INVESTING IN OUR VALUES

Blog series on the future of microfinance – new post

A new CFI post, "Time to Ditch Impact Invest's Unproductive Self-Analysis", has been added to the 4-part blog series based on discussions at a gathering, Microfinance Industry: Revolution or Footnote?, hosted by Lehigh University’s Martindale Center which brought together 32 microfinance and impact investing…

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Prospero Microfinanzas Fund Receives Top GIIRS Rating

We are pleased to announce Prospero‘s third annual updated GIIRS rating! All Prospero’s portfolio companies achieved an average Overall B Score of 138 (Outstanding), up almost 10% from the previous year’s average of 127. Prospero’s portfolio companies attained the highest (Platinum) ratings for their Impact…

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Grassroots Leads Measure What Matters Webinar on March 22

  • March 6, 2017
  • Blog

Join us for the second webinar in B Lab's Measure What Matters mini-series to discuss "How to Make an Improvement Plan."  Anna Kanze from Grassroots Capital Management will lead a discussion on how to construct, share, and execute an improvement plan for the companies in a portfolio or network…

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The Microfinance Industry: Revolution or Footnote?

  • March 6, 2017
  • Blog

Will microfinance respond and adapt to the evolving financial inclusion landscape, or is it yesterday’s solution, to be supplanted by more cutting edge, “impactful” initiatives? These are the questions to be discussed at an upcoming workshop, "The Microfinance Industry: Revolution…

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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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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 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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