Highlights from Our Twitter Debate on Financial Inclusion IPOs

Initial public offerings (IPOs) have played an important role in both scaling the financial inclusion industry as well as catalyzing discussions that led to necessary improvements in the industry's infrastructure, regulations, and investor perception and understanding. The range of conflicting opinions about their…

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GIIRS in Practice: Interview with Prospero’s Fund Manager

Fernando Prado, Fund Manager of the Latin American equity fund Prospero Microfinanzas, was interviewed recently about the significance of the GIIRS rating for the fund and its portfolio company ODEF Financiera SA., a Honduran microfinance institution. Prospero, co-managed by Grassroots and BIM,…

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Grassroots’ Reflections on 2016

by Alana, Amit, Anna, Cynthia and Paul

As we begin the holiday season in the U.S. this year, we at Grassroots would like to step back and reflect on why we do what we do, and how we foresee continuing this work moving forward. What motivates and energizes us is a belief that those of us who have been blessed by wealth, security, health and education have an opportunity and an obligation to use the capabilities and influence that come with these gifts to promote economic justice, to pass on a healthy and resilient planet to the next generations, to protect and lift up others, and to forge and strengthen bonds with diverse people and communities.

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Paved with Good Intentions

  • November 10, 2016
  • Blog

by Paul DiLeo

In the long-running discussions about social impact, there are prominent and respected investors and managers who continue to argue that good intentions, perhaps captured in a robust and compelling mission statement, are sufficient to confirm the impact character of a company. In this view, an impact investor needs to review a company’s stated social goals at the time of investment, but thereafter need only focus on the commercial success of the business, on the assumption that the social benefit will automatically follow from the intent; the company doesn’t need to track and report on its success in achieving its social goals.

Grassroots believes that now that it is 2016, good intentions are a necessary starting point for an impact business, but are inadequate and must be followed up with rigorous management and reporting on outputs and outcomes based on a well-articulated theory of change that takes advantage of the latest research on what works and what does not: identifying indicators, setting goals, measuring progress towards goals, and then using those goals to reassess strategy and operations. In our view, investors who are satisfied with ex ante intentions are inadvertently demoting the impact side of the double bottom line to a secondary and non-critical priority in the objectives of the business. In many cases, it appears that this demotion is due to an outdated appreciation of the current state of impact metrics.

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Grassroots will join ABF in Cape Town this November

  • October 19, 2016
  • News

Grassroots has been participating in the Africa Board Fellowship Program (ABF) since 2015.  The four-year program is designed to build governance capacity and practice among directors and senior managers of Africa MFIs. Paul DiLeo will participate as faculty in the…

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Grassroots is attending FOROMIC 2016

Anna Kanze and Paul DiLeo will attend FOROMIC 2016, the annual summit of the Latin American financial inclusion industry, from October 24 – 26 in Jamaica.  Grassroots and its partners BIM will host a meeting of the Prospero Microfinanzas Fund's Advisory…

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