Every week at Invested Development we scan the web for articles that relate to what we do and what we like. This week we read a lot about impact financing, from Angels to Stock Exchanges and everything in-between.
You would think that as often as we link to Nathaniel Whittemore’s articles, we would pop-up on his radar. Cleary, not yet. We have not only been making this argument for over a year, we actually built a company around it!
One criticism of Microfinance is that the businesses supported by micro-loans do little to solve the unemployment issues that plague emerging markets. It is an unfair criticism because mom-and-pops can’t become SME’s without growth financing and that is not what MFI’s are designed to do. We need more growth capital innovations like the one mentioned in this article to help MFI’s achieve their full potential.
If you follow our blog you know that we are big advocates for anything that helps create liquidity in impact investing. Luckily our friends at Mission Markets are almost ready to launch their two trading platforms, the Private Capital Marketplace and Mission Markets Earth. This is a great start and it won’t take long for them to build momentum.
Be sure to follow the link and read the entire interview. Durreen Shahnaz has an impressive background, but she is not alone in her efforts to build the first impact investment stock exchange. There are similar initiatives in Germany, South Africa, Canada? and London that we know about. The question is, will there be enough deals to keep them all busy?
The debate continues… and it should, we are far from defining ourselves as industry and even further from articulating that clearly to others. Unfortunately, as the article points out, I don’t think we are getting any closer. We agree social entrepreneurs should do-good not just do-no-harm and we have been writing about it a lot lately.
Another big debate in our industry is the definition of poverty. We wrote about this in our first blog post back in May. In that post, we supported the UN’s decision to move away from the hard $1.25 metric because poverty is the lack of access, not the scarcity of funds. It’s subtle difference, but very important.