Friday
June 17
2011

Scott Anderson

Friday Roundup – 6/17/11: Building the BoP House

How big is the market for BoP housing? Well, HansonWade puts the figure at $381 billion a year by 4 billion low-income customers. Unlocking and serving that market by creating business models to scale up affordable housing finance, is the goal behind BOP Housing Finance conference.

A little less than two weeks remain before the HansonWade forum, which takes place June 28-29 in Miami, FL. It features speakers Belinda Florez, project Manager at MFI Alliances and Initiatives in LAC for Habitat for Humanity; Daniela Carrera, chief of financial markets division of the Inter-American Development Bank’s Structured and Corporate Finance Department; and David Smith, founder of the Affordable Housing Institute.

Hart’s New Blog

In his recent Harvard Business Review blog post, The Clean-Tech Economy at the Base of the Pyramid, Stuart Hart writes that the U.S. can, in fact, “lead the rise of the global clean-tech economy by collaborating with emerging economy countries and investing in sustainable development at the base of the pyramid, where the lion’s share of future demand will be.”

To keep the conversation going, Hart has launched a new blog called Voice of the Planet. Hart, the Samuel C. Johnson Chair in Sustainable Global Enterprise and Professor of Management at Johnson School of Management at Cornell University, is a NextBillion advisor.

Dream of Angels

Rod Schwartz over at Social Edge is convening an engaging discussion on the role of angel business networks. Angels usually are the first class of investors in a particular enterprise, taking the biggest risk and usually snagging the biggest reward. No doubt angels belong in the picture of funding social ventures, but Schwartz raises a couple of key questions, namely:

“If only angels fund social businesses and enterprises (SBEs), social investment becomes the domain of the rich and successful. Is that desirable? And if there is an imbalance between the huge supply of capital and the scarce supply of SBEs, won’t the growth of SBANs initially make things worse?”

It’s a question worth pondering, especially if social ventures follow the same track as U.S. startups, 90 percent or so of which are backed with angel investments compared with about 10 percent from venture capital.

Opportunities

Impact investing firm LGT Venture Philanthropy has 25 open fellowship positions for 2012 in Columbia, Peru, South Africa, India and the Philippines. All jobs are with organizations (for-profit or non-profit) with a significant social or environmental impact. Topics that those organization cover are: waste management, education, renewable energy, health, water management.
You can check out all of the available positions here.

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Entrepreneurship
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Acumen Fund