Category Archives: micro-finance

May these Amazing Social Entrepreneurs inspire you in 2011

As the calendar turns and we enter the second decade of the 21st century, a time to reflect on the past and plan for the future.

Here are some amazing folks who are making a significant impact helping the less fortunate. These are all smaller, younger organizations that are doing great stuff and really making a difference.

Take a look at some of the inspirational videos that highlight their work and their messages. May they inspire you to greater things in 2011.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year and a Terrific 2011.

Helping women micro-entrepreneurs with a path out of poverty by building sustainable enterprises.

Seeding Labs
Building world class research institutions in developing countries by equipping them with lab equipment and state of the art training.

Providing clean water, toilets and hygiene education to 10,000 kids in India who do not have access to these basic amenities

United Prosperity
Multiplying your social impact 2X – 5X by guaranteeing a loan to a microfinance entrepreneur. View United Prosperity’s Model of Loan Guarantees.

Prosperity Candle
Investing in enterprising women living in distressed areas of the world to start their own businesses

Dream a Dream
Providing quality education to underserved children and helping them develop critical life skills

Designing affordable sanitary pads for women in the developing world.

Design that Matters
Creating new products that allow social enterprises in developing countries to offer improved services and scale more quickly.

Project Hip Hop
Providing a space where predominantly young people of color from traditionally low-income communities in Boston can develop and exercise their individual and collective leadership

Supporting independent musicians from developing countries by allowing you to micro-fund their artistic works.

Young Entrepreneurs Alliance
Helping low-income teens realize their economic potential by taking steps toward financial independence by owning and running viable businesses.


ForSE 2010: Forum for Social Entrepreneurs, Oct 30 Northeastern University

This picture shows a panorama of Boston (USA).

Image via Wikipedia

For the fourth year, TIE Social Entrepreneurs Group together with Northeastern University’s Social Enterprise Institute and the Netimpact Undergrad organization will be hosting ForSE 2010: Forum for Social Entrepreneurs.  ForSE 2010 brings together social innovators, leading business professionals, investors, donors, government officials, academics, and students to share new technology and business ideas with the potential for significant social impact.

We have a terrific line up of keynote speakers and panelists this year including

  • Prof. Kasturi Rangan, who is co-chair of Harvard’s Social Enterprise Initiative and Malcolm P. McNair Professor of Marketing
  • Gianfranco Zaccai, co-founder, Chairman, President and Chief Design Officer of Continuum, a design consultancy that has delivered significant designs for social impact globally.

We are excited to note that two of our invited panelists – Dr. Una Ryan and Sam White – were subsequently listed as one of Boston’s top 15 Innovators by the Boston Globe. Also participating are Pradip Sarmah, Ashoka Fellow and founder of the Rickshaw Bank; Josh Biber, Executive Driector, Teach for America; Brian Milder, Managing Director, Root Capital; and many others. Four tracks on Health, Sustainability, Technology and Education promise engaging conversations with committed leaders delivering significant social impact. An Unconference session after the panels, allow you to continue the conversation with the panelists in a more informal setting.

And if you know of promising social entrepreneurs, this year we have our second Pitch contest where they can refine their pitch, test their ideas and wow a panel of seasoned judges. Click here for info on the Pitch Contest.

Sign up soon as we have limited attendance to 250 registrants and we have consistently sold out in past years. More details of ForSE 2010 at the website at: You can register at the TIE Boston site.

Vijay Mahajan of BASIX on risks and results in microfinance

A good article that touches on some of the issues in my last post is a recent interview of Vijay Mahajan on the Credit Suisse website. In the interview Mr. Mahajan points out to some of the prerequisites for microfinance to pull people out of poverty. He also highlights the need to match investment growth in this sector to the available management capacity in order to avoid a bubble in the sector. Here are some extracts from his interview. Continue reading


Grameen and Continuum partner to address talent gap in microfinance

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a panel discussion at Continuum, the design consultancy based in Newton, Massachusetts, on “Building Leadership in the Microfinance Sector.” Moderated by Ed Milano from Continuum, the panel consisted of a cross functional team that was studying the issue of talent acquisition and management in the microfinance sector and consisted of Peg Ross, Director of the Human Capital Center at the Grameen Foundation; Lyndon Rego, Director of the Innovation Incubator at the  Center for Creative Leadership; Lynn Pikholz, President of Shorecap Exchange; and Anna Muoio, Principal with the Social Innovation practice at Continuum.

The presentation and discussion centered around some very preliminary findings based on an initial field immersion trip and set the stage for  more detailed field research to be conducted later this year. I have outlined some of the observations that were shared at the meeting and my personal observations and reactions to what I heard. Continue reading


An Investors perspective of Microfinance

Panel Description for ForSE 2009

Over the past years, microfinance has grown increasingly prominent and found its way into the common vernacular. The focus in the past was on innovative new microfinance organizations and their unique models and successes. As microfinance has become increasingly mainstream, major investors have started to take positions in microfinance companies. In this panel, we will explore the investor’s perspective. What are the potential returns and social impacts that investors see in this segment? Do you need to give up market returns for social good? Is there an opportunity for the individual investor or is this for institutions only?