Expanding Financial Opportunity to All: Kiva CEO Chris Tsakalakis Discusses the Pioneering Lending Platform’s Evolving Focus
In April of last year, Chris Tsakalakis was named CEO of the San Francisco-based microlending nonprofit Kiva, after successful leadership stints at Vivino, the world’s largest online wine marketplace, and StubHub, the world’s largest online ticket marketplace. We caught up with Tsakalakis roughly one year into his tenure at Kiva, to discuss his vision and priorities for the organization, the lessons he’s learned in his time at the helm, and his thoughts on the challenges and opportunities facing Kiva and the broader microfinance sector in the coming years.
Embedding Gender Equity Into Companies’ DNA: An Investor Consortium Builds the Evidence Base for Gender Lens Investing
As gender lens investing moves into the mainstream, investors and enterprises need support in getting buy-in for this approach – and in implementing it effectively. To that end, the Gender-Smart Enterprise Assistance Research Coalition is working to build the evidence base for investing with a gender lens, with support from the Performance Measurement and Improvement team at the William Davidson Institute. NextBillion spoke with Lisa Willems at AlphaMundi and Rebecca Fries at Value for Women about the momentum that’s driving gender lens investing, the challenges it faces and the work the new consortium is doing.
Surveying the Landscape for Social Investments in Africa: A Major New Study Assesses the Current State of Play on the Continent
The social investment sector in Africa is dynamic and growing – but it’s struggling to close the enormous Sustainable Development Goals financing gap. The African Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA) explored the opportunities and obstacles facing social investors on the continent in an ambitious new study, “The Landscape for Social Investments in Africa.” NextBillion interviewed AVPA’s CEO, Frank Aswani, to discuss the study’s findings, and what they say about the current state of social investment in Africa.
Startups and Venture Capital vs. COVID-19: How an INR 1 Billion Grant Program Is Boosting India’s Pandemic Response
India is home to many innovative startups that are leveraging technology to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. To support them, a group of prominent venture capital funds and founders recently launched ACT Grants, an INR 1 billion effort to fund scale-ready solutions to COVID-related challenges. NextBillion spoke with Mekin Maheshwari, founder of Udhyam Learning Foundation – a key partner in the initiative – about how it is helping India’s startups ramp up their battle against the virus.
Earlier this year, the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership announced that it was spinning off from the Clinton Foundation, where it had been an initiative since its founding in 2007. The independent organization, now called Acceso, works to build businesses and connect them to the broader marketplace – particularly in Latin America. Its founder, Frank Giustra, discusses its new focus and ongoing work in this Q&A.
Six new funds comprise the new SDG500 initiative – a first-of-its-kind, $500 million investment platform aimed at accelerating progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Florian Kemmerich at Bamboo Capital Partners and Lucica Ditiu of the Stop TB Partnership spoke with NextBillion to share a behind-the-scenes look at how the initiative aims to reach its goals by 2030.
Investing from the ‘Frontier of the Frontier’: Lessons from Ten Years as an Investment Advisor in Africa
With six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies, Africa is an attractive target for investors. But investing there doesn’t always come easy. Ten years ago, Andreas Zeller moved to Nairobi and co-founded Open Capital Advisors, which helps investors access African markets, and helps African businesses become investment-ready. In this interview, Zeller discusses how development and donor agencies can remove the barriers to investment throughout the continent.
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.