As generous as human beings are, an investment instrument will almost certainly bring more dollars than philanthropy. Can we direct this flow of capital for good? This year’s marquee sponsor for SOCAP is turning philanthropy on its head by providing impact investment options to the everyday investor. Instead of giving, users of Mircoplace can invest, with financial returns from 0.5% to 6%. Unlike Kiva, which operates peer-to-peer lending, Microplace provides pooled investments to selected causes. And now, everyday investors can put their investments in Microplace, which performs due-diligence on its investment offerings and has accreditation as a broker just like Scottrade and E-trade.
In this interview, Ashwini Narayanan talks about people powered capital, and the FreshWorks Fund, an unprecedented public-private micro financing partnership. FreshWorks is a loan fund that brings grocery markets and other fresh produce distribution channels to communities that do not have them. By working with Mircoplace, FreshWorks is able to tap into previously untapped capital to invest in a cause that drives a healthier future for the people of California.
Connie Kwan is a Social Entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley, CA. She holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School, and covers stories about triple bottom line businesses and projects. Follow her on Twitter @ConnieMKwan and check back for more video interviews from SOCAP 2011.