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 I’m doing with my life?” He decided to travel the world for a while. First stop? The Philippines.
While in the Philippines, Mike joined a micro-finance institution. “That got me on this track,” he said. This led to a 5-year stay with the Grameen Foundation.
Today, Mike is with RSF Social Finance, as a manager with in the Social Enterprise lending program, specifically focused on ecological stewardship work.
Social Entrepreneurship Quotes from Mike Gabriel
“Our mission is to transform the way the world works with money.”
“Like many young people do, I questioned, what is it I’m doing with my life?”
“RSF is, at the end of the day, trying to create a much better financial system.”
“We want to create financial transactions that are based on long-term relationships, based on transparency and that are direct.”
“What we’re working on now at RSF is something we’re calling integrative capital.”
“Build a strong network of support.”
“Is your money aligned with your values?”
Social Entrepreneurship Resources:
- RSF Social Finance: http://rsfsocialfinance.org
- Culture Shift Learning Academy waiting list: http://tonyloyd.com/assessment
Culture Shift Learning Academy
We’re moving closer to the launch of Culture Shift Learning Academy, a comprehensive system to help you flesh out your social impact idea and start achieving it.
Enrollment isn’t open yet, but you can join the waiting list with other changemakers. Just go to http://tonyloyd.com/assessment and enter your email address. As a thank you, I’ll send you the Social Entrepreneur Startup Readiness Assessment. This useful tool is designed to help you to determine where you are on your startup journey and to successfully focus your development efforts.