What’s at Stake
Ambitious entrepreneurs and their businesses are economic engines of wealthy countries, providing an essential source of new jobs, innovation, and economic growth. When an entrepreneur wants to grow an idea or existing small business into a large company, venture capital firms often provide the financial backing to make it happen.
Yet in emerging markets, dynamic entrepreneurs often lack the financial resources necessary to start and grow their businesses. While traditional banks fund established companies, and microfinance serves individuals in underdeveloped markets, a dearth of venture capital and financial services leaves high-growth entrepreneurs with few funding options. People with a groundbreaking idea or business plan can also face cultural resistance, resulting in an inhospitable environment for entrepreneurship.
Our investments in entrepreneurship build on the principles of traditional venture capital, with an eye toward enterprises that will have social impact in poor communities. We invest in high-growth ventures that are developing affordable products and services to benefit underserved populations. For example, a company might provide low-income individuals with access to computer-based job training or digitized government documents.
We also fund capital intermediaries and technology companies that provide entrepreneurs with financial services, business development assistance, or technical support. By supporting the services industry for emerging market ventures, we hope to spark greater confidence among mainstream investors, improve the capacity for sustainable business development, and help to build the infrastructure that allows more entrepreneurs to emerge and prosper.
By providing new funding options and support, we help high-growth entrepreneurs in emerging economies bring their ideas to market, create new jobs, and reduce poverty. We also intend to demonstrate the power of entrepreneurship to trigger wider social benefits, by stimulating economies and delivering products and services that improve the lives of millions of poor people.