Category Archives: Impact Investment

Good Money, Bad Money

The basic idea of good money and bad money is that the type of money a manager accepts carries specific expectations that must be met. These expectations heavily influence the types of markets and channels that a venture can and cannot target. The very process of securing funding forces many potentially disruptive ideas to get shaped instead as sustaining innovations that target large and obvious markets. Thus, the funding received can send great ideas on a march towards failure.

As emergent ideas are being nurtured during nascent years, money must be patient for growth but impatient for profits.

When winning strategies become clear and deliberate ideas need to be carried out then money should be impatient for growth but patient for profit.

  • Clayton Christensen, Disruptive Strategy, HBX
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The Power of Belief: Developing a Nutrient Rich Snack Brand

Since 2007, I sit on the board of dmff. The following guest post is written by Juan Almeida, founder of dmff. You can follow him on Twitter @jac2769.

It is an inspiring story about entrepreneurship and persistence. This “social enterprise” has developed a nutrient rich snack brand that has the potential to contribute to economic development in the Andean region and to fixing the global malnutrition problem.

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The Power of Belief: Developing a Nutrient Rich Snack Brand

Our global society faces many problems; one of them – malnutrition – is something that everyone can relate to whether the output is undernourishment or obesity. The World Health Organization predicts that obesity related diseases — diabetes, heart ailments, strokes, kidney failure — are rising fast across the world, and they will be the leading causes of death in all countries, even the poorest, within a couple of years.

While finishing my studies in business, I got this idea in my mind and fire in my heart to be part of a solution; to work with my homeland resources in order to fix the malnutrition problem. I faced major obstacles in developing my food business: outdated paradigms, closed mindedness, corruption and lack of access to capital and markets. With every obstacle I became even more convinced that nutrition – and good nutrition – is relevant to everyone.

A couple of years ago, while in Cologne, Germany (photo) working on our entry strategy to developed markets, an “interested businessman” asked me how I would get funding to accomplish our company’s goals of “developing a highly nutritious, all natural, tasty quinoa bar brand while selling and distributing a snack that has 94% of the micronutrients and macronutrients required by kids ages 5 to 12.” I answered that the right funding will be there in the right moment once an investor recognizes that good nutrition is fundamental to a healthy lifestyle.

Malnutrition continues to be a major problem and the “nutrients for all” community provides a mechanism to raise awareness and implement solutions relating to malnutrition and obesity. If you want to be part of our solution and increase the odds of changing the food system, I humbly ask you to contact us and together we will create a nutrient rich food brand that will bring the benefits of good nutrition to people who need it.

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Impact, Investment and Innovation from the Andes

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Today I am sharing with you a blog post from Nutrients For All posted by dosmargaritas functional foods. One of the goals of dosmargaritas is sharing the benefits of quinoa both with the developed world and with its producers – community farmers in the Andes region of South America.

I am member of the board of dosmargaritas and believe strongly in helping for profit businesses make a positive impact in our communities and our world.

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Improving Access to Quinoa Based Products

Quinoa has gained unprecedented popularity in the last ten years: 2013 was declared “the year of the Quinoa” by United Nations, it is a hot item on restaurants menus and consumers are happily experimenting with it in their home kitchens. So, despite its alternate grain status, it is quickly becoming a household name.

But, as Shakespeare said, “What’s in a name?”… Transcending the current quinoa craze and ensuring that the benefits of quinoa and quinoa production reach all stakeholders – in and out of the quinoa value chain – means looking at alternative ways to get quinoa and quinoa based products to market.

Ashoka’s Nutrients For All movement promotes nutrients and access to nutrient rich food choices. One of the areas we are exploring is bringing quinoa based products that are produced, packaged and tailored to a variety of well-defined markets. We are also committed to maintaining quinoa’s unique nutritional properties and ensuring participation by communities of quinoa farmers along the value chain.

Quinoa is produced by community farmers in remote areas of the Andes Mountains in South America. It is sown and harvested by hand and typically bought by merchants who resell it to companies who package or refine it. We want the producer to participate more actively in the quinoa value chain benefitting from farming it but also from it becoming more accessible to people around the world. We believe that we can improve access to quinoa and its benefits as a nutrient rich food by “linking farming to food to diet to health” thereby including more people in the “Nutrient Economy”.

It’s a challenging goal but it’s one of the ways that we want to make a tangible impact in business, in society and in quinoa producing countries.

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