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Social Business Microinvesting Markets

When seeking investments for Social Businesses, it’s important to remember that the wealthy are not the only ones who can help. In fact, while a wealthy individual can donate a higher absolute amount, studies have shown that those with average means are often donating a higher % of their own incomes. And of course, there are many more people of average means vs. those with significant wealth. The power of raising funds through small contributions from many individuals has been demonstrated everywhere from politics (Obama 2008 Presidential Campaign setting numerous new record amounts raised by small donations, enabling him to be the 1st major-party presidential candidate to turn down general election public financing) to microfinance (Kiva has raised ~$225 million for almost 600K working poor individuals, though individual no-interest loans that are as small as $25 and average ~$240).

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Grameen on Kiva Pilot: Grameen America has begun raising funds on Kiva for the past 3 months. This could be the beginning of a significant new channel for Grameen, worldwide.


Popularity/Shortage of Health & Green Projects on Kiva: Kiva has various searchable/browseable categories of loans. Two of the most popular categories are health & green/environment projects. In fact, whenever these projects are listed, they are all quickly funded, causing the following type of message to be commonly displayed: “So many people made these that none are available right now.”


Adding “Social Business” category to Kiva: The popularity & shortage of health/green projects on Kiva demonstrates the high pent-up & unfilled demand to fund projects that positively impact society on multiple dimensions, in addition to the core focus of income generation for the working poor. Grameen could partner with Kiva to add a “Social Business” category to Kiva to gather & feature such projects for funding. And adding Social Businesses, including health projects, from Caldas would be a perfect place to start. The expansion of Grameen “Social Business” & “Health” loans to Kiva would likely grow both 1) the total amount of loans funded on Kiva, and 2) the funding available for Grameen Social & Health businesses in Caldas & beyond.

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Photo of Vincent Cheng

Thanks Krassimira & Sarah! There are many OpenIDEO'ers & Grameen reps far more knowledgeable than me on the local health situation in Caldas & possible interventions. I'm just trying to contribute ideas that might help in raising Social Business Investments for everyone's concepts =).

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