The Social Ventures Foundation mission is to facilitate sustainable market creation at the Bottom of the Pyramid by identifying, promoting and facilitating the investment in social ventures that employ the poor to lift the livelihoods of the poor.
The End Poverty Innovation Challenge is at the heart of the Foundation’s mission, EPIC facilitates a pipeline to facilitate the identification, recognition, promotion and investment in the most impactful and of outstanding sustainable social ventures that can scale and make a difference to millions of the world’s poor.
EPIC is open to all social venture startups focused on lifting the livelihoods of the poor originating from colleges, universities, and labs globally. After an initial round of the competition, finalists will present their social ventures at the global round on November 20, 2020.
a word about social impact investing
It is our belief that some of the most cutting-edge solutions to the major problems the poor face are being developed in University affiliated labs and social entrepreneurship business and engineering programs. The overriding challenge that most all of these ventures will face is funding to commercially scale.
Most international development agencies like the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation and the vast majority of social impact investors (ESG), are risk adverse, and utilize “top down” investment models which clearly enhance both the incomes and equity of the owners of larger infrastructure projects and small and medium enterprises. The investor expectations are that there will be a “trickle down” benefit to the poor.
The Social Ventures Foundations is focused on a “bottom up” strategy that “creates markets at the bottom of the pyramid by promoting social ventures which create jobs and equity for the poor by delivering sustainable social impact solutions to meet the needs of the poor at a price the poor can afford ”. The Foundation believes that a combination of both increased wages and equity are important to raise living standards and help move people out of poverty.
Micro Credit has allowed poor entrepreneurs to start their own businesses, but it leaves it up to them to come up with their own ideas for a business which leads to a proliferation of similar types of enterprises such as small retail stands. Rather than break new technology ground on improving lives, most micro credit supported ventures all too often maintain the status quo and all too many are charge exceedingly high interest rates to do so.
The Foundation seeks to promote the “flip side” of micro credit by identifying and promoting environmentally and financially sustainable social ventures that can be franchised or micro-franchised, enabling fast scaling to impact millions of the world’s poor. Micro Franchising recognizes the job reality of the poor at the bottom of the pyramid where 90% of the jobs are those of self-employment, not employment.
Social impact investing is limited in scope and funds. It is only capable of underwriting a very small percentage of those social ventures which have the potential to lift the livelihoods of the poor. The Social Ventures Foundation is in the process of forming an innovative investment vehicle focused on leveraging funds from the public as an alternative to charitable giving. It is called the EndPoverty Fund. In the future, it is anticipated that the Fund will be a source of investment for the Winners of EPIC. Stay tuned Planet.
Marc has been involved in a variety of startups in the fields of Education, Medical Devices, Plasma Fusion, and Aerospace. He founded SVF in 2017 and has been involved in the enterprise on a full-time basis.
Kristy Noel brings a wide variety of business management expertise to the Foundation. She develops and manages the business modeling for V’ice and provides financial management for V’ice Haiti.
University Relations Manager
Haley is the Community Relations Manager facilitating community partnerships and investments in connection with V'ice and the Social Ventures Foundation fostering a global conversation on poverty reduction.