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Frontier Capital: Early Stage Investing for Financial Returns and Social Impact in Emerging Markets

October 5, 2015

This report outlines the importance and promise of serving low- and lower-middle-income (LMI) populations -- essentially, the groups situated between the very bottom of the pyramid and the existing middle class. As we detail herein, LMI populations have huge unmet needs and face quite a bit of instability -- challenges that can be addressed by innovative business models. We believe companies serving this demographic represent an under-tapped opportunity, both for financial returns and for outsized impact. The LMI segment represents a major market opportunity. For example, in Latin America and the Caribbean, the purchasing power of the LMI population is estimated at $405B. In South Asia, it is estimated at $483B.

Priming the Pump: The Case for a Sector Based Approach to Impact Investing

September 24, 2012

The impact investing sector, while still in its infancy, has made remarkable progress in building awareness that business can generate a positive social impact. Although individual firms remain the essential innovators and building blocks of social change, they are means to a broader end of creating innovations that can touch the lives of hundreds of millions. It is time now to evolve the conversation, and our resource commitments in the direction of sparking, nurturing, and scaling these new industry sectors that are the true promise of the impact investing industry. What is readily apparent according to this report is that no one organization, or one type of organization, can do this alone. Success does not depend upon perfect coordination or a grand plan. After all, we are talking about innovation, which requires experimentation, learning, and serendipity. But success does require a determined, thoughtful, and frequently collaborative effort by those who believe that the power of markets and the inspiration of entrepreneurs can be tapped to create opportunity and a brighter future for billions.

Advancing Evaluation Practices in Philanthropy

May 1, 2012

In recent years, the philanthropic sector has neared consensus on the need to improve measurement and evaluation of its work. Although the philanthropies they lead use different methods, members of the Aspen Philanthropy Group (APG) have agreed that basic principles and practices can inform efforts to monitor performance, track progress, and assess the impact of foundation strategies, initiatives, and grants. They hope to build a culture of learning in the process.