Impact Investing with Voxtra

Daniel Epstein November 12, 2009

In a virtual trip across the Atlantic (over Skype), I recently got to chat with Pål Dale, Managing Director of the Norwegian Philanthropic fund Voxtra. Launched in 2008, Voxtra funds social enterprises in East Africa and India that use agricultural and livelihood development to address poverty. Check out the interview with Pål below!


Video Interview Table of Contents:

  1. What does Voxtra do? (0:01-1:08)
  2. How did you get involved in Voxtra, Pål? (1:09-2:19)
  3. Tell us about one of your portfolio ventures. (2:20-4:52)
  4. What are the criteria you use to decide your investments? (4:53-7:20)
  5. What key challenges did you face in launching Voxtra? (7:21-9:03)
  6. What advice do you have for aspiring social entrepreneurs? (9:04-10:10)

Voxtra Profile. Voxtra invests in social enterprises that have demonstrated an effective method for addressing poverty. These investments can take the form of grants, equity, or debt. Voxtra aims for its portfolio companies to generate a monetized social return of 10 times its initial investment.
Portfolio. After screening around 150 social enterprises, Voxtra’s current portfolio includes investments in four ventures to date. The first of these ventures is Hand in Hand, which will enroll 90,000 village women in Tamil Nadu, India into Self-Help Groups to provide them with the start-up capital they need to launch small-scale enterprises that can earn them enough income to move out of poverty. Voxtra’s has also invested in IDE India and Kickstart International, which supply affordable irrigation to impoverished farmers that enable them to at least double their income. Voxtra’s final portfolio venture is Save the Children, Cambodia, which constructs school buildings and provides education in remote regions formerly controlled by the Khmer Rouge.
Pål Dale’s Bio. Pål joined Voxtra after working for the Boston Consulting Group as a management consultant for five years. He is a trained officer in the Norwegian army and has served in the NATO operation in Bosnia & Herceegovina. He holds an MSc in Economics from the Norwegian University of Science and Techology. He speaks Norwegian, English, and Russian.

Thanks so much to Pål Dale for taking the time to share Voxtra’s work with us! Learn more about Voxtra at www.voxtra.org.

written by: Teju Ravilochan (Unreasonable Institute)

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