Ease Off on the Accelerators: Why GALI’s Latest Study on Accelerator Programs May Be Overstating Their Impact
Early-stage social venture accelerators are growing at a rapid pace in emerging markets, and they receive widespread acclaim – driven in part by positive results from research conducted by the Global Accelerator Learning Initiative (GALI). But South Africa-based investor Nicky Khaki cautions that, while accelerators can certainly have value, their benefits to participating companies may not be as clear cut as GALI's data suggests. He explores why the studies may be exaggerating accelerators' impact – and how they could do better.
True financial inclusion involves reaching marginalized workers, and few are more marginalized than sex workers. Like everyone, these workers have financial needs and goals - including, for many, the goal of finding a safer livelihood. Daryl Collins, CEO of BFA, walks through the revenues and expenses of a sex worker in Ghana to show how access to financial services can impact sex workers – and why mainstream providers need to see the value in this overlooked population.
The social impact of home solar systems in off-grid villages has shown itself to be broader than initially thought. But while social enterprises continue to roll out new forms of solar, financing their purchase can put these innovations out of reach for the low-income households that need them most. Mark Roesink of Oikocredit shares how weaving responsible microlending into the solar industry could generate greater impact for energy access in emerging markets like India and Kenya.
Women Leaders, Women Lenders: Why Impact Investing Should Follow Microfinance’s Lead on Female Empowerment
Women have been an integral part of microfinance since the very beginning. But though the percentage of women in top leadership positions in microfinance institutions is high compared to the rest of the global banking sector, it’s still lower than women’s proportion of the overall population – and far lower than the percentage of female clients served by these institutions. Abiskar Shrestha, a senior investment officer at MicroVest Capital Management, explores how the sector can boost female leadership – and how investors can help.
Imagine building a business from the ground up – only to see it literally washed away with every drought and flood due to the effects of climate change. These weather-related cycles, which disproportionately impact women, keep millions in poverty and threaten millions more. Nicole Mills with The BOMA Project and Alex Russell with the Feed the Future Innovation Lab detail a new project pairing poverty graduation programs with livestock insurance – and discuss the randomized control trial designed to see if it actually works.