Christen works as the Venture capital go to guy in The Australian Centre for Social Innovation where I work. He alerted me to the latest Forbes issue on social entrepreneurship, impact investing and using “patient capital” as a VC.
From Forbes profile and story on Jacqueline Novogratz, the CEO of Acumen Fund.
Novogratz plays the role of auditor because, as CEO and founder of the Acumen Fund, helping people starts with financial due diligence. In April Acumen sank $1.9 million into the bank in exchange for an 18% stake, one small investment in a decadelong experiment in charitable giving. Instead of shoveling aid dollars to causes or governments that give away life-sustaining goods and services, Acumen espouses investing money wisely in small-time entrepreneurs in the developing world who strive to solve problems, from mosquito netting to bottled water to affordable housing. It’s a new twist on the old adage about teaching a man to fish, except that Novogratz wants to build an entire fish market.
Check out the whole story and it’s associated articles. When Steve Jobs talks about making a dent in the universe this is the kind of stuff which resonates with that statement. Writing this on the iPad I consider that stuff great too!
I think there is a serious lack of patient capital playing the social VC (social as not in twitter and facebook but social enterprises) game here in the Oceania region. This is something I will be exploring next year with my colleagues at TACSI.