On Camera at SOCAP17: Eight Video Interviews with Leaders in Social Business and Impact Investing
We interviewed eight thought leaders at SOCAP17, including investors, entrepreneurs and other influencers, on Facebook Live. The discussions covered a broad range of issues important to the social business and investing space. If you missed the conference, or if you have an interest in these sectors, these Q&As are essential viewing. (Please bear with the occasional technical difficulty – these videos were recorded live, and things sometimes got unpredictable.)
A LIVE INTERVIEW WITH Alloysius Attah, CEO of Farmerline
Alloysius Attah co-founded Farmerline after spending 15 of his early years on a small farm in Ghana. The company helps farmers access information and services to boost their yields and improve their incomes, and it has reached over 200,000 farmers across 11 countries. Attah discusses the challenges facing smallholders, and the best ways the social business community can serve them, in this interview.
A LIVE INTERVIEW WITH RON CORDES OF CORDES FOUNDATION
SOCAP turned 10 this year. One year before that, Ron Cordes and his wife, Marty, formed the Cordes Foundation – one of the first focused on impact investing and social entrepreneurship. We discussed the sector’s evolution (and a few remaining weak spots) with Cordes in this live Q&A. (The audio levels are a bit low for the first minute, but we got it sorted out before the actual questions began around the 1:00 mark – progress! Feel free to skip the intro and get straight to the questions.)
A LIVE INTERVIEW WITH MAELIS CARRARO OF BFA
How can fintechs get low-income customers to trust them? What are the latest innovations in financial product design for the underserved? And which buzz-worthy technology has more potential for financial inclusion: blockchain or AI? Maelis Carraro manager of Catalyst Fund, answers these and other questions in this live interview. Catalyst Fund is an initiative by JP Morgan and Gates Foundation, run by BFA (a partner of NextBillion). The fund supports early-stage inclusive fintech startups with grant capital, mentorship, and business advisory services, helping them develop their businesses to become investment-ready and work with impact and commercial investors to facilitate connections. Check out these insights from Maelis Carraro, broadcast live from #SOCAP17.
A LIVE INTERVIEW WITH ERIN WORSHAM OF CASE AT DUKE
It’s a perennial subject here at SOCAP: scaling impact. And that applies to social entrepreneurs, funders and everyone along the value chain – right down to the end consumer or beneficiary of a service. So we were glad to have Erin Worsham join us in our Facebook Live interview on the second full day of SOCAP to talk about scale and to help us navigate through the evolving discussions around scale. Worsham is executive director of the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She and contributing editor Scott Anderson chat about why scale is so elusive a concept, the evolution of SOCAP and how today’s business school students are exploring social business and impact investing.
A LIVE Q&A WITH TAHIRA DOSANI, MANAGING DIRECTOR, ACCION VENTURE LAB
Tahira Dosani directs Accion Venture Lab, a seed-stage impact investing initiative focused on financial inclusion. In this Q&A, she discusses the rewards (and risks) of using mobile tech to serve low-income customers, ways to lower risks to scale for innovative fintech companies, and some innovations and enterprises that are drawing Venture Lab’s attention.
A LIVE Q&A WITH ROSA LEE HARDEN, CO-FOUNDER OF SOCAP
Rosa Lee Harden calls SOCAP an “oasis” for the worlds of business, investment, social impact and sustainability – to name just a few groups that don’t often come face to face. They’re coming into far closer contact today compared with about 10 years ago, when SOCAP first launched. Harden, who along with her husband Kevin Jones, launched the conference, which this year has attracted more than 3,000 attendees. She stopped by the media room for chat about how SOCAP has evolved, how they measure impact from the conference and what it means for impact investing to hold the “moral high ground.”
A LIVE Q&A WITH CENIARTH DIRECTOR GREG NEICHIN
Ceniarth director Greg Neichin wrote some of the most well-read (and controversial) NextBillion posts of 2017, tackling the unexpectedly touchy topic of whether impact investing is contributing to a “hype cycle” in off-grid energy, and why impact investors should be willing to make “necessary and realistic concessions” to generate real social impact. We spoke with Neichin about both of these topics – and several others – in this live and characteristically frank interview.
A LIVE Q&A WITH MACARTHUR FOUNDATION’S DEBRA SCHWARTZ
On Tuesday evening, NextBillion continued our illustrious SOCAP tradition of screwing up our first Facebook Live interview of the conference due to unexpected tech issues (see last year’s sideways interview with Eric Stephenson of the Cordes Foundation for a cringe-worthy example). This year, our interview with Debra Schwartz, Managing Director, Impact Investments at MacArthur Foundation was briefly muddled by audio issues – the audio is very low (but audible) until around the 7:50 mark, after which it normalizes, getting much louder (be careful with your ears, if you’re wearing headphones). We thank Debra for her patience with our snafu, but especially for sharing her fascinating insights into MacArthur’s approach to impact investing, and her deep knowledge of the sector. Watch the interview below: