02 April 2007

Social Entrepreneurs and Funding: How to reach the 'Tipping Point'

Interesting discussion must have been going on at the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford's Said Business School. The beginning of an article about Microfinance sounds like great encouragement for the proposal that Elise, Tomas and I am working on:

"Every social entrepreneur I've met is spending far too much of their time working to raise money." said Martin Fisher, chief executive officer of KickStart, a nonprofit organization in Nairobi that sells water pumps to poor farmers in Africa. Instead, he argued, they should be working to develop "the next big thing, the next equivalent to microfinance."

Through the work of social entrepreneurs around the world, he said, microfinance has reached a point where millions of dollars — both philanthropic and for-profit — are pouring into lending projects, enabling loans to more than 110 million of the world's poorest people. But, "we have to remember very clearly that it's taken microfinance 30 years and hundreds of millions of dollars of consistent investment to reach the place where it is today," said Mr. Fisher. "So to get to a tipping point, any of the new innovations are going to take a large amount of time and a large amount of money."

Read the full Social Entrepreneurs Seek New Investments to Reach a 'Tipping Point'