Investing Early to Impact World-Changing Solutions
The latest blog post in our Huffington Post impact investing Blog Series, where Ross Baird, Executive Director of Village Capital, discusses the efforts of catalytic organizations – including his own, Village Capital – to use impact investing to accelerate the work of social entrepreneurs. He writes that philanthropic and investment support from groups in the U.S. and abroad, including The Rockefeller Foundation, have allowed Village Capital “to provide program support to over 250 enterprises” across five continents.
Jen is representative of thousands of entrepreneurs worldwide who needs "impact investing," or investments made to generate profit as well as positive social impact, to build world-changing solutions to major problems. I run an organization called Village Capital, which operates business acceleration programs for entrepreneurs like Jen around the world, and makes investments in enterprises through a unique peer review model. We met Jen and 14 of her peers in 2009 through a partnership with the New Orleans-based Idea Village.
After three months of mentorship and intensive review, Jen was selected by her peers for her first-ever investment of $100,000. She used that to scale her solution nationwide, and Kickboard has since raised almost $1 million from pioneers in impact investing such as Calvert, Investor's Circle, and the New Orleans Startup Fund. Jen's solution is serving over 25,000 students, and has such high-profile clients as KIPP and Teach For America -- and she's just getting started.