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Frontier Market Scouts

FELLOW FEATURE: LAURA BENOIT CURRENT FMS FELLOW IN PERU

August 28th, 2015 · No Comments · Uncategorized

   LauraPolaroidText2

“The opportunity to…watch our projects unfold from ideas and planning to the actual implementation has been amazing.”

 

For the past five months, Laura Benoit (FMS ’15) has been working in Lima, Peru with Klaud a Design Consultancy. FMS placements average between 2 and 12 months; Laura intends to take full advantage of her placement and work with Klaud . On the eve of a weekend trip to Guatemala, she gave us the inside scoop about her current job and how she is using her FMS training:

Tell us about your new position

I am the Social Responsibility Project Manager at Klaud, a Design Consultancy that works with artisan groups and designers in the textile industry in Peru. Klaud works with both artisans and the industry; however, in my position, I focus [only] on the artisan groups. Specifically, I implement projects to improve organizational sustainability, such as the work I do with La Republica del Tejido in the Puno Region. My role is to create their business model and ensure that the project is financially viable and sustainable over time. At Klaud, sustainability is a top priority. Historically, projects in Peru tend to exist for only one or two years before fading away, but it is important that our projects can increase the financial autonomy of these women in the long term. In addition to La República, We are also working with La Bodega Mate to source their products from local artisans to maximize local resources. By doing so, Mate contributes more to the local economy instead of importing goods at high cost.

What has been the most exciting part about working with Klaud and professional life in the impact space?

Being able to implement the different projects we have created. In the past I have either implemented other people’s ideas or worked more on the idea side, but here I’m working through the entire project. The opportunity to work alongside my colleagues from start to finish and watch our projects unfold from ideas and planning to the actual implementation has been amazing.

How are you directly applying some of the skills learned through FMS?

In FMS we focused a lot on ensuring that the mission, goals and business model of an enterprise are all aligned so as to create the intended impact. At Klaud, we have been working to align all of their projects with the initial mission and goals of the company. I now have a unique viewpoint because I was trained to not only look at goals and projects through the lens of the enterprise, but through the lens of the investors as well, taking into account how they want their money to be used and the impact they intend to create. I use FMS skills like that on a daily basis. In fact, FMS was the best thing I did at MIIS. The training had the best return on learning, experiencing new things and meeting new people. Another incredible thing about FMS was that it was such a diverse community. I was used to working with graduate students in my program and with FMS we had so many new people and such a mix of backgrounds and experiences that it really pushed me to be competitive in a different way, which was a fantastic learning experience.

What are you most excited to learn in your current position?

I’m most excited to learn how to build camaraderie on a project between different actors. A lot of our work involves public private partnerships with government, mining companies and the alpaca industry so it is important to present the project in a way that encourages them to really lend their strengths. Essentially, we want to integrate the actors so that each one is playing on their strengths when contributing to the project because with all of these willing actors, the project and community as a whole will be fortified. I am also always learning to better encourage communities to take the projects on their own after we have set the stage.

What are your top three recommendations for someone looking to start a purpose-driven career?

  1. Find a part of the social/impact sector that you are excited and passionate about because if you do so, your work will always be rewarding even though it may not be easy.
  2. Stay flexible and creative in your thinking and process of working. Things don’t always go as planned; new challenges come up and it will be up to you to find solutions.
  3. Surround yourself with people with whom you can share ideas and work through challenges. The more you communicate your ideas and thoughts, the more input you’ll get and the stronger your ideas and understanding will become.

If you are looking for a way to launch into the field of social enterprise and impact management: apply before September 4th at go.miis.edu/fms and start your purpose-driven career.

Why wait? Your impact matters now!

Link in with Laura Benoit |   La Rep. del Tejido: @larepublicadeltejido  |
Follow FMS & CSIL @FMScouts  @center4impact

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Fellow Feature: An Interview with FMS Alumna Brittany Lane

August 20th, 2015 · No Comments · 2015 FMS Fellow Features, Uncategorized

Brittany

Brittany Lane          FMS ’15 Alumna                 Editor, Unreasonable Group


 

“I get my mind blown every time, and every single day. I’m learning so fast and so much”

Brittany Lane (FMS ’15) chatted with us recently about her new position as Editor at Unreasonable Group in Boulder, Colorado. We wanted to know more about what makes Unreasonable Group such an inspiring and exciting place to work.  Brittany shared insights about life and launching her purpose-driven career after FMS and graduate school:

Tell us about your new position

I love my job. Unreasonable Group works to drive resources and knowledge to entrepreneurs in emerging markets. I focus on our blog at unreasonable.is and edit everything that comes my way. I also pitch ideas for content and have great conversations with current thought leaders and mentors that are connected to Unreasonable Institute and Unreasonable Group. We are planning to feature more writing from the entrepreneurs who have graduated from Unreasonable Institute as well.

What has been the most exciting part about working with Unreasonable and professional life in the impact space?

For me, the people are the most exciting part. I’ve heard Daniel Epstein and many others at Unreasonable believe that business is really just about people, not the strategy or the marketing, and that holds really true for me. The variety of people who are interested in Unreasonable and have worked with us in the past or that do work with us now is fascinating. These are people from all over the world, and people from all sectors. Having conversations with such bright minds is great. I get my mind blown every time and every single day. I’m learning so fast and so much; it’s really rewarding work.

How are you directly applying some of the skills learned through FMS?

Without FMS and CSIL, I wouldn’t have discovered Unreasonable. I definitely wouldn’t have gotten this position if I hadn’t gone through the program. I highly encourage the training, and FMS Fellows have the opportunity to place with Unreasonable East Africa, which would be awesome.

For me, coming from a policy study background, the most important thing was being introduced to this whole world of responsible investing and social enterprise. It gave me notions of business for good and an introduction to the general ecosystem. Through FMS training, I learned who the key players are in this space, how investment plays into it,   about the lifecycle and different levels of startup. To be able to speak the language of whatever industry you’re in is a really important baseline. Especially for me working with words on the journalism side of things, language is really important. Plus the connections were amazing.

It was the PERFECT introduction and launching point for me. Without the FMS training experience I don’t know what I would be doing right now. I was studying policy but realized traditional development work wasn’t for me. This is a fresh and energetic approach to solving big and seemingly impossible problems.

 

What are you most excited to learn in your current position?

I’m most excited about how I can grow within Unreasonable and position myself as a leader as the company grows. Learning how I can improve in my role and continue to spread the culture of giving is very important to me. I just started and already I’ve learned so much, I’m just excited to see what’s next.

What are your top three recommendations for someone looking to start a purpose-driven career?

  1. Take some time to really know your values because they are your distinct compass
  2. Subscribe, Follow, Share, Tweet as much as you can about this field and its language. It’s ever-evolving and the time is ripe for you to actively participate.
  3. Surround yourself with people who share similar values and see how you can support each other.

Like many of our alumni, Brittany joined FMS looking for a change from her previous field of work and study, and now directly credits her FMS training as the launchpad for her current career path.

If you are looking for a way to launch into the field of social enterprise and impact management, be sure to apply before September 4th at go.miis.edu/fms and start your purpose-driven career.  After all, what are you waiting for?
Follow Brittany: @brittanylane515    |    Follow Unreasonable: @unreasonable   |    Follow FMS @FMScouts 

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Careers with Impact: An interview with FMS Partner Nafessa Kassim on building a purpose-driven career

April 22nd, 2015 · 3 Comments · FMS in Action, Frontier Market Scouts, Uncategorized

Nafessa bright rounded

Nafessa Kassim, Director of Global Engagements at MovingWorlds.

From social worker to Director of Global Engagements at the fast growing startup MovingWorlds – Nafessa Kassim’s career path has been anything but a straight line from A to B. In this interview she talks to FMS Program Director, Erina McWilliam-Lopez about how she combined her passion for enacting positive social change with her entrepreneurial savvy to take on one of the greatest barriers to sustainable development – access to human talent.

Tell us about your role at MovingWorlds

As the Director of Global Engagements I wear many hats – especially since we’re a growing company. My job is to make sure that people and organizations are prepared to have high-impact Experteering engagements. This means ensuring that Experteers and Host Organizations establish clear expectations for success that lead to long-term and culturally respectful social impact. I do this through the following activities:

  • Developing and delivering online training and resources that support synchronicity between the Host Organization and the Experteer.
  • Overseeing all matches. While our matching site does most of this automatically, we curate all opportunities and oversee all matches for quality.
  • Creating and building partnerships with different Host Organizations and Partner Organizations, like Frontier Market Scouts.
  • Project management of our corporate clients who are focusing on Corporate Volunteerism. I am currently working with Microsoft and its MySkills4Afrika program.

What is MovingWorlds all about?  What need is it fulfilling in the world?

The World Economic Forum, ANDE, and others have indicated that a lack of access to human talent is one of the leading barriers to progress in development.

MovingWorlds functions like a short-term Peace Corps experience for skilled professionals focused on tackling this talent gap. We help social impact organizations working on last-mile challenges, and which have employment generation potential, with the necessary talent to overcome barriers to scale. We do this by harnessing the desire of people to travel the world in more meaningful ways and connect them to organizations that will provide them free accommodations and immersive experiences in exchange for their time and skills.

Since managing international, skills-based volunteering engagements can be tricky, we have developed an online training and facilitated planning process to ensure these Experteering matches can happen at scale, be culturally inclusive, and create a sustainable impact.

Talk about your own professional background – how did you end up where you are today?

My path started as a counselor and case manager for sexual assault survivors, and then arrested youth in the juvenile justice system in San Francisco.  In these positions I worked to support my clients and advocated for their rights as individuals and as a group.  Working with high risk populations provided me with an incredible amount of humility, admiration for people’s strength and endurance.

As time progressed I wanted to expand my experience in human rights issues to the worldwide context and accepted a fellowship with the American Indian Foundation in India.  There, I worked with communities who were HIV positive.  My work included running an HIV positive person’s community center with career and personal resources as well as fieldwork in the slums to raise awareness about parent to child contraction.  During my time in India, I was also able to develop a sustainable livelihood program for HIV positive, widowed women.

My experiences in India exposed me to extreme levels of poverty, various types of human rights issues, and the challenges of international development work.  I was also deeply inspired by the passion, drive, and endurance of the people and communities that were focusing on a holistic approach to development. It also exposed me to innovative solutions to drive social change. One such project was working with an incredible local team to co-produce, co-direct and perform in a play about domestic violence in South Asia.

Inspired by my field experience, I returned to the US to attend Columbia University where I pursued a Masters in Social Work with a focus on International Social Enterprise and Administration as well as a Master’s in Global Public Health.  The two degrees were my attempt to develop skills to create holistic impact, hence the focus on social and programmatic skills.

My interest in holistic development deepened throughout grad school and led me to co-lead a research project in Aceh, Indonesia.  The project evaluated microfinance programs implemented post-tsunami, in an innovative way by evaluating the impact of microfinance with social indicators and comparing it to the financial indicator evaluations, to identify if a holistic impact existed or not; this research was recently published.

All these experiences enabled me to work as a consultant for international programming, international corporate volunteerism, and ultimately led me to MovingWorlds. I was the first employee at MovingWorlds for a position that was never publicized. After meeting the founders, I helped highlight risks areas and proposed solutions – they offered me a full-time position shortly thereafter.  I was drawn to MovingWorlds not only because of its status as an emerging social enterprise, but more so because of its mission – to empower local organizations to solve last-mile challenges and create jobs, which, from my experience, was something that I knew was critical to creating sustainable change.

As a professional, you facilitate “Experteering” experiences- tell us about it, and what is an “Experteer” exactly?

Experteering is the combination of expertise and volunteering.  We call “Experteers” people who volunteer their skills overseas with social impact organizations for any length of time.

Typically, Experteers are skilled professionals that work on very specific projects that are initiated locally.  The goal of any Experteering engagement is to leave a sustainable impact by addressing a challenge, and also building the skills of the team they support.  At MovingWorlds, we help enable this by sourcing specific projects, providing training on best practices, and facilitating a holistic planning process.

Talk about any emerging trends you see, or stories that are unfolding as MovingWorlds evolves

A strong trend that we are seeing is the individual and non-traditional pursuit of learning and skill building. A lot of Experteers are using international service as a way to build their profiles and prove their passion for globally focused careers. In our own experience we see global service as an important vehicle for building 21st Century leadership. In fact our Experteers have ended up at organizations like the Gates Foundation, industry-leading agencies and have even received promotions after completing international service experiences. This is because employers are looking for people that can operate in ambiguity, show genuine curiosity, and have a proven record of taking initiative and delivering results.

I also find it interesting to see how traditional work paths are adapting. Now, more than ever, you are seeing large companies work with small but innovative companies, and traditional development organizations work with corporations, all to pool their best assets and create a world-wide impact.   A great example of this is outlined in Forbes. As people work towards creating social impact around them, the players are focusing less on their differences and more on their commonalities and unique expertise, and when brought together they are stronger than ever.

What’s on the horizon for MovingWorlds? Any new and exciting updates to share?

Our team has noticed that the number one reason people don’t go Experteering is time away from work. Based on the success of our international corporate volunteering programs, we’ve realized that employers face massive gains by enabling their employees to go Experteering. As such, we are going to roll out some campaigns soon to help any employee at any company make the case for more time off to go travel the world. We like to say that for the price of a conference, we can connect people to the leadership development experience of a lifetime, one that builds a better world in the process.

We also have some new exciting partnerships coming soon with the Impact Hub, Njambre, Kiva Fellows, Unreasonable Institute and Startup Chile.

About MovingWorlds
MovingWorlds, SPC is a Social Purpose Corporation whose mission is to connect people to life-enriching, immersive experiences that create a sustainable impact. Learn more about Experteering on your own, or through an international corporate volunteering program.

MovingWorlds has offices in Seattle, USA; Washington D.C., USA; and Medellin, Colombia.  


 

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#IWD – Honoring Women Impact Leaders

March 6th, 2015 · No Comments · Uncategorized

International Women's Day

In honor of International Women’s Day the Center for Social Impact Learning will be doing a special series throughout March to celebrate women impact leaders that inspire us. Through interviews and other forms of digital media we will explore how women are shaping and catalyzing the social impact space.

Is there a woman whose leadership has inspired you? If so, contribute to this project by sharing her impact! Contact Nicole Manapol at nmanapol@miis.edu for further details on how you can participate.

Happy International Women’s Day! #MakeItHappen

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Moving the Needle

February 17th, 2015 · No Comments · FMS in Action, Frontier Market Scouts, Socent, Uncategorized

moving the needle

This post was submitted by MPA student and FMS alumna Nicole Manapol

“How do we move the needle?” is a question participants will hear often during their two weeks in the Frontier Market Scouts training program. In a program designed to enable social enterprise and promote impact investing the question is not intended to be rhetorical – it’s a straight up challenge.

According to a 2014 report released by J.P. Morgan and the Global Impact Investing Network there is currently about $46 billion of social impact money under management.[1] As FMS instructor Rob Lalka from Village Capital pointed out “that’s a drop in the bucket when you compare it to the total size of global financial markets” estimated to be over $87 trillion.[2]

FMS instructor Amit Sharma, Co-Founder of Empowerment Capital and Wall Street veteran concurs:

“It is mind boggling that we can create the most esoteric, complex, opaque, multi-dimensional financial products that conceivably diversify risk and drive profits. Yet we do not apply that same talent and energy innovating financial enabling instruments that grow social enterprise.”

Sharma who teaches a module on impact metrics and social venture profiling argues that by definition social enterprise is wealth accretive and risk reductive—it can bring in 2.9 billion people living under $2 / day into the market place as consumers, producers, and market participants. “Social enterprise creates value and yet the amount of innovation in the financial and capital markets currently does not comport to this immense commercial potential.”

So what is preventing more mainstream capital from flowing into the impact space?

As another FMS Instructor and Invested Development Senior Investment Manager, Alex Bashian, explained, “the problem is matching a fragmented supply of deals with the right financially and mission-aligned counterparts on the investment side” The majority of impact investors are not willing to invest in seed-stage enterprises. Without the requisite data and metrics we all depend on in well-established financial markets (like credit history) most investors find it too risky. The majority will choose to invest when an enterprise is ready to scale. Yet without seed-stage capital few social ventures ever reach that point. Essentially it’s a Catch 22 – on the one hand you have investors that are risk averse on the other hand you have seed-stage entrepreneurs unable to assume the burden of traditional debt and equity financing. As Alex points out, “it’s difficult to move money into seed stage enterprises in many emerging markets given the existing system. As an impact fund we need to try and match the different needs for capital with appropriate financing products and other creative mechanisms to help enable growth in this space.”

When it comes to managing risk – metrics matter

One of the main barriers to mobilizing more investment capital into social enterprise is the lack of data and metrics that help investors understand and hedge their risk. Standard metrics for quantifying social impact and assessing risk in this space are difficult given the diversity of contexts in which these enterprises exist. As Sharma explains to students – “although we talk about social impact we continue to benchmark the majority of impact performance through solely monetized value.”

With the proliferation of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governmental) measurements like the Global Reporting Initiative, GIIRS, B Corporations and others it’s hard not to be overwhelmed. Sharma sees the proliferation of these impact metrics as a positive development but a symptom of the same disease that has caused failure in the mainstream – overly complex metrics that are difficult to translate across sectors and cultures, useful to some social enterprises and exclusionary to others, particularly in emerging market contexts. As Sharma emphasizes to students –

“we have to remember that impact, return and wealth creation are contextual, any model of metrics we create has to be dynamic, simple, user friendly, and in a language that the financial purist, socially neutral investor or institutional capital markets can use…as well as the philanthropist.”

No one understands this challenge better than Sharma whose career has straddled the non-profit, government and private sectors. Amit began his career in grass roots international development and social enterprise with the Peace Corps. After receiving an MBA and MA in International Policy Studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS), Amit worked at the U.S. Department of the Treasury where he served as a Senior Advisor in the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, which began as a special task force unit established post 9/11 to develop and execute anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing strategies. He later served as a member of the Department’s senior team, and Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary. He then moved on to Wall Street where he joined Mitsubishi UFJ Securities (USA) as their Chief of Staff and Project Management Head to their Global Markets Unit. It was during this period that Amit saw first-hand the power of capital markets as an engine for innovation and growth. Leaving Wall Street in 2013 he transitioned to a boutique consulting firm, Command Global Services (CGS), where he managed the investigation, intervention and recovery of stolen foreign assets from rogue states, as well as the strengthening of financial integrity and regulatory controls.

AmitSharma_Headshot

Amit Sharma, Co-Founder of Empowerment Capital and FMS Instructor shares the importance of impact metrics

Developing a common language

Recognizing the need to develop a common language between the impact and mainstream investment spaces, FMS Co-Founder Yuwei Shi approached Amit in 2014 to create a new FMS training module devoted to impact metrics.

In June 2014 the two collaborators launched Profiling Ventures for Impact Investing a two-day workshop led by Sharma that takes students through the current system of ESG ratings and analytics, including the ones commonly used in impact investing such as GIIRS. FMS participants then compare those metrics with established commercial financial rating systems and analytics to understand the complexity of “impact risks” more comprehensively, and in a manner that enables greater engagement with mainstream financial participants and stores of capital. Importantly, the workshop emphasizes the recognition and growth of social enterprise across all sectors, including among mainstream corporate entities.

Using what he calls “the five bucket approach” Sharma boils down five core aspects of venture profiling that any social entrepreneur, fiduciary, government regulator, investor or philanthropist is really concerned with – wealth, risk, market, assets and leverage – “how does one leverage their assets to mitigate or diversify their risks and service their respective markets to achieve their impact / wealth objectives?”

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FMS Fellows at Winter 2015 Training in Monterey, CA

As Sharma emphasizes, “the purpose of this approach is to help students avoid getting pigeon holed in their thinking, which only contributes to the bifurcation between the social impact and corporate activities.” Instead of spending energy on trying to distinguish impact investing from mainstream investing the module encourages students to take a step back and see how they fundamentally relate. As Sharma points out, “the basis of all investing whether you’re a philanthropist or financial purist is to advance a particular objective to maximize returns in a manner commensurate with their deployed risk (this puts an emphasis on how “returns” are defined, and how risk is understood). We would be selling ourselves short by not engaging global commercial and financial entities and figuring out how to mobilize the power and influence of those markets to advance social enterprise as viable commercial endeavors.”

Impact Venture Profiling

Perhaps the most exciting opportunity the new module brings to FMS is the chance for fellows to contribute to the development of a more comprehensive solution to impact analytics that they can then go out and test in the field. Impact Venture Profiles is a new research-based initiative for select fellows heading out on 6-12 month field assignments in emerging markets. During their time in the field working with seed stage entrepreneurs, fellows will develop impact venture profiles to better understand the nature of social enterprise creation and operations, the universe of risk influencing social ventures, and to better refine the metrics and benchmarks that are required to grow impact activities.

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FMS Fellow Coryell Stout with colleagues at One Degree Solar – Nairobi, Kenya

As Sharma explains, “we [at FMS and the Center for Social Impact Learning] have a tremendous opportunity with this research initiative to help overcome current bottlenecks in this space by providing crucial data and metrics to the impact venture community that are needed to redefine, validate and grow the ecosystem around social enterprise. The potential of these profiles is enormous—they can be used to create case studies for research and academic purposes, conduct deep dive due diligence for investors seeking a pipeline of deals, and as real-time management tools for scaling social enterprise. But most importantly it brings multiple stakeholders to the table, including those from the corporate arenas, to recognize social enterprise as profitable business –
to really move the needle.”

 

[1] Saltuk, Y., Idrissi, A., Bouri, A., Mudaliar, A., & Schiff, H. (2014). Spotlight on the market: The impact investor survey. Global Social Finance, JP Morgan and the Global Impact Investing Network, London, 2.

[2] https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/xx.html

 

 

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Reese Hodges

January 30th, 2015 · No Comments · Winter 2015

MTY_W2015 Reese Hodges

Reese’s leadership experience as an outdoor professional and educator, both abroad and in the US, have given him a diverse skillet to bring to village capital. The skills gained as a whitewater rafting guide and field studies assistant instructor are complemented by his skillset gained in pursuing an MBA/MA in International Environmental Policy. Reese is proficient in Spanish language speaking and writing, and has worked with several organizations in Latin America. As a professional guide, Reese has excellent communication, management, and problem-solving skills, enabling him to play a vital role in business developments and strategy.

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Laura Benoit

January 30th, 2015 · No Comments · Winter 2015

MTY_W2015 Laura Benoit

Laura is interested in strengthening rural communities in Latin America through the creation of economic opportunities and social enterprises. Laura has experience in business strategy and program design for an artisan development organization transitioning from being a nonprofit to a social enterprise in Guatemala. Additionally, she has worked with a nonprofit in Peru constructing research tools, conducting field research, and analyzing data to make recommendations to the local government.

Laura has also consulted on projects related to: social media, fund diversification, marketing, network analysis, as well as monitoring and evaluation.  Her experience working with international organizations to create sustainable and culturally relevant programs has prepared her to be innovative and flexible with strong problem solving and communication skills. Laura truly believes that development work is most sustainable and valuable to the local community when it is paired with the creation and strengthening of the local community and economy.

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Caryn McKinney

January 30th, 2015 · No Comments · Winter 2015

MTY_W2015 Caryn McKinney

Caryn’s experience in the energy sector has given her a valuable interest and background. She has strong competencies in financial analysis and modeling, supply chain and operations management, which give her an opportunity to make valuable contributions to any company’s financial advisory and energy/operations management efforts.  Her research experience has also given her strong project management, problem-solving, and analytical skills, which enable her to play a vital role in business /strategy.  Her recent education at the Monterey Institute in International Business Administration and International Environmental Policy includes many activities in line with her interests in energy consulting and management. These skills and interests can be valuable to any growing or changing business

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Jeanette Pelizzon 

January 30th, 2015 · No Comments · Winter 2015

MTY_W2015 Jeanette Pelizzon

Jeanette’s experience in a variety of different fields ranging from public relations to development program management has given her a diverse skill set to bring to any organization. She has proven strengths in using social media mediums to achieve marketing and fundraising goals, as well as event planning and team leadership experience. These proficiencies allow her to be an asset to any organization’s communication and outreach efforts. Recent experience working with rural artisans in Rwanda allowed Jeanette to gain valuable strategic planning expertise, as well as giving her the opportunity to build off previous production management competencies in an international environment. Jeanette sees herself excelling in any role that allows her to build upon her existing strengths in communications and management, while gaining new skills in the realm of social enterprise.

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Tiffany Vlaanderen

January 30th, 2015 · No Comments · Winter 2015

MTY_W2015 Tiffany VlandereenTiffany is a Dutch and Indonesian Angeleno who graduated from the University of Southern California. She is a thoughtful problem solver with a diverse skillset to serve strategy or advising roles for a social enterprise.

Her experience in international development spans three continents with a focus on poverty reduction programs, grassroots community engagement and non-profit and for-profit social enterprise management. Recently she worked on business and program strategy development for Kiva Zip Kenya in Nairobi, a Kiva.org platform that links Kenyan small businesses directly to crowd-funded capital via mobile payment platform, M-Pesa and the Internet. Her ability to synthesize complex issues, have foresight and communicate solutions enabled her to develop partnerships with individuals and organizations that serve Kenyan entrepreneurs in various high-impact sectors.

Most recently she worked as the Growth Manager for the Silk Road Bazaar, a fair trade wholesale representative of marginalized artist groups located in Kyrgyzstan. She has an interest in the intersection of creativity and creating economic opportunities for underserved communities, more specifically in understanding how to link small-scale artisans to capital and markets for their products.

She is eager to grow a career in strategy and advising for impact investing and social enterprise management.

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Zsoka Ardai

January 30th, 2015 · No Comments · Winter 2015

MTY_W2015 Zsoka ArdaiZsoka is a recent graduate with a field of Environmental Engineering and Environmental Studies focusing on Sustainability, Urban Development and Renewables. She has been active in international programs which enabled to sharpen her communication, problem-solving and professional skills. She has experience in Environmental Management at a multi-company, Sales and Business Strategy at a small enterprise and her recent research focuses on Urban Metabolism Mapping. She is dedicated to life-long learning and her professional goal is to achieve balance between humanity and nature in such a way that it will contribute to a paradigm shift. She believes in the power of love, the importance of collaboration and the joy of life.

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Thomas M. Bunn

January 30th, 2015 · No Comments · Winter 2015

MTY_W2015 Thomas BunnTom has had experience in investment banking in Colorado and Boston and, recently, in teaching History on a remote island in The Bahamas. In trying to combine the business-oriented side of banking with the community-oriented side of teaching in a developing country, Tom was drawn to Frontier Market Scouts. As a clear communicator with a track record in business development and financial analysis, Tom is pursuing a career in impact investing with a focus on Latin America and/or the alternative energy sector.

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Deborah C. Lindsay

January 29th, 2015 · No Comments · Winter 2015

MTY_W2015 Deborah LindsayDeborah’s had a wide range of professional opportunities; from the co-founder of a successful non-profit to an HR manager for a Silicon Valley start-up. Currently, she works with an independent school as their Director of Operations and Enrollment and on the side, has her own consulting business that mentors small businesses through the “Crowdfunding” process. The thread that has run through all the work she’s done has been local economic reinvigoration, community building and environmental and social justice. Deborah has very strong strategic planning, business development and personnel skills. She is a progressive leader with a quick bottom-line mind that enables her to see the big picture clearly and she excels in  finding ways to move entrenched problems forward.  Her highest level of impact is identifying and catalyzing stakeholders, systems thinking and tapping into potential resources.

 

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Helen Elizabeth Ashdown

January 29th, 2015 · No Comments · Winter 2015

MTY_W2015 Helen AshdownHelen has developed a unique blend of highly valuable and transferable skills through both her professional career as a transfer pricing manager for Deloitte Tax LLP and her work with her own sustainable non profit organization in Ecuador. She has strong competencies in financial modeling; intangible property valuation and impact measurement that would be valuable in helping an organization better value, understand and manage their social impacts and financial performance. Her experience living and working with rural communities in Ecuador and her recent consulting experience developing a business plan for an El Salvadorian social enterprise has also given her profound intercultural communication skills, a strong proficiency in the Spanish language and a passion for development in Latin America. This along with her project management skills and her impact investing experience will allow her to play a vital role in business impact measurement and evaluation strategy.

 

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Maria Jimenez

January 29th, 2015 · No Comments · Winter 2015

MTY_W2015 Maria Jimenez

Maria’s experiences in both banking and finance management have given her a valuable background and skillset to bring to an impact investment organization. She has strong competencies in financial modeling, analyzing financial statements and financial ratios, which allow her to make valuable contributions to the due-diligence activities of the organization. She is a native Spanish speaker having lived, studied and worked in Peru, Mexico, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Honduras. Her professional experiences have given her strong management, problem-solving, coaching and communication skills; these enable her to play a vital role in working in a multicultural, multi-country and fast-paced environment.

She also brings a successful social enterprise experience from having worked as a volunteer coach with a Peruvian entrepreneur on the final development of his business plan. His business plan won a National Award in Peru and a Global award in Holland in 2010.

Her most recent professional experience in an international non-profit organization includes many activities in line with social investment organization operations.

All of this gives her industry knowledge in impact investing and social enterprise relevant to an impact investment organization’s core business.

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