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EPIC The End Poverty Innovation Challenge

Marc Blumenthal July 13, 2022

Poverty is an economic wasteland because public and private sector investors are risk adverse.  There is no “P” in ESG.

EPIC is a pipeline that facilitates the development of social ventures solutions to poverty reduction and SDG challenges. EPIC engages public and private sector investors by mitigating their risk.

“About one-third of Latin America’s roughly 600 million residents live in poverty or what the United Nations defines as extreme poverty subsisting
on less than $1.90 a day.”  Bloomberg 5/5/21

Latin American has the widest income divides in the world.  Youth are 3 times more likely than adults to be jobless which leads them to crime, drugs and migration. Wide income divides, extreme poverty and youth unemployment are placing many Latin American Democracies on the brink of authoritarianism.

The development paradigm of top-down/trickle-down has worked for the haves but not the have nots.

Micro Credit has moved up the risk adverse ladder burdening borrowers with higher hurdles and higher interest rates.

Social impact investors have the unique opportunity to help facilitate an innovative solution to poverty reduction and SDG challenges.  EPIC creates quality deal flow that mitigates investment risk, through the development, vetting and scaling of sustainable social ventures.  These ventures produce jobs for low-income populations and deliver affordable social impact for low-income communities.

The EPIC Pipeline consists of three risk mitigation components 1) Social  Entrepreneurship Training 2) Vetting and  3) Scaling.

Training: Less than 5% of Universities offer social entrepreneurship training. Training more social entrepreneurs will yield more early stage social enterprises. EPIC Teams provides Universities with social entrepreneurship training engaging students in the development of social venture solutions to local poverty reduction and SDG challenges.

Vetting: The selection of outstanding students focused on social impact. The selection of outstanding winning social ventures at national competitions.
The third party evaluation of a winning venture’s commercial proof of concept to affirm social impact and social franchise viability.

Scaling: The scaling of proven commercial proofs of concepts utilizing social franchising will provide thousands of jobs and equity
for both EPIC social entrepreneurs and unemployed at-risk youth.  Scaling will be underwritten by private and public social impact investors whose risk
has been mitigated by the EPIC pipeline.

EPIC is being piloted in Costa Rica and will be rolled out to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras in 2023.  EPIC will then be rolled out to the United States, Haiti and South Africa in 2024,  Up to 5 new nations per year will be engaged in EPIC starting in 2025.



Meta Themes

  • Deliver Equity and Inclusion

  • Power and Capital

  • Advance Democracy

  • Reimagine Systems

  • Accelerate Climate Action


Bottom up market Creation as opposed to Top Down. Job Creation for youth that delivers affordable social impact for low income communities

Purpose and Desired Outcome

If a nation's EPIC competition winner's commercial proof of concept is proven successful, each EPIC Nation will scale one social franchise on an annual basis providing jobs for unemployed youth to deliver affordable social impact for low income communities.


  • Asset Managers

  • Intermediaries (Financial Advisers, Investment Bankers)

  • Allocators (Family Offices, HNW Individuals, Foundations)

  • Academia

  • Corporate & SME


  • NameMarc Blumenthal
  • TitleExecutive Director
  • OrganizationSocial Ventures Foundation
  • StatusInvited
  • NameBetsaida Olivares
  • TitleEPIC National Team Coach Guatemala
  • OrganizationEPIC Guatemala
  • StatusInvited
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