Global impact investing, social entrepreneurship, and Global Brigades :: with Steve Atamian and Brian Howe
In this episode of Ventures we explore the world of impact investing & social entrepreneurship to help the poorest of the poor around the globe. We hear and discuss the founding story of Global Brigades, the world’s largest student-led movement for global health (approximately one in five medical students today have gone on a Brigade). We also hear the launch announcement of Eskala, a for-profit company with an ambitious (and believable) 20-year plan to help end poverty for 18 million people.
See below for detailed notes and links to resources mentioned.
My guests this week are Steve Atamian (Co-Founder of Global Brigades :: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevenatamian/) and seasoned impact investor/advisor/attorney Brian Howe (Managing Director of Wyttmab & Venture Partner at Prota Ventures :: https://www.linkedin.com/in/briankhowe/), and we cover the following:
1:55 - Brian’s intro and journey from law school into the social impact space, starting a community hub, and advising social impact founders reaching people globally.
8:30 - Steve’s story from school, to Deloitte, to starting and scaling Global Brigades.
20:00 - Talking about the different sides of the supply/demand with Global Brigades and the “bridge” they form between students and local communities in the countries they serve.
25:58 - How does Brian advise someone who is considering social impact entrepreneurship in terms of thinking about for-profit vs. non-profit, company structure, etc..
31:27 - Using “relationships first” as a heuristic for deciding how to structure things later, what were the early relationships that mattered for Global Brigades as they were starting and deciding how to structure themselves?
34:10 - How does donor money flow and support happen? Where does the money go?
35:25 - The earned-income model for non-profits, and Global Brigades in particular.
41:34 - What was the process of scaling Global Brigades like?
46:41 - In what countries does Global Brigades serve today?
48:42 - The importance of listening to understand needs.
50:12 - What are the common stories like for the pre-med students that go on Brigades? What do they do?
53:44 - What were/are the experiences like for engineering and business students?
58:04 - Example of a new social enterprise being formed when a new water system is created, like a public utility.
58:55 - How does Brian advise, structurally, nonprofits who are considering forming for-profits?
1:04:00 - The story of the new for-profit Global Brigades is spinning out.
1:11:55 - What does the regulatory landscape look like in the countries that Global Brigades serve regarding banks?
1:14:28 - What advice does Steve have for budding social entrepreneurs / investors considering new ways to innovate and help out globally?
1:17:08 - What advice does Brian have for budding social entrepreneurs / investors considering new ways to innovate and help out globally?
1:21:16 - The need for innovation for things like more affordable latrines.
1:22:00 - Side story of Fledge investing in a founder that launched The Obama Stove in Africa, and how that enterprise was/is an important model for social entrepreneurs leveraging local talent and resources.
1:26:20 - Where can people find out more about Brian and Steve online and contact them? https://www.globalbrigades.org/ // email@example.com // https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevenatamian/ // https://www.linkedin.com/in/briankhowe/ // firstname.lastname@example.org