-being for all. The users of the SDGs extend beyond the United Nations to include governments, the private sector, and civil society in all parts of the world. The SDGs are measured routinely at the country level to show progress toward specific goals, often aimed at the year 2030.

IRIS is a catalog of 559 impact investment metrics, grouped into 12 sectors (e.g., agriculture, education, energy). The stated purpose of IRIS is to measure the social, environmental, and financial performance of investments. With leadership from the Rockefeller Foundation, it was introduced in 2008.[iii] Now in its fourth iteration, IRIS has become the preferred taxonomy for impact investors to measure the impact of their financial investments.

Which language do social entrepreneurs speak?

At Miller Center, we observed that the social entrepreneurs we target were using various means of classifying and assessing their impact. Because these entrepreneurs fall into roughly equal thirds of for-profit, non-profit, and hybrid incorporation types, they would seem to represent a broad range of perspectives and languages within the overall development ecosystem. However, we also know that entrepreneurs that have participated in our Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI®) programs are intensely mission-focused, therefore we suspected SDGs might be more popular among them.

To address this question, we analyzed the data from our GSBI programs for accelerating social enterprises. We found that 71% of GSBI applicants reported using SDGs, and only 10% were not familiar with them. On the other hand, we found that only 14% of the applicants reported using IRIS metrics, and 40% were not even familiar with them. In other words, the SDGs seemed to resonate more with these entrepreneurs, while IRIS – the primary metrics used by impact investment – were not being widely applied.

How do we “translate” these languages?

Based on these findings and to help bridge this disconnect between SDG and IRIS languages, we “cross-walked” SDG targets and IRIS metrics to identify gaps and overlap.

In our first pass at the crosswalk, we found that 25% of the SDG targets have related IRIS metrics, while 30% of IRIS metrics map to SDG targets. This included very high alignment in content areas like education, but very low alignment in broader areas like eliminating poverty. We conducted this process focused only on close matches of SDG targets and IRIS metrics.   

Through this process, we identified opportunities for a combined IRIS-SDG framework. IRIS focuses on more discrete, near-term results, while SDGs aim at bigger, broader, and long-term changes. Although only roughly one-quarter of the metrics and targets matched directly, we saw the potential for much greater alignment were we to apply a theory of change logic. For example, IRIS metrics around education match directly with the SDG targets for education, but also contribute to and therefore align to the longer-term SDG of poverty elimination.

What next?

Together, SDGs and IRIS offer a powerful framework and catalog for impact. With its broad goals and specific targets, the SDGs help align social enterprise to other development actors. But IRIS is what helps align social entrepreneurs with investors. Therefore, Miller Center believes that social entrepreneurs should learn the basics of the investor language, IRIS, while continuing to use the SDGs to articulate their systems-changing goals and ambitions. At the same time, investors could benefit from a better understanding of SDGs. As an example, Sonen Capital has already aligned its portfolio with the SDGs.[iv]

Miller Center is working with partners at GIIN and the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) to refine and enhance the crosswalk.[v] We are also working to integrate this into our own application and assessment system. Using this shared-language taxonomy as a teaching tool can help social entrepreneurs navigate the growing glut of options for classification and measurement, ideally arriving at indicators optimally suited for their own operations as well as their investors and stakeholders. Ultimately, the SDG/IRIS crosswalk should enable social entrepreneurs to better leverage the resources they need to achieve the disruptive systems changes that they seek.

Note: The first pass at "crosswalking" these two prominent sets of indicators was conducted by Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship in the spring of 2016, and presented at the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs conference in June 2016 by the author.

[i] John W. McArthur. The Origins of the Millennium Development Goals. SAIS Review vol. XXXIV no. 2 (Summer–Fall 2014)









Tags:  GSBI  impact assessment  IRIS  Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship  SDGs 

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TA Finance for SGBs - a scarce good down the road?

Posted By Pedro Eikelenboom, PUM Netherlands senior experts, Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Some perspective...once upon a time...

Picture yourself at a roundtable session with the topic ‘financial   instruments to support private sector development – how can business and non-profit collaborate’.  Guest speakers include a representative from a development bank, a public enterprise development agency, a non-profit and an enterprise

It reads like one of the many 'powwows' on the topic, though the invitation to this event has long but expired - it took place in October 2005 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands….

The impact investment eco-system

Fast-tracking time to 2016, there’s a new world created around impact investing. It has grown into an enormous market place for innovative financial (and non-financial) products and instruments. Where investors and prospects meet up, advised by consultants, think tanks, investment networks and so forth.

Many type of impact investors have entered the market, from banks, pension funds, wealth managers, family foundations, governments, development finance institutions and NGO’s. Hereby gradually expanding their investment portfolio into high-risk sectors like agriculture, in challenging countries, and targeting enterprises with ticket-sizes between US$ 100k – 500k.

It’s a shift (change in strategy) by some investors, with many key players shifting their ‘grant funds’ to a ‘return on investment’ portfolio. Is the eco-system creating a scarce good out of grants (in most cases being technical assistance / knowledge sharing) directed to support capacity development within enterprises? 

The true price of grants

Impact investing cannot only be about moving investment capital to riskier endeavors. It’s a combination of capital investments and non-reimbursable investments (the so-called grants). And the latter being a crucial factor in supporting the public good impact through technical assistance or capacity building trajectories for the beneficiaries. Neither is it a combination of 90-10, where grants serve as a bit of technical assistance on the side.

Reaching the enterprises that have growth potential but limited access to finance, means taking risk (call it technical assistance, capacity-building, non-reimbursable grants, first loss, equity stake, if you like) through a structured deal proposal between the impact investor, (perhaps) a development bank, an NGO, a technical service provider and so forth.

Several studies have stated that there is sufficient capital in the world to invest in small and medium sized enterprises (the ‘missing-middle’), in volatile sectors and in frontier markets. So money is not the issue – though the non-reimbursable investments are unfortunately becoming a scarce good due to policy changes within the public and non-profit sector.

However, beyond the non-profit community, grants are often perceived as ‘little strings-attached subsidies’, which require no financial returns. Of course, non-financial impact (social, environment etc.) is sought, though it’s based on expectations (outputs, outcomes). If one fails to reach the objectives, basically there’s not much harm done, it is - in the end - a grant.

How can we change this mindset? Grants do have a ‘price-tag’, value or leverage when dealing with blended finance. I’m sure, many investment deals in frontier markets would and will not happen without some flow of subsidies structured in the deal. Surely not advocating that grants should have a ROI too – next to non-monetary impact (social, environmental) -, but we should not take for granted the indirect value or direct leverage a subsidy has in the impact investment space. What can grant providers request or negotiate more in return for their contribution? Elements such as securing a seat at the board table of an investee (steer company’s public good objectives), or commit private grant funding to the related capacity-building program of an investment.  

Transferring skills & knowledge to secure ROI

Potential investment prospects (enterprises) may have fragile balance sheets, weak governance or inefficient processes. For that reason they are often initially overlooked by investors. As the impact investment marketplace is moving towards the ‘high-hanging fruit enterprises’, the power of knowledge becomes even more visible. Short-term technical assistance (related to entrepreneurship development) can strengthen an enterprise, making it robust and subsequently ‘de-risk’ its profile to potential investors.

In the case for professional volunteer service organizations (i.e. PUM, IESC, ACDI/VOCA, SES etc.) – its transfer of knowledge is as crucial as the committed capital investment to enterprises. Next to that, these organizations have a wealth of data, network and track-record in advising enterprises around the globe.

In the access to finance space for entrepreneurs, professional volunteer service organizations can play a critical role in strengthening the business competences of enterprises.

The lack of available (and/or affordable) local network of skills and experiences, that can contribute to the range of challenges an entrepreneur faces, is the gap where professional volunteer service organizations can offer qualified, experienced volunteer professionals to donate their time in transferring knowledge with entrepreneurs around the world. 

A structured approach

A structured approach on enabling enterprises in frontier markets to grow is essential and contributes into embracing entrepreneurs beyond the ‘usual suspects’. Collaboration through acknowledging and applying each other’s strengths is the way forward in achieving a sustainable return and impact through investment. And not to forget the role of governments and multilateral institutions in continuing - or at least not further reducing - ODA funded enterprise development programs. Of course, few would disagree with this conclusion, though the eco-system unfortunately exhibits far too few cases to proof otherwise.

For more insights on the role and added value of professional volunteer service organizations like PUM can have in strengthening SBG's as to de-risking their profile to impact investors, download the enclosed (full) article. 

 Attached Files:

Tags:  accelerators  Access to Finance  Business  capacity development  Capital Aggregation  early stage ecosystem  emerging markets  entrepreneurship  entrepreneurship ecosystems  impact investing  impact investment  inclusive business  Investors  partnership  Pioneering Capital  Private sector development  social business  social entrepreneurship  social impact 

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Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship’s Lieberman to Speak at ANDE 2016

Posted By Patricia Haines, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University, Monday, September 19, 2016

Andrew Lieberman, New Programs Director at Santa Clara University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, will speak about best practices for mentorship at a breakout session at ANDE 2016 (Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs), the annual conference for the global membership network of organizations that propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets, taking place in Leesburg, Virginia, September 26-28, 2016.


Lieberman is the co-author of two white papers on social entrepreneurship: "The GSBI Methodology for Social Entrepreneurship: Lessons from 12 Years of Capacity Development with 365 Social Enterprises" and "Universal Energy Access: An Enterprise System Approach."


Panel Title: Mentorship-Best Practices and Lessons Learned

When: Tuesday, September 27th, 2016, 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm

Where: ANDE 2016, Lansdowne Resort, Leesburg, Virginia; Small Group Breakouts #2

What: Mentorship is a great way of providing technical assistance for SGBs (small and growing businesses) by linking seasoned entrepreneurs and professionals with SGBs to guide their leadership as they address growth challenges. There are several frameworks that have been developed to provide mentorship. This session will explore the best practices and lessons learnt from employing these frameworks.


Panel Members:

Moderator: Rob Schneider, USAID

Panel Participant: Andrew Lieberman, Miller Center

Panel Participant: Pradeep Suthram, Ripplework


For More Information:

Pat Haines, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship,, 408-551-7118

Colleen Martell, Martell Communications for Miller Center,, 408-832-0147


Tags:  GSBI  Lieberman  mentoring  Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship 

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