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Prove It: The Importance of Data Collection to the Growth of Social Capital Markets

Katie Heot June 29, 2009

Today two articles sparked my attention to the topic of information harvesting.
The first was at Next Billion and discusses a recent study published by the World Bank that shows the influence on MFIs in local communities. The study was conducted in India and gathered information from over 2,000 households on approximately 3,000 loans. The result was information that demonstrated significant positive results from MF in the areas of personal nutrition, asset accumulation, and consumption.
Another great article was one published on Emerging Markets on Entrepreneur Magazine’s site. Emerging Markets collects data from low-income communities and sells the information to banks in an effort to drive the market towards serving the poor.
When creating a new market, cold hard data may be one of the greatest talking points for including major financial players. By demonstrating the size of the market, it’s characteristics/demographics, it’s growth rates and indicators, we can continue to prove it’s validity and sustainability.
It is also important to note that the growth of Social Capital Markets is not the emergence of a completely new market. Social Capital Markets are an evolution and coming of age for preexisting capital markets. In the same way that technology outdates itself, traditional capital markets have begun to move beyond their basic framework into a market that incoporporates deeper values and morals.
This is why segmenting information can be difficult. There is a grey area between the old and the new that wrestles to define itself from traditional CSR to social frameworking.
With great publications like the Monitor Report on Impact Investing being published, information resources are becoming more available. What other major research studies do you utilize when demonstrating the significance of Social Capital Markets in your industry?

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