It is no secret, I’m a firm believer that impact investing is a movement that is taking off and here to stay. In the U.S. and around the world we’ve seen segments of the market start to move from informed, to educated, to activated. We’ve seen private capital unleashed with a focus on impact across sectors, geographies and asset classes. As an investor and a philanthropist, I’m encouraged by the good news I’ve seen, highlighting growth in the number of successful social enterprises.
For 15 years, the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation has pioneered venture philanthropy as a unique approach to finding, funding and supporting social entrepreneurs who are changing the world.
We do this by making three-year, unrestricted grants to leaders who have the vision and capacity to build strong organizations that, at scale, can have a significant impact.
Impact Investing is now front and center for many people and institutions, and is no longer a choice of either/or. That is, a trade-off no longer exists between changing the world and making compelling financial returns. Look for Impact Investing to continue staking out its turf on the investment landscape, with a proven track record of impact and economic benefits.
Seven years ago this week, President Obama delivered a landmark speech in Cairo in which he underscored the transformative power of entrepreneurship. In his remarks, he described the need to “...deepen ties between business leaders, foundations and social entrepreneurs in the United States and…around the world.”
I was raised in an American farm town. My perceptions of Africa were a mix between the gruesomeness of Hotel Rwanda and the fantastical backdrop of Disney’s Lion King. To me it was a wild land without structure and organization, and it scared me enough to want to stay far away. Then one day a funny thing happened: I moved there.
Nearly four years ago, when Accion Venture Lab made its first investment, we set out to fill a seed-stage funding gap for innovative financial inclusion startups around the world. Venture Lab was a new initiative of Accion, our parent organization that has worked for 50 years to build a financially inclusive world. We believed then (as we do now) that those startups could play a significant role in leveraging technology to improve the quality of and access to financial services for the underserved.
When we think about the world of entrepreneurship and its application in education, the innovations in education technology are often top of mind as a tool for disrupting the space, and rightfully so given the growth in the sector in the past decade. With a rich tradition of supporting both entrepreneurship and education at the Kauffman Foundation, we are beginning to ask big questions about the future of edtech and its role in our own local strategy for building and sustaining a robust ecosystem for education innovation.
Who doesn’t want to start their own business? It’s easy to get restless in your job, to feel so bored and sick of following someone else’s playbook that youknow it has to be better on the other side. As an entrepreneur, you dictate your own work schedule, set your daily goals, and pursue your passion 24/7. Sounds perfect, right?
Talent is universal. Access to capital is concentrated.
We are lucky to be surrounded by some of the best and the brightest in the Valley. We also acknowledge that good ideas can come from anywhere and there’s a rising tide of entrepreneurs around the world getting attention. When the first Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) kicked off in spring 2010, Uber hadn’t launched yet. Neither had Instagram. Airbnb wouldn’t raise its first venture capital round of $7 million for another six months.
The Critical Relationship Between Connectivity & Entrepreneurship in Africa
I was on my way to GES in Nairobi last year, browsing my News Feed, when I came across this infographic that used red dots to plot the location of all the Fortune 500 companies in world. The first thing that struck me was how many of Fortune 500 emerged from just three areas of the world: the US, Europe and East Asia.