Financial Services

Unleashing $16 Billion for Social Good, with Stephen Garten, Charity Charge

Charity Charge is a social enterprise on a mission to empower people and corporations to fund the causes they care about simply by using a credit card. Every year, 31% of all credit card holders don’t redeem their credit card reward points. That’s $16 billion per year in value. What if those dollars could be unleashed for social causes? That’s exactly what Stephen Garten and his company, Charity Charge does. When Stephen was 19 years-old, his father passed away from cancer. His father was 53 years old when he passes away. “Life is short,” he realized. Now, at age 31, Stephen sees a generational shift toward purpose and meaning. “How…

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107, Ana Pantelic, Fundación Capital | Participatory design of services for the poor

Ana Pantelic uses participatory design to create solutions. When you meet, Dr. Ana Pantelic, a poised, inspiring young woman, it’s hard to picture her as an 11 year-old, standing on a street corner, exchanging currency on the black market. And yet, this very street-level experience in the informal economy is the source of her resilience, adaptability and empathy. She knows what it is like to go from solidly middle-class to living in uncertainty. This causes her to listen to the people she serves, in order to learn from them. Ana grew up in the former Yugoslavia, feeling as if she were secure and safe. As ethnic tensions rose and war…

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101, Kat Taylor, Beneficial State Bank | Beneficial to All, Harmful to None

Can a bank be beneficial to all and harmful to none? Does your bank do only good and no harm? Do you know? Beneficial State Bank aims to bank in a way that is beneficial to all and harmful to none. It’s more than a platitude. They proactively measure themselves against goals such as how many affordable housing units they have financed, how many kilowatt hours of clean energy their loans have produced and how many millions of dollars they have loaned non-profits. Kat Taylor and her husband set out to create a business that would do social good with a sustainable business model. So far, they seem to be…

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088, Mike Gabriel, RSF Social Finance | Financing Social Enterprises

RSF Social Finance has an innovative approach to financing social enterprises. They bring social entrepreneurs and funders together in regional meetings where loan rates are negotiated. Entrepreneurs help funders understand the impact of higher rates, while funders help entrepreneurs understand the impact of lower returns. In the end, they set the rates. How did Mike Gabriel come to join RSF? From 1997 to 2002, Mike Gabriel was an investment banker in San Francisco. “There was the dot-com boom and bust,” Mike told me. “There was a lot of froth – a lot of greed. That took a toll on me. Like many young people do, I questioned, what is it…

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088, Mike Gabriel, RSF Social Finance | Financing Social Enterprises

065, Stuart Yasgur, Ashoka Social Financial Services | Using Market Forces for Social Good

Ashoka Social Financial Services Group identifies and supports social entrepreneurs using market forces for social good. If you heard Episode 60 of Social Entrepreneur with Bill Drayton, you heard him talking about the power of a network of leading social entrepreneurs. The Social Financial Services group focuses on social entrepreneurs who are pursuing innovative approaches to access new sources of capital and use market dynamics to create social impact. Stuart Yasgur is just the right guy to run this group. He spent a decade working with startup and growth-stage businesses as a consultant in New York City. He obtained degrees from Cornell, Columbia and the London School of Economics. More…

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065, Stuart Yasgur, Ashoka Social Financial Services | Using Market Forces for Social Good

025, David Reiling, Sunrise Banks | Empowering Underserved Communities

According to Sunrise Banks’ CEO David Reiling, “The culture of Sunrise Banks is all about mission and innovation.” If you pull his statement apart, you’ll notice three components: culture, mission and innovation. These are the magic ingredients that have allowed Sunrise Banks to be recognized as a “Best for the World” company. Sunrise Banks has been recognized on many levels for their purpose-driven innovation. They are a certified Benefit Corporation (BCorp). Their parent company was one of the first Minnesota Public Benefit Corporations. And, they are a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), one of only 100 banks in the US. They focus on underserved communities. More than 60% of…

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025, David Reiling, Sunrise Banks | Empowering Underserved Communities