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Monday, May 12, 2008

Guest Post: Finding Good Capitalists

By Rob Katz

Blair MillerGuest blogger Blair Miller is a Manager of Business Development at Acumen Fund. She has lived and worked in Senegal, South Korea, India, and El Salvador. Her pursuit of a literature degree the University of Virginia opened her mind to the importance of social change and her MBA from Michigan gave her the practical skills to make that change a reality.

By Blair MillerAs I walked into Desmond Tutu Center in New York on Thursday night, I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the social networking event hosted by Good Capital. Good Capital is an investment fund aiming to accelerate the flows of capital to social enterprises, and they successfully convened an incredible group of colleagues, investors, and friends.

Just to give you a sense of the event, my first conversation was with two women from Scojo Foundation, an Acumen Fund investee that reduces poverty and generates opportunity through the sale of affordable reading glasses. I then had the pleasure of talking with Tim Freundlich, a partner at Good Capital, who - among other things - told me of the upcoming conference they are hosting in San Francisco in October. This was followed by a conversation on community building with Jed Emerson, one of the leading thinkers on Blended Value and also an Acumen Fund and Good Capital Advisor.

I finished up the evening discussing the growing spectrum of capital with two fellow Michigan Alumni, Josh Cohen of City Light Capital, a money management and business development firm that focuses on the security, media and energy sectors, and Michael Baratoff of Equilibrium Capital, a growth equity fund focused on sustainability.

As I walked out of the event into the breathtaking and serene courtyard of the seminary behind the Tutu Center I realized that we are no longer a few disparate mavericks but instead an interconnected community leading a movement that can demonstrate the power of the market as a tool for sustainable and innovative solutions to social problems.

Editor's note: This post first appeared on the Acumen Fund blog.
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