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FINCA International Launches FINCA Ventures, an Early-Stage Impact Investor

Posted By Michael Leen, FINCA International, Wednesday, August 22, 2018

ANDE Member and global microfinance pioneer FINCA International has announced the launch of FINCA Ventures, an impact investing platform that provides patient capital and pre- and post-investment support to help early-stage social enterprises achieve growth and scale.

FINCA Ventures aims to accelerate the growth of social enterprises developing goods that align with FINCA’s charitable mission, thus fostering a market for affordable, high-quality and life-improving products and services for low-income families.

Over the past 18 months, FINCA Ventures has invested in six social enterprises serving emerging market customers, including Amped Innovation, BioLite, Eneza Education, Good Nature Agro, Ignitia and Sanivation. The investment profile for FINCA Ventures spans energy, WASH, education, health, agriculture and fintech, with a geographic focus on sub-Saharan Africa.

For more information, visit www.FINCAVentures.com

or contact Ami.Dalal@FINCA.org and Alex.Evangelides@FINCA.org

 

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Tags:  ANDE Members  BOP  impact investing  social enterprise 

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GroFin - Transforming SGBs in Africa & the Middle East

Posted By Shailen Neewoor, GroFin, Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Updated: Friday, June 15, 2018

Gain a deeper understanding of how GroFin, through its unique investment model in SGBs, is positively transforming small and growing businesses and the local communities they support. The inspiring success stories of its entrepreneurs exemplify the collaborative efforts of GroFin staff, investors, partners and clients. The 2017 GroFin Impact Report, Nomou Impact Report and Aspire Impact Report translates its faith in the power of the collective by asking the question “If not us, who? If not today, when? If not with our finance and support, how will these small businesses grow and succeed?”

2017 GroFin Impact Report

As at end 2017, GroFin has financed 675 small and growing businesses, supported 8,840 entrepreneurs, sustained a total of 86,190 jobs and touched the lives of 430,955 family members in the local communities across our 15 locations of operation in Africa and the Middle East. The report indicates that GroFin has made more investments in its priority sectors of education, healthcare, agribusiness, manufacturing and key services. Furthermore, GroFin invested US$ 60M in nearly 88 new small and growing businesses, with over 50% of the SMEs operating directly in our sectors of focus, sustaining 14,000 total jobs and supporting an additional 72,000 livelihoods. And to reinforce its value proposition of providing 'support beyond finance' the company introduced the GroFin STEP (Success through Effective Partnerships) Programme to support its SMEs and Entrepreneurs.

2017 Nomou Impact Report

The Nomou Programme is a regional initiative in MENA which was co-created by GroFin and Shell Foundation. As a result of the collaborative efforts of its investors, partners and clients, the Nomou programme is contributing to the alleviation of poverty and improvement of livelihoods in the communities where the programme operates, as well as striving to reduce the adverse impact of the humanitarian crisis in the region.

In 2017, the Nomou Programme supported 1,005 entrepreneurs, made investments into 103 SGBs, sustained a total of 10,287 jobs, touched the lives of 51,435 beneficiaries and added economic value of US$ 149 million per annum through its investee SMEs across Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Oman.

2017 Aspire Impact Report

Since their inception in 2014, the Aspire Small Business Fund (ASBF) and the Aspire Growth Fund (AGF) have sought to promote local entrepreneurship, employment and economic value-add in the Niger Delta. With the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) as anchor investor, the Aspire Enterprise Development Funds epitomise GroFin, a private development finance institution, and SPDC’s efforts to serve the local community with a combination of investment funds, business skills and market linkages.

In 2017 GroFin increased its commitment to supporting SMEs in the Niger Delta Region by investing in an additional 17 small and growing businesses and extending further funding of US$ 2.5M (140% increase from total amount invested as at end 2016). As at end of 2017, GroFin has supported 365 businesses, invested in 53 SMEs and sustained a total of 1,975 jobs under the Aspire Funds.

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Millennials Seek Shift in Workplace Culture

Posted By Peter Ptashko, Global Social Entrepreneurship Network (GSEN), Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Updated: Friday, August 11, 2017

Today GSEN: the Global Social Entrepreneurship Network is delighted to launch the next blog in its 'Summer of Talent' series.

Rafael Achondo is founder at 'Matteria' and writes on how to manage a new generation of human capital eager for purpose and culture in the workplace. 

Considering the ambition and volatility of this growing workforce, attracting and retaining the best talent will depend on the ability of management to build teams with shared values and beliefs.

According to the 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey, 66 percent of professionals between 25 and 35 years old are considering leaving their current jobs before 2020; 13 percent will leave in the next 6 months. A symptom of the disconnect between employers and employees is the perception that a search for work- life balance indicates a lack of interest in the job, or that impatience for advancement comes from arrogance and hubris. There are misunderstandings between managers and millennial workers because the workforce is changing, while the workplace is not.

The LinkedIn Job Switchers Global Report 2015 shows that the number of active job seekers has increased by 36 percent in the last four years, and that 34 percent of these ‘job switchers’ are expected to move not only to a new employer but into different industries and positions altogether. Yes, they want to be elsewhere, doing and learning something different. “Why should I keep working in the banking sector if I can also work in the energy, IT, or retail industries?” “Why should I learn only from finance if my skills allow me to gain knowledge in marketing, logistics or human capital management?”

Managers might wonder: “Why do our employees have this insatiable curiosity, flexibility and ambition?”

The answer is simple: because they can. We are dealing with young professionals who descend from the generation with the greatest purchasing power in history, the offspring of abundance and citizens of an increasingly connected global village, less ideological, modern and tolerant to diversity, and with access to inexhaustible sources of information, every day more democratized. This context empowers them to believe that they can achieve more: 77 percent of young professionals feel partially or absolutely in control of their professional future and 81 percent are willing to travel anywhere in the world in order to find a job to fulfil their expectations, according to 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey.

The main challenge today is to see this labor turnover as a real trend that gives organizations the opportunity to develop management strategies that really add value to human capital and to every person on a team. To use millennials’ ambition and diversity to bolster an organization’s vision and fulfill its purpose of doing business.

What kind of organizations have taken advantage of this ’problem‘? Those who appreciate this new generation and their drive, both individual and collective, those who understand their personal quest for purpose, and even further those who value their aspiration to belong to a culture and a community. Purpose and culture are the current and future keys to managing the most important asset any organization could have: human capital.


Millennials take pride in contributing to something that really matters. Well-educated and with no shortage of opportunities, their ambitions go beyond job security or earning a large salary with benefits. Employment is not only about making enough money to enjoy leisure activities in one’s free time. Another key factor to happiness is personal fulfilment and self-esteem within work. This evolved perspective includes a society where individual behavior has consequences and in which each person contributes to the greater good. Millennials want their employers to be in tune with this world, the world they want to build, regardless of the product, service, or industry in which they operate.

Beyond purpose, millennials also have the human need to communicate and interact with others around a collective welfare goal. Young professionals are inspired more by causes rather than ideologies, by
convictions rather than religious beliefs. Many of these individuals have little confidence in current political establishments and economic systems that breed inequality, which is why they want to be part of organizational cultures that break these paradigms and solve these challenges. They are eager to be a part of work teams with values, behaviors, language, beliefs, and power structures that positively impact their lives and the lives of others. They seek a different, more holistic way of doing business.

The following strategies can help organizations create an environment that will attract and retain young professionals:

  • Generate a vision and culture that Millennials want to see reflected in society
  • Create collaborative environments
  • Encourage leadership that empowers individuals, providing opportunities both for innovation as
    well as failure
  • Manage global, multi-disciplinary teams and innovative projects where employees can contribute
    their talents and fulfil roles that enable them to grow and advance
  • Equip teams to work on common goals towards a better society
  • Measure performance by goals achieved rather than hours in the office

Most importantly, an employer’s invitation to future employees should not only be to fill a position, but to enter an open space where they can learn and become the best version of themselves, both personally and professionally.

What if after all this effort employees still leave the organization? While these strategies should help turnover rates to decrease, human capital management goals should target each professional passing through an organization individually. Investment in the talent of your employees will make a difference in the problems they might solve and the impact they create in the future. Equipping employees to become change makers will benefit society, even if that benefit is created with another organization. When young professionals have been proud to be part of a team, they will take the culture and values to other causes and organizations.

The trends are evident and growing. Society is evolving and with it the aspirations and demands of the new generation of professionals. The organizations that take risks and innovate in this area will attract and retain the best talent. To achieve this we will need leaders who not only understand sustainability\ as a competitive strategy, but who also adapt their management to develop professionals for a new
economy, focused on economic, social and environmental positive impact. Understanding this will allow leaders to become real cultural contributors, as they promote in their employees and teams the same positive values we want to see in society.


About Rafael Achondo

Founder at Matteria. Co-Founder and former CEO at Pegas con Sentido Chile. Former
Executive Director of Development at TECHO (Un Techo para mi País). Co-Founder and former CEO at TECHO U.S.
Twitter: @rafoachondo

 

Tags:  ANDE Members  social entrepreneurship 

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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 http://www.inspirafarms.com/articles-publications/

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

Authors: Tim Chambers and Jack Luft

Contact Person: Tim Chambers (tchambers@epven.com)

 

 

 

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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Join us: Unlikely Allies, July 5-6, Seattle

Posted By Elisabeth Cramer, Impact Hub, Thursday, June 9, 2016

Calling all urban innovators! Register now for Unlikely Allies: Future of Cities Festival in Seattle, Washington, USA, July 5-6, 2016.

Unlikely Allies is an annual two-day festival that takes place in a new city each year. We are expecting over 500 attendees from 80+ global cities, from across the US and from the greater Seattle community to gather for this event which will showcase the latest thinking, technology, best practices, innovations and ideas around the Future of Cities.

The international festival is hosted by the global Impact Hub network, and will include speakers such as Majora Carter of MGC Consulting LLC / Startup Box, Carol Coletta of the Kresge Foundation, and other thought leaders from organizations such as Change.org, MercyCorps, Microsoft, Nesta, the RSA, Techsoup, and WWF.

See this year's program and read more about the festival here!

Tags:  ANDE Members  entrepreneurship ecosystems  Impact Hub  innovation  sustainability  Training & Events 

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Farm Africa- Strengthening the first mile report

Posted By Solomon Onyata, Farm Africa - Kenya, Friday, November 13, 2015

Small and medium agriculture businesses in East Africa play a vital role in connecting small-scale farming to wider markets, but their growth is held back by a lack of appropriate financial products. Farm Africa’s Maendeleo Agricultural Enterprise Fund (MAEF) addresses this critical financing gap by providing working capital and support in agronomy, business and marketing to rural enterprises. Read more on how MAEF addresses the financing gap here: 

http://www.farmafrica.org/downloads/resources/strengthening-the-first-mile---pages.pdf


Tags:  ANDE Members  impact investing  sustainability 

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Announcing DIV:LIVE - A Social Enterprise Competition on August 26

Posted By Kristen Gendron, U.S. Agency for International Development, Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Spread the world to innovators and entrepreneurs! USAID's DIV program and partners are hosting a live pitch competition on August 26th in Amman, Jordan. 

The competition, DIV:LIVE, seeks innovations in the Middle East that aim to solve the world’s most intractable development challenges through demonstrated impact and cost-effectiveness. Innovators selected for the final stages through the DIV competition will pitch their development solution at the DIV:LIVE event to be considered for a grant ranging from $100K to $1,500,000+ USD. 

Learn more here and help us spread the word with the tools below.


Our target audience

We are hoping to get the word out to start-ups, social entrepreneurs, traditional entrepreneurs, and even NGOs and public sector-focused groups who can apply to the competition (winning seed funding of ~100K and scaling funding up to 15M), as well as other investors or stakeholders who might want to get involved. We are hoping to increase awareness/applications in MENA specifically, but are open to all applicants who would be willing to travel to the finals in Amman.

DIV:LIVE overview text for sharing

DIV and the USAID's Jordan Competitiveness Program are co-hosting a live pitch competition called DIV:LIVE on August 26th in Amman, Jordan. This pitch competition is open to any country, but we are specifically outreaching to potential applicants in the Middle East and North Africa region. Selected innovators will pitch their development solution to be considered for a grant ranging from $100K to $1,500,000+ USD. This event will include a live audience with other potential investors and relevant stakeholders. Any interested organization - nonprofit, for-profit, or university - can apply. Ultimately, we are seeking innovations that aims to solve the world’s most intractable development challenges through demonstrated impact and cost-effectiveness

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Tags:  Access to Finance  ANDE Members  Entrepreneurship  High-Growth Entrepreneurship  impact investing  impact investment  innovation  Investors  MENA  Philanthropy; impact investing  social business  social enterprise  Social Entrepreneurship 

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Economic Inclusion: Leveraging Markets and Entrepreneurship to Extend Opportunity

Posted By Teodora Mihaylova, Center for International Private Enterprise, Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Burgeoning youth populations across the developing world emphasize the importance of achieving sustainable economic growth and providing widespread employment opportunities. Economic inclusion refers to equality of opportunity for all members of society to participate in the economic life of their country as employers, entrepreneurs, consumers and citizens. The private sector is a central partner in fostering economic growth. The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) latest Feature Service article outlines strategies to build a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem by engaging traditionally under-represented groups in economic and political life. The article focuses on approaches to promote entrepreneurship opportunities among women and youth as well as informal sector operators. The Feature Service illustrates successful approaches employed in CIPE projects around the world. Click here to read the latest iteration of Feature Service.

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Tags:  ANDE Members  Entrepreneurship  entrepreneurship ecosystems  sustainable development  Women  Youth 

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If you aren’t part of the mainstream, how do you measure impact?

Posted By Peter Whitehead, Media Development Investment Fund, Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Whether or not you agree with the research and investment blogs that claim impact investing is about to change the world or think the jury’s still got some considering to do before delivering a verdict, all surely agree that measurement will play a critical role in the development – or otherwise – of the sector.

Investors, investees and practitioners – as well as catalytic organizations like ANDE – need to be able to point to outcomes or, better still, societal impact if impact investing is going to live up to even half the claims for its transformative power.

There are plenty of guides and indicators to help mainstream impact investors compare like with like – if your goal is to create jobs or roll out microfinance, there are accepted ways to measure and compare what you’re doing – but what about non-mainstream sectors? And what about impact sectors where the ultimate goals are more intangible, like supporting human rights or democratic development?

For example, Media Development Investment Fund invests in independent media around the world that provide the news, information and debate that people need to create thriving, free societies. We provide capital and technical assistance to help independent news businesses become financially self-sustainable, strong enough to remain independent of powerful governments and oligarchs who want to trade cash for influence.

To evaluate our impact, we focus our assessment efforts on two broad areas: first, our direct impact on investees; and, second, our investees’ impacts on their societies.

Assessing the extent to which our support contributes to our investees’ sustainability is relatively straightforward; we evaluate how each media company’s reach, sales and viability (determined by assessing a range of risk factors) change over the course of their involvement with us, all based on monitoring data we collect on a monthly basis.

But what about our impact on helping people build free societies? For practical – mainly resource – reasons, assessing impact at this level is less systematic. Even so, we think it’s important to do what we can and we conduct deep-dive studies on individual clients to understand the role they play in their societies. This can show whether a newspaper in Guatemala is a trusted source of investigative journalism, for example, or whether a news website in Malaysia provided important information to voters in national elections.

In 2014 we have supplemented this type of assessment by including portfolio-wide societal impact metrics in our annual Impact Dashboard. This year we focus on our clients’ efforts to hold leaders accountable for their actions through reporting on corruption and tracking policy promises. While this falls short of measuring our achievements in helping to create free, thriving societies, it takes us a step further than we have gone before and provides our investors with a better insight into the changes they are helping to create.

We would love to hear how other impact investors have developed impact measurement in non-mainstream sectors, as well as any feedback on our approach and suggestions for improving it.

You can take a look at the interactive Impact Dashboard 2014 or read the pdf here: http://www.mdif.org/impact-dashboard-2014/.

 

Tags:  ANDE Members  impact evaluation  impact investing  impact investment  impact measurement 

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Working methods of Impact Investing Funds in Latin America

Posted By Julian Vargas, Fundacion IES, Friday, August 29, 2014
Updated: Friday, August 29, 2014

This document is a systematization, done by IES Foundation with the support of New Ventures Mexico, which analyses the way ten impact investing funds in Latin-America work. The document discusses the way the funds performs their duties, the problems they face and the solutions they find. The document does not intended to find “the correct” way of doing things but rather focuses on showing the way different funds in the region deal with the challenges related to impact investing, therefore it describes rather than prescribes. The research is based on 10 questionnaires, filled by 10 impact investing funds, and a workshop that was carried out in 2014th Impact Investing Latin-American Forum (FLII). You can download the report (in spanish) here. For questions of more information please contact Julian Vargas Talavera (jvargas@fundacionies.org)   

Tags:  ANDE Members  impact investing  Latin America  Sector Trends 

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