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What social businesses need but cannot find: how could impact investors do better?

Guy Sephton May 27, 2021

The impact-investing market is worth USD 715 billion, yet according to the findings from our research, many social businesses still struggle to find the right kind of support: Access to debt is harder to come by; rural areas, where deep impact is often carried out, get neglected by impact investors in favour of big cities; and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have been inconsistent throughout the sector. What opportunities are there for collaborations in the impact-investing sector to fill some of these missing links? 

In this session, we will reveal and discuss some of the insights from our global Entrepreneur Support Landscape Study carried out by Yunus Social Business in partnership with IKEA Foundation. Taking these as a starting point, we will hear perspectives from two social-business entrepreneurs (Kunaal Dudeja, CEO Virohan and Vicente Mejia Isaza*, MD Clearpath Coffee) and two impact investors (Lakshmi Viswanathan, COO Yunus Social Business and Willy Foote, CEO Root Capital). We will then look at what concrete steps impact investors can take to ensure their efforts are meeting the needs of the social-business entrepreneurs they seek to support. 

Yunus Social Business in partnership with IKEA Foundation surveyed over 210 social-business entrepreneurs and held more than 40 interviews with peer investors and ecosystem builders in four geographies across East Africa, Latin America and India. We wanted to understand if the needs of social businesses are met by the offers of impact investors, highlight any gaps and consider how these gaps might be filled. We look forward to exploring solutions together in this session.

*Or another social-business entrepreneur (not yet confirmed).

Format

Panel

Meta Themes

  • Impact Investing

  • Social Entrepreneurship

Themes

Impact-Investing Ecosystem, Rural vs. Urban, Collaboration, Debt vs. Equity, Missing Links, Geographical Differences

Purpose and Desired Outcome

We want to understand if the needs of social businesses are met by the offers of impact investors, highlight any gaps and consider how these gaps might be filled. Our desired outcome is for the audience to come away with concrete and specific ideas of how impact investors individually and collectively can better meet the needs of the social businesses they seek to support.

Audiences

  • Allocators (Family Offices, HNW Individuals, Foundations)

  • Asset Managers

Speakers

  • NameLakshmi Viswanathan
  • TitleCOO
  • OrganizationYunus Social Business
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameVicente Mejia Isaza
  • TitleManaging Director
  • OrganizationClearpath Coffee
  • StatusInvited
  • NameKunaal Dudeja
  • TitleCo-founder & CEO
  • OrganizationVirohan Institute
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameWilly Foote
  • TitleFounder & CEO
  • OrganizationRoot Capital
  • StatusConfirmed
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