Asaía Palacios

AsaiaLocation: Colombia

Village Capital Partner: The Hub- Bogota

Asaía grew up in two worlds – on one side, Ecatepec, State of Mexico and on the other, San Antonio, Texas. Both places tell a story. In Ecatepec, organized crime and poverty exist around you while in San Antonio, and in Texas for that matter, first encounters with Mexican immigrants revealing their respective struggles and hardships in the US are all too familiar. Turning negatives into positives, these experiences have shaped Asaía to want to connect with those who are looking to better their lives or the lives of those around them. For this reason, she believes economic and social well-being via a market-based approach (sustainable, innovative enterprises solving a social problem and employing or serving struggling individuals wishing to better themselves) can unlock growth and prosperity. So after graduating from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in Latin American Studies and Government, then teaching English in Prague, Czech Republic, Asaía shifted gears towards strengthening the social enterprise and impact investing effort in Mexico — first, helping the search-and-selection Ashoka Mexico team in identifying social entrepreneurs in Mexico, then evaluating innovative business models with social impact for seed capital investment and mentorship, and finally, as a liaison for a US startup in Mexico City wishing to provide financing to microentrepreneurs through their crowdfunding and money-management SMS platform. As a Frontier Market Scout, Asaía wishes to continue on this journey, only this time in Bogotá, Colombia where she will be collaborating alongside Hub Bogotá in their efforts to develop a social enterprise acceleration program. Her goal? To one day work for a strategy consulting firm that utilizes design thinking tools to help companies, organizations, and ventures innovate, remain competitive and, most importantly, bring impact into the area of social change as it relates to their business.

Rizki Penna

Location: Indonesia

Photo - Rizki PennaVillage Capital Partner: Satoe Indonesia and Village Capital

Rizki is a social entrepreneur focused on developing small-medium businesses in rural areas in Indonesia, who believes in the power of social innovation to tackle problems within the bottom of the pyramid consumers. He has more than 5 years of experience in the social entrepreneurship space in Indonesia, including co-founding and managing Satoe Indonesia, a student initiative turned into a non-profit foundation, which he guided from startup to an established business development and training centre. The foundation also act as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) project consultant, which to date has several clients including Carrefour Indonesia and HSBC Indonesia. In addition to serving on Satoe Indonesia’s Advisory Board, Rizki is a member of Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN), building a cross-sector network bringing together organizations and individuals from finance, business and the social sector, and a former member of National Coordinating Team of Creative Entrepreneurship Development at The Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs of The Republic of Indonesia, which responsible at taking an inventory list of problems in implementing creative new ventures and provide its solutions through policy recommendations to the minister.

Rizki holds a master’s degree in social entrepreneurship from Hult International Business School London, United Kingdom and a bachelor’s degree in management from Institute of Technology Bandung, Indonesia. He also holds a professional certificate in impact investing and social enterprise management from Monterey Institute of International Studies, California and a Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) certificate in sustainability reporting process.

Bonita Yip

bonitaLocation: India

Village Capital Partner: SABRAS

I’m trying to prove that “any business woman with a heart” can work in Fortune 500 Company to make a positive, social impact. I’m a recent full-time MBA graduate from the Simmons School of Management (an all women’s MBA program in Boston, MA), with a focus in sustainability/socially responsible business. Previously, I spent more than five years in the audit/finance industry. After leading key audits related to the U.S. recession from 2008 through 2010, it gave me the inspiration to make a career change.  Also, growing up in the Greater Boston area, I had volunteered at many non-profits that dealt with hunger, homelessness, as well as empowering young adults and women.  With this transition, it seems as if my professional and personal life experiences has finally come full circle in order to launch a new career path for social impact.

As a Frontier Market Scout, I intend to gain further subject matter expertise in food sourcing as well as supply chain with my field placement in India.  Also, I’ve been very fortunate to be well-traveled and have lived abroad in Beijing, China, so India will help me gain more insight about key global emerging markets. Besides the valuable work experience in India, it will also be an opportunity for me to achieve an important personal milestone, checking off my “number one bucket list item,” which is to reach the base camp of the Himalayas! To me, this represents that if I put my mind and heart into a goal that may seem completely overwhelming to others, I can and will accomplish it! Wish me luck!

Crystal Lo

Location: The Netherlands

Village Capital Partner: VilCap: NetherlandsCrystalsmall

Crystal Gloria Lo is a young professional who aspires to utilize business skills for a social benefit.  She thrives on creating positive impact and believes that there is a large potential to use the best practices of the for-profit world to achieve this.  Crystal has worked in various capacities in Hong Kong and China in the property arm of an international conglomerate and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Global Business and Marketing from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and a Master of Science in Real Estate from The University of Hong Kong. Read Crystal’s blog!

Mei Wa Poon

Mei WaLocation: Hong Kong/China

Village Capital Partner: One Earth Designs

Mei Wa Poon has been working in the financial services industry at a leading global bank for over three years in New York. Outside of work, Mei has served as the Treasurer for UNA-SNY Young Professionals since June 2012, and as the Director of Events and Community Outreach with ALPFA for two years. She has been engaged in Microfinance and Impact Investing space since Women’s World Banking Capital Markets Conference in 2011.  Mei was born and raised in Hong Kong and speaks both native Cantonese and fluent Mandarin. She relocated to Florida for high school, consequently obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Accounting at the University of Florida.

Myles Lutheran

SLocation: Kenya

Village Capital Partner: Eco Fuels, Ltd.

Myles is a suma cum laude graduate of Northeastern University where he completed his bachelors degree in Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise.  His entrepreneurial aptitude has led him to play key roles in helping multiple start-ups get off the ground in a number of different industries including online marketing, apparel manufacturing, real estate development, and mobile/enterprise software development.  In his time away from work Myles travels to developing countries learn from social enterprises operating on the ground.  His ambition to learn how high impact organizations operate has taken him to counties such as Haiti, Bangladesh, South Africa, and the Philippines.

Kevin Lehr

Kevin3Location: India

Village Capital Partner: Kinara

Growing up, his mother and grandparents operated a small family business in Maryland. From what started out as a single kiosk selling jewelry and crafts made by Kevin’s grandmother, his family was able to grow the business into a profitable venture. With this understanding of the power of small businesses as a driving economic force, Kevin pursued a BBA in Finance from the College of William & Mary where he also studied International business in Spain. He went on to receive a Master in Accounting from William & Mary and then spent 4 months living in New Delhi, India working with a local healthcare firm, the Max India Group, to organize health/immunization camps for underprivileged families around the Delhi area. This is where Kevin saw his interests in international development, business & economics crystalize into a passion for improving livelihoods and making real positive change. After returning from India, he worked at a global accounting/consulting firm, BDO, where he worked on a variety of projects with financial institutions, manufacturing firms, and government organizations. Kevin is now looking to refocus his career on international development by taking the business skills he has learned along with his international experiences and applying them as a Frontier Market Scout with Kinara Capital. Kevin also has a passion for travel, surfing, hiking, & guitar.

Read Kevin’s blog!

Join Frontier Market Scouts and MIIS for a social event following SOCAP on October 3rd!

In the spirit of SOCAP (Social Capital Markets), we invite you to continue (or join!) the conversation on social enterprise and impact investment with your friends at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and the Frontier Market Scouts Program.

When: October 3rd, 4:30-7 PM

Where: The Pub at Ghirardelli Square, 851 Beach Street, San Francisco, CA, 94109

Who: This event will bring together SOCAP conference attendees, and friends and alumni from the Monterey Institute and Frontier Market Scout programs. 

Join us for cocktails and appetizers!

Please RSVP on this site by October2nd.

For questions, call, 831-647-6417 or email


Steven Hoberg

Location: India

Village Capital Partner: Kinara

Growing up in the Chicago area Steve received  his  B. S.  in Applied Plant Science from Northern Arizona University  in 1976 and then completed his  M.B.A. at the University of Arizona  in 1979.  Steve went on to work for 8 years at Georgia Power Company doing financial planning and internal management consulting. Leaving in 1987, he then went on to found his own company, Glass Rite, In Albuquerque NM.   Glass Rite manufactures and installs high efficiency windows throughout Northern New Mexico and Arizona . After almost 25 years, Steve turned his company over to his co-founder and joined Frontier Market Scouts seeking to begin the next phase of his career. Steve now live in Albuquerque New Mexico with his wife, Kim.  They have three grown children and one grandchild. Personal interests are travel, mountain biking, Skiing, and whitewater canoeing.

Be sure to read about Steve’s experience in India here!

Patrick Huang

Location: India

Village Capital Partner: Village Capital – India

Patrick is a first-year Ross MBA student at the University of Michigan focusing on Finance and Strategy. For the summer, Patrick is focused on identifying high-potential, early-stage enterprises in India for Village Capital. Before starting at Ross, Patrick completed a pre-MBA fellowship with Vittana, an education microfinance non-profit, to design the first post-secondary education loan product for students in Rwanda. Prior to that, Patrick worked as a management consultant for IBM Global Business Services focusing on creating engaging customer experiences for Fortune 500 corporations. Outside of IBM, he also consulted for non-profits and social enterprises in the US and abroad. Patrick seeks to leverage his MBA and cross-sector management consulting experience to pursue a career in impact investing focused on the Base of the Pyramid. Patrick holds a BBA from the University of Texas at Austin.

Read Patrick’s insights and observations here.

Odunayo Arwolo

Location: Kenya

Village Capital Partner: Growth Africa

Odunayo Arwolo grew up in Nigeria where she completed her primary, secondary and university education. Odunayo has a bachelors in Computer Science. Her interest in international development led her to pursue a dual masters degree in International Relations and Economics at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University.  Her regional focus is Africa and her concentrations include Global Development and Global Markets.

She recently completed the Frontier Market Scouts Program and was assigned to GrowthAfrica; Village Capital’s partner organization in Kenya. While on assignment, she will be working at the Growthhub, a platform, space and learning environment designed and delivered to incubate and accelerate startups to success. Odunayo will be assisting in recruiting prospective entrepreneurs that will participate in the Village Capital program.

Read her blog about her experience in Kenya.

Lisa Ravenel

Location: Bogota, Colombia

Village Capital Partner: HUB Bogota

Lisa has four years of professional experience working in corporate marketing with clients such as Ford Motor Co. and Microsoft. Through this time she worked to develop communications strategies that utilized the latest technologies in mobile, email and social communication.  Additionally, Lisa is the owner of a small social venture company, Torch Illumination Co. Torch is an environmentally friendly candle company that uses only natural ingredients and donates a portion of all profits to environmental conservation funds.

She is currently working to receive a Masters in Public Administration at the University of Washington Evan’s School of Public Affairs where she focuses on International Development and Environmental Policy.  She is dedicated to the work of improving people’s lives in the poorest countries in the world and believes that through business and entrepreneurship we can help provide large scale impacts in the world’s neediest areas.  Finally, she loves the thrill of experiencing foreign cultures and people and has spent time traveling in South America, Europe and Australia.  She is excited to take the lessons gained from these experiences to make the most out of her time as a Frontier Market Scout.

Read about her experiences here.

Kira Kramlich

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Village Capital Partner: HUB Istanbul

Kira, a traveler at heart, has professional experience in Thailand as an Amicus Foundation sponsored volunteer, in England as an intern at Create partners, and in Switzerland as an exchange student at Kantonsschule Enge. Most recently, she worked with a German company, Umiwi, to promote economic independence, entrepreneurial development, and sustainable growth in rural Thailand through a business venture involving students from School for Life and a local family of craftsman. Kira is also a California State Championship winning and Junior Olympic participating volleyball player. Kira describes herself as an eternal optimist determined to improve the world.

Kimberly Nobella

Location: London, England

Village Capital Partner: HUB Westminster

Kimberly Nobella is a Masters Candidate in International Policy Studies with a focus in Trade, Investment, and Development at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Prior to joining Monterey Institute Kimberly worked with Article 3 Advisors, a Human Rights Consulting firm, cementing her commitment to human rights. Through Frontier Market Scouts Kimberly is fostering her belief that human rights are best achieved through market solutions. Kimberly holds a BA in Political Science from UC Berkeley. She lives in Monterey, CA with her husband and daughter.

Read Kim’s blog.

Julie Lapidus

Location: São Paulo, Brazil

Village Capital Partner: F123/Artemisia

Julie Lapidus is a recent graduate with a Master’s in Sustainable Business from HEC Paris and is currently completing an Executive MBA in Sustainability at Fundacao Getulio Vargas in Brazil. She has a wide range of experience in the sustainability sector ranging from organic agriculture, eco-design, green building certification, CSR, and corporate sustainability strategy, amongst others.

She has traveled extensively and has studied abroad in Ecuador, worked on a renewable energy project with students from India, and is in the process of completing 2 graduate degrees at the top business schools in Brazil and France. As a former Google employee, she also has experience in the technology sector, as well as worked with other companies in a range of sectors in the fields of corporate social responsibility and sustainability. She is looking forward to starting her own business following her experience as a Frontier Market Scout.

Be sure to check out her blog!

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