> Posted by Center Staff
Yesterday, Micheal Schlein, President and CEO, and Diana Taylor, Chairman of the Board, of Accion, released an op-ed piece on Forbes.com describing the launch of the Venture Lab. This exciting new initiative works to provide seed capital and support to innovative startups in financial inclusion.
The piece begins:
Over the last several years, the world has woken up to the enormous market potential of serving 2-3 billion people at the base of the economic pyramid. A growing cadre of investors recognizes that we can create new ways to meet the needs of this huge population in a sustainable, business-like way. A new wave of socially responsible funds, institutional investors, microfinance investment vehicles, banks and even conventional venture and private equity funds collectively have raised billions to invest in social enterprises.
Some portion of the optimism stems from the success of microfinance – the provision of financial services to help those living in poverty. Today, microfinance has grown to reach over 200 million clients around the world who previously were ignored by mainstream financial services providers. As a result, 200 million people have access to loans and an increasing array of services including savings, insurance, payments and remittances that help them improve their lives and weather financial uncertainties.
Most of the incoming money, however, has been focused on more established enterprises. The newest, smallest – and perhaps, most innovative – companies are left out, considered “pre-investable.”
To read the entire article on Forbes.com, please click here.
Image credit: forbes.com
Have you read?
What’s a Microfinance Institution Worth? The Latest News on Valuations
Business Tools for Social Impact: Continuous Improvement
Incentives for Social Targets at Microfinance Investment Funds