Kelly McCarthy

Countdown to SOCAP: Metrics, Environmental Performance and Impact Investing

TIMe for Change…

Two months ago, New Ventures and E+Co launched its Global Green! seminar in Costa Rica, a joint effort to help emerging market entrepreneurs improve and capitalize on their environmental performance. Participants representing 10 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America assessed the Toolkit for Impact Measurement (TIMe).

With generous support from the Rockefeller Foundation, New Ventures and E+Co developed a working draft of the Toolkit for Impact Measurement (TIMe); the draft is being used by a pilot group of global entrepreneurs and the Toolkit will be improved based on feedback during this seminar and then disseminated to other entrepreneurs for use and feedback.

An “imagine if we could collaborate and organize our teams and portfolio companies” conversation that started fourteen months ago is being realized today” said Gina Rodolico, E+Co Chief Operating Officer, in her opening remarks to the seminar group. E+Co and New Ventures began discussing the possibility of collaborating on the development of a tool to help green sector entrepreneurs identify, inventory, and outline changes to improve operational environmental footprint. Although these companies promote sustainable products and services, they are lacking tools to measure their own environmental footprint and have limited awareness of their energy and water consumption patterns.

“The validation for TIMe is for us to be back together next year reviewing reports indicating your company’s environmental footprint has been reduced.” Rodolico challenged the group. In addition to entrepreneurs, New Ventures’ staff and E+Co’s Monitoring and Evaluation Officers also participated in a “train the trainers” program to replicate this training in their regions.

The pilot group of 12 entrepreneurs was chosen from 50 applicants in the spring. These entrepreneurs serve base-of-the-pyramid communities around the world, and their experiences made this first effort highly rewarding. We believe that TIMe can further the positive impacts of the emerging Impact Investing industry, convening in San Francisco next week; for this reason we’ll be hosting a panel at SOCAP 10 to share a bit of what we learned, hoping to gather feedback from peers and partners on how to improve the toolkit further.

If you’re planning to be at SOCAP, and your interest is in the field of metrics and environmental performance of Small and Growing Bussinesses, we hope to see you there.