Category Archives: publications/presentations

B Corp Summit 2019: Driving a new agenda for capitalism

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IMG_5318 (1)The 4th European B Corp Summit took place on Sept 23-24 in Amsterdam. Great energy as this community drives a new agenda for capitalism and it feels that we are close to the tipping point! The B Corp movement using business as a force of good is growing steadily. Today there are 3000 B Corps in 70 countries and 600 in Europe while 100,000 companies are using the B Impact Assessment to improve their businesses. Two main topics were highlighted throughout the summit; 1) the shift from shareholder primacy to a commitment to all stakeholders, and 2) the emergency of the climate change crisis.
John Elkington, world authority on corporate responsibility and sustainable development introduced his new concept and book for tomorrow’s capitalism “Green Swans”. The global agenda is changing exponentially, from responsibility and resilience to regeneration. If exponential problems are known as Black Swans, exponential regeneration calls for Green Swans. So, he calls B Corps the ugly ducklings that would likely become the Green Swans.
Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder of B Lab, stressed the urgency of system change. First, recognize the system failure then fix it: change from shareholder to stakeholder capitalism, from a culture of more to one of enough. Jay also shared the draft of B Lab’s Declaration of Climate Emergency and System Failure to be launched soon, committing further this community to tackle climate as a business strategy.
News: In January 2020, B Lab is launching the SDG Action Manager in partnership with the UN Global Compact. Using this free tool, one can 1) get a clear view of how your operations, supply chain, and business model create positive impact, 2) take action and track progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals 2) New B Corps announced at the summit: Bodyshop, Danone Belgium, Danone Netherlands.

Key actions: collaborate, let’s get working together, B the change!

What’s new on Impact Investing

1. The Global Impact Investing Network’s Sizing the Impact Investing Market report, published on April 1, provides an in-depth analysis of the current size and composition of the impact investing market. The GIIN estimates the current size of the global impact investing market to be $502 billion.
2. In view of the rapid growth of funds in the area of impact investing The GIIN has made “scaling the market with integrity” a key focus and have released a useful sheet titled CORE CHARACTERISTICS OF IMPACT INVESTING which defines 4 tenets/practices of impact investing: 1) Intentionality 2) Use Evidence and Impact Data in Investment Design 3) Manage Impact Performance 4) Contribute to the Growth of the Industry
3. Impact Management Project is a forum for building global consensus on how to measure, report, compare and improve impact performance. IMP convenes a Practitioner Community of over 2,000 organisations to debate and find consensus (norms) on technical topics, as well as share best practices.
4. BlueOrchard publishes it’s Impact Report 2019/2020 on April 1.

Skoll World Forum 2016: Fierce Compassion

The 13th Skoll World Forum on social entrepreneurship took place on April 13-15. It was my 10th Skoll and it was one of my favourite forums so far. There are many sessions that can be seen on video. This year the theme was Fierce compassion and the topics most highlighted were “climate change” and “refugee crisis”.
Highly recommended videos to watch:
Al Gore: A Climate of Change: Fueling a new future
Alexander Betts: Refugees as a Resource
Profile of the 2016 Skoll Award Recipients:
-Mallika Dutt and Sonali Khan (Breakthrough)
-Bryan Stevenson (Equal Justice Initiative)
-Chuck Slaughter (Living Goods)
-Vivek Maru (Namati)
-Oren Yakobovich (Videre)
-Refugee Crisis: Roots and Remedies
-Getting Beyond Business as Usual: Paving the way for social progress

The musical performances during the Forum were just awesome and inspiring starting with Malek Jandali, Syrian-American Composer and Pianist, Juanes, and Sonita Alizadeth.

The most moving performance was of Sonita, rapper and child marriage activist. The two videos Sonita’s performance and the interview that followed are the must sees of this year’s Skoll.

I would like to thank Jeff Skoll, Sally Osberg, the whole Skoll team and the University of Oxford for hosting again such an inspiring and powerful rich content forum.

Update on impact investing

Some recent great reads
1) Willy Foote’s article on agricultural finance, How To Help 450 Million Poor Farmers–Without Destroying The Earth
2) WEF’s report on mainstreaming impact investments: From the Margins to the Mainstream
3) Morgan Stanley’s commitment to Investing with Impact platform, 5 year target 10bn USD of client assets
November was a month of conferences with TBLI, EVPA and Lugano Fund Forum. The first two are very much focused on impact but LFF is a more conventional Fund Forum for accredited investors and wealth managers in Ticino and Italy. It was therefore great to see that they incorporated a panel for Impact Investments where I had the opportunity to give a presentation introducing this topic “Managing Wealth for Impact and Profits

Microrate’s report “The State of Microfinance Investments 2013″

Microrate’s “The State of Microfinance Investments 2013″ is out. This 8th annual survey covers 92 active microfinance investment vehicles representing $8.1bn in assets under management. Key findings:

- total asset growth +17%, microfinance portfolio +18%.
-Liquidity declined to 8.2% of total assets, down from a high of 14.6% in 2009.
-Growth in all regions, with Latin America (24%) and East Asia/Pacific (23%) posting the strongest growth, and moderate growth in South Asia (12%), Africa (12%), and Europe/Central Asia (10%).
-Azerbaijan (45%), Georgia (78%), Mongolia (38%), and Bosnia (43%) were among the fastest-growing countries.
-Funds continue to mature, with investors redeeming $438 million in 2012.
-MIV sector continuing to deconsolidate, with largest MIVs continuing to lose market share. Similar trend among fund managers.
-Equity investment grew by $77 million, but declined as a share of the portfolio from 20% to 18%.
-Institutional investors continue to dominate, with 56% share of total investment.

(source Microrate)

Book: Microfinance and Beyond: Introducing microfranchising and social businesses

This book introduces innovative social/business models that provide sustainable solutions to the problem of poverty and portrays the insipiring people behind them.You can find an update on microfinance, BOP (base of the pyramid) initiatives, and microfranchising all which are improving the lives of the 4 billion people living at the BOP. VisionSpring, an innovative social microfranchising enterprise with the mission to reduce poverty and generate opportunity through the sale of affordable reading glasses is featured as a model case. The aim of this book was to share my insights on 1) how the business and social worlds have been converging, setting the stage for these innovative models to emerge, 2) how these models, together with the advent of Web 2.0, are creating a strong and positive movement towards a more responsible, sustainable and kinder world and 3) how all of us could make a difference.
This book is the updated English version of the German book that was published last year. I used to publish this and I can recommend it.

New book: Kleiner Einsatz Grosse Wirkung (Beyond Microfinance: The Movement of Making the World a Better Place) by Naoko Felder

Fairbournejacket.jpgThis book introduces the new innovative social/business models that are making the world a better place and portrays the inspiring people behind them.
Starting with an update on microfinance, it covers other innovative market-oriented models such as base of the pyramid (BOP) businesses, social enterprises and microfranchises. These models together with microfinance are improving the lives of the 4 billion people living at the BOP. The last section covers in detail a remarkable example in this area, Scojo Foundation. Scojo is developing the market for affordable reading glasses at the BOP through microfranchising.The book provides the author’s insights on 1) how the business (for-profit) and social (non-profit) worlds have been converging, setting the stage for these new models to emerge, 2) how these models, the people behind them, and the advent of Web 2.0, are creating a strong and positive movement towards a more responsible, sustainable and kinder world and 3) how all of us could make a difference.The book has been published in German language by rueffer and rub with the title >Kleiner Einsatz Grosse Wirkung. (Small input, big impact - thus,the red chilis of the cover) This book illustrates a giga trend, the powerful movement of making the world a better place.

The book “MicroFranchising”

Fairbournejacket.jpg MICROFRANCHISING: Creating Wealth at the Bottom of the Pyramid, the first major publication on this subject, is now available. (Edward Elgar Publishing). This edited volume comprising 13 chapters and 18 authors introduces the concept of microfranchising and discusses how this business model can be effectively used for poverty alleviation. Different models of microfranchising are reviewed and specific case studies are highlighted to show how it has worked and is working in different parts of the world. Also the advantages as well as potential problems and pitfalls of microfranchising are discussed. My contribution was on the subject of “Microfranchise Funding” (Chapter 12).
If there is one thing I could hope for is that the price for this book would be a bit lower so more people can afford to buy it and read it.

International Symposium “Realizing Property Rights” and launch of the Swiss Human Rights Book

The International Symposium “Realizing Property Rights” and the launch of the Swiss Human Rights Book will take place at the University of Zurich on June 23rd. Hernando de Soto will be one of the main speakers. I will be speaking on microfinance and microfranchising and how this relates to property rights.

Realizing Property Rights

“Realizing Property Rights” (Swiss Human Rights Book Volume 1) a book edited by Hernando de Soto and Francis Cheneval is now out (Publisher: Rüffer & Rub). This book deals with property rights as human rights seen from different cultural and historical contexts and from different thematic angles. It has been an honour for me to have been able to contribute a chapter for this book titled “Microcredit, MicroFranchising and Women Entrepreneurs”