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Beyond Microfinance: Eliminating Energy Poverty

Tori Okner | Wednesday October 15th, 2008 | 1 Comment

blog%20action%20day.jpgIn honor of Blog Action Day, Triple Pundit is pleased to highlight E+Co. A public purpose investment company (read: non-profit investment co), E+Co goes beyond microfinance by providing local energy entrepreneurs in developing countries with business development services as well as investment capitol. Using their enterprise centered business model E+Co investees provide clean, affordable energy to homes, businesses, and communities around the world. As E+Co works to fight poverty and climate change, they are creating a new energy finance paradigm, building off best practices from the philanthropic and venture capital sectors.
E+Co Chief Executive Officer, Philip LaRocco founded E+Co 14 years ago with the conviction that, “energy is key to alleviating poverty.” Now they have offices in ten countries and are invested in businesses in 28 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. E+Co investees enable 4.3 million people to access clean energy. The field offices assess each enterprise with metrics that reflect the triple bottom line, including job creation, income growth, CO2 offsets, land reforested, and finance leveraged and repaid. Innovation is rewarded where entrepreneurs focus on sustainable solutions to local energy needs.
Readers: Check back later this week for more on E+Co and their quest to provide universal, sustainable energy. Share your thoughts now as Blog Action Day aims to spark web engagement and highlight successful efforts to END POVERTY!


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  • Erik

    E+Co sounds like an amazing program. Thanks for posting this. I’ll definitely look into it.
    Does anyone have experience or opinion on this Schwab’s new microfinance program?
    This program differs from direct microfinance gifts in that funds are used to guarantee loans – like a parent co-signing a student loan.
    I think it is interesting that this Schwab Charitable program is among a few organizations popping up – Kiva.org and Microplace.com – that are helping to bring microfinance funding opportunities to middle class Americans.
    And microfinance in general is such contrast to the mess created by the credit crisis. It is succeeding because loans are transparent, lenders know the borrowers, borrowers are not encouraged to take out more debt than they need and loans aren’t run through a Veg-o-matic that slices and dices the loans beyond recognition.
    Default rates are less than 3 percent for microfinance loans, this despite the fact that loan recipients are typically poverty-stricken entrepreneurs in some of the world’s least developed economies..