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Beyond Profit interviewed seed-stage impact investor, Ben Powell of Agora Partnerships. Powell says that the most important thing to look for in a social enterprise is the impact entrepreneur. The entrepreneur, Powell says, is more important than the business model itself. It’s much easier to change a business model than it is to change an entrepreneur. Also, the simplest plans can make the biggest … read more

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This week’s Weekly Review contains articles on mobile technology in emerging markets. Articles include mobile money success stories, challenges, and ways to develop the industry by offering more services, addressing key issues, and expanding access to Internet.  
Before the articles, we’d like to acknowledge the Sankalp Forum in Mumbai, India that ended today. Working to enable the flow of capital between impact investors and social entrepreneurs, Sankalp Forum focuses on five high impact … read more
WHAT?
BETA offers funding BETA offers funding and support for exceptional innovators each year. As a precursor to seed-capital, BETA support is intended to push each innovator from idea to enterprise.
WHO?
Exceptional mobile tech and alternative energy innovators with creative technological solutions for the underserved in emerging markets.
WHY?
Innovators selected by BETA will spend six months prototyping their innovations and co-creating the new enterprises with Invested Development (ID). ID manages a successful seed-stage … read more

by: Miguel Granier

There has been a lot of talk recently about what makes a “social” entrepreneur or an “impact” investor. It’s an appropriate conversation at this stage of the game. Neither term is well defined. Unfortunately, ID has neither the resources nor the clout to move the needle on the bigger debate, but we can (and do) define both for ourselves.  More importantly, we put our money where our mouth is. 

We invest in … read more

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Every week at ID, we read about what we do and what we like. This week we read a lot about bringing alternative energy solutions to those who need them the most.  
The Models That Work” by Abby Callard
Entrepreneurs are working to bring products and services to the Base of the Pyramid (BoP). Social entrepreneurs aim to make real social change there and to eradicate poverty. Beyond Profit looks at … read more

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Via NextBillion

Every week at ID, we read about what we do and what we like. This week we read a lot about mobile technology.

In the Philippines, Global Telecom runs the GCASH mobile money service and is starting a program to support the government’s poverty alleviation programs. The platform, GCASH REMIT, … read more

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Every week at ID we scan the web for articles and posts about what we do and what we like. This week we read a lot about impact investing.
Morgan Simon emphasizes the importance of measuring investment impact carefully and critically. Organizations like GIIRS are “creating a verifiable standard” and contributing to the professionalization of impact investing. Simon reminds us that not all investments in emerging markets are … read more

A long-time impact Angel Investor recently told us that he thought firms like ID and First Light Ventures are helping professionalize the field of seed-stage impact investing. His comment was based on the more systematic diligence and portfolio management that comes with paid investment management. In his experience, the only people funding high impact start-ups where individuals that lack the time, focus, and (let’s face it) personal motivation to make sure each investment has real … read more

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by Christina Tamer

We recently talked about the softer side of impact investing in our Weekly Review. This post is inspired by Booz&Co’s report “Understanding the Forgotten Billions: Meeting the World’s Least Advantaged Consumers Where They Live,” by Sudipta Bhattacharya, Ganesh Panneer, Vikas Sehgal, and Edward Tse (2010). The report discusses the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) – a segment with underestimated buying power and the dire need for social … read more

>Every week at ID we scan the web for articles that relate to what we do and what we like. This week we read a lot about the use of and mobile technology for the development of emerging markets.

Image via NextBillion.net

New Resource: CGAP Launches Branchless Banking Database” Next Billion’s Interview with Mark Pickens, CGAP
Mark Pickens is a Microfinance Specialist at The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP). The … read more

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Invested Development is excited about the latest addition to our portfolio:  SlimTrader.
by: Miguel Granier

For many Africans, having to walk for hours then stand on a crowded street corner and hope that they can push their way onto a bus is all too common. Worse still is when that bus is held up by gunmen for the cash the driver holds from ticket sales. Luckily, many Africans already have the technology they need … read more

>by Sean Smith

There is no longer any doubt that mobile phones are a groundbreaking tool in the fight against poverty. Today, mobile phones are enabling credit and financial transactions for the unbanked, increasing the efficacy of HIV medicines, providing access to markets and enabling long-distance communications from previously unconnected rural areas.

Yet most of these solutions are currently focused on utilizing traditional cell phone technology to bring about social change: namely SMS and … read more

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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 mobile technology in emerging markets, new applications for homeowners to monitor energy use, solar energy, and social entrepreneurship. 

Using Mobile Manners” by Abby Callard
In their latest post, Beyond Profit discusses the ways entrepreneurs are using the growing number of mobile phone users to … read more

>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Unreasonable Institute Empowers the Public to Choose the Next Wave of High‐Impact Social Entrepreneurs

Global donations will determine which entrepreneurs gain admission to esteemed mentorship program
BOULDER, Colo. –– Starting Jan. 20, 45 social entrepreneurs will showcase their ventures in an online platform called the Unreasonable Finalist Marketplace (http://marketplace.unreasonableinstitute.org/). For 50 days, people from around the world are invited to vote with their wallets on the most viable ventures. The first … read more

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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… well, we read a lot.  

Greetings from Davos, Switzerland” by Neal Keny-Guyer
This week the World Economic Forum is meeting for the annual discussion of the world’s economy in Davos, Switzerland. There are a lot of issues on the agenda this year, but read more

>Twenty eleven might have started nearly a month ago, but the real work for ID has just begun. We started our 3rd calendar year in a BIG way; launching the BSP Fund with our partner Blue Sky Projects and kicking off two multi-month research projects with MIT’s SEID program and a group of student interns from Northeastern. We are also welcoming three new key players to the ID team: Christina Tamer as Marketing Intern, Serrano … read more

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(almost)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… well, we read a lot.  

Can Wal-Mart make it in Africa?
Wal-Mart acquired South African-based Massmart, a retailer with 288 stores in 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa for $4.1 billion. Critics of the deal point out that some of Wal-Mart’s international adventures have gone badly,

read more