Big Investors Need to Change the Way They Do Business: A Q&A with the GIIN’s Co-Founder and CEO, Amit Bouri
The overall impact investing market portfolio is now estimated at half a trillion dollars. So how are Asia – and specifically India – shaping up in terms of impact investment growth and development? Smarinita Shetty, co-founder and CEO at India Development Review, asks this and other questions in this interview with Amit Bouri, the CEO and co-founder of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN). Bouri notes that despite several new retail opportunities, it's still not enough to move the needle.
Today, the Center for Financial Inclusion is wrapping up Financial Inclusion Week. The intention for the week was to ask some soul-searching questions about what it means to be inclusive – and about how financial access in the age of fintech can impact the lives of millions, for good or ill. We caught up with three leading voices in the field, asking each of them three key questions focused on what financial inclusion means to them from a personal, organizational and international standpoint.
Charting the Next Decade in the Global Small and Growing Business Sector: A Q&A with ANDE Executive Director Randall Kempner
The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, a membership organization of investment groups, NGOs and business ecosystem advocates, recently marked its 10th anniversary. As it approaches a second decade moving the global small and growing business sector forward, ANDE announced a new strategy that focuses on gender, the environment and job creation. We spoke with Executive Director Randall Kempner about what the future holds for ANDE and the global SGB sector.
Avoiding Impact Washing, Hero Worship and Other Ethical Marketing Pitfalls: A Q&A with Justin Belleme
How should impact-focused businesses market what they do – without succumbing to pitfalls such as impact washing or hero worship? We posed that question to Justin Belleme, the director of strategy at JB Media Group. As one of the few marketing agencies with a B Corp certification, JB Media works with multiple impact-focused businesses and organizations, including the SOCAP conference. In this Q&A, Belleme explores how well-intentioned impact entrepreneurs and their communications teams can keep their marketing in line with their missions.
Why do so many anti-poverty efforts fail? And what should we do differently? In his new book, "Who Owns Poverty," Fundación Paraguaya founder and CEO Martin Burt explores those questions from the viewpoint of the real experts: poor families themselves. He presents some key insights from the book in this Q&A – and the book is available to NextBillion readers at a discount (or as a free e-book)!
Turning Impact Measurement on its Head: A Q&A with 60 Decibels Co-Founders Sasha Dichter and Tom Adams
How should a social business measure its impact? The sector has always struggled to answer that question, leaving many enterprises and investors without useful data about the impact of their work. Acumen is addressing this issue by spinning out a standalone social enterprise called 60 Decibels, which leverages mobile technology to quickly and easily acquire impact data from low-income customers and beneficiaries. Co-founders Sasha Dichter and Tom Adams discuss its innovative model, and the potential it offers to investors, enterprises and the people they serve.
Why Africa’s Energy Sector Needs Transparency: A Q&A with the Head of KawiSafi Ventures, Acumen’s for-Profit Energy Fund
While investing patient capital into for-profit firms has been Acumen’s MO for decades now, the organization itself has remained a non-profit. But in April, Acumen announced that it was doing something it hadn't done before: creating a commercial investment fund. Called KawiSafi Ventures, the for-profit fund has lined up $70 million to boost clean energy firms – and therefore clean energy access – in East Africa. Managing Director Amar Inamdar explores the fund's focus on scalable businesses, and why debt and equity need to start playing nice with one another in the sector.
Scaling your Social Enterprise – While Handling your Success: A Q&A with Microfinance Pioneer Alex Counts
Few people know more about the opportunities and pitfalls of scaling a social enterprise than Alex Counts. A seminal figure in microfinance, he led Grameen Foundation's growth from a $6,000 start-up to a $20 million powerhouse, while playing a key role in the often turbulent expansion of the broader microfinance sector. NextBillion caught up with Counts to discuss his latest book, “Changing the World Without Losing Your Mind.” The book – and this Q&A – provide essential advice for social impact leaders working to grow their organizations – and dealing with the new tensions scale can bring.