Tag Archives: Investment

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?

Panelists

Moderator

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Chuck Lacy speaks about Raising Venture Capital for Socially Responsible Businesses

Earlier last month, I was fortunate to attend a lecture by Chuck Lacy former President of Ben & Jerry’s and currently President of Barred Rock Fund. He was a guest of the Legatum Center at MIT and spoke about raising funds as a social business.  It was interesting hearing him speak since he really did not focus on the fund raising part as much as some basic precepts that most entrepreneurs should keep in mind – whether you are growing a socially responsible business or a plain old fashioned technology startup.

I thought I would try to distill the essence of what he said as I think it is very relevant especially in these tougher economic times.

  • Don’t raise money. Sounds counterintuitive but it makes sense. You should run as long as you can on your own money. You should think about working part time and keeping 100% of your company instead of working 100% and giving up 50% of the company to raise cash. Raising money means you are giving your company away. There are many ways to raise money without diluting your stake in the company – Grants, state funds, PRI funds. Continue reading