Social Business News

Exciting years for these three social enterprises

Discovered, Three Wheels United, People’s Pension Holding; perhaps these names are pretty well known to you. The three social enterprises already set some major steps in improving the lives of many people around the globe. Yet they reached a tipping point. Meaning that they are ready to take their next big step. Now that we’re at the beginning of a new year, we’d like to give you an overview of their current status and perspectives.


Discovered

Discovered changes artisan lives through business. We started by creating an online marketplace where global artisans create their stores for free and sell directly to the rest of the world without any intermediaries. Offering global customers amazing handmade jewelry, bags, accessories, home goods and gifts created by the world’s best artisans. This means an authentic product with a story for you and a better income for them.

Status

Discovered received another round of seed funding in 2016 and is preparing for series-A in 2017. Discovered has been growing rapidly over the past few months, doubling annual seller impact created in the last 3 months.

Investment need

In cooperation with our lead investor Brigitte Mohn, we are looking for impact investors to join us on our mission to ‘change artisan lives through business’. Our ambition it to increase average annual incomes of 1 million people with 25% within 10 years (from 3000 to 4000 dollar).

So far the company has already reached over 2,500 artisans in 26 countries and a sustainable growth model has been identified that is projecting a very attractive Social Return On Investment paired with a profitable business case.

To reach the next steps towards this ambition, our current planned investment totals 8 million dollar, to be released in the next 1-4 years milestone based. If interested, please contact Kevin Wervenbos (kevin@enviu.org).

Three Wheels United

Three Wheels United (TWU) provides access to SME loans for auto-rickshaw drivers in India. These loans with the lowest costs in the market, help auto-rickshaw drivers break the circle of poverty, releasing them from the punishing interest rates of loan sharks or rental agents. Allowing them to improve their family livelihoods.

TWU redesigned a standard bank loan to suit the lifestyle of drivers and other low income earners, powered by a world class IT system to enable a hassle free repayment and promote positive payment habits. At the same, our work has a significant impact on air quality in some of the world’s most polluted cities.

Status

Three Wheels United was incorporated in Bangalore, India in 2010 as an intermediary and loan servicing company for large banking partners. We have been successful in opening the market for a previously “unbankable” group in Indian society.
The company is going forward as an Non-Banking Financial Company regulated by the Reserve Bank of India to better scale its impact. The European Union recognized the success and funded a 1.5m grant program to scale TWU throughout India. Among others, this grant covers most operational costs until the end of 2019.

Investment need

Debt and Equity capital for growth of the loan portfolio. Attractive “low to medium risk” investment opportunity putting capital to work for a good cause.If interested, please contact Kevin Wervenbos (kevin@enviu.org).

People’s Pension Holding

People’s Pension Holding is a company starting up pension funds for the informal sector, with its first subsidiary in Ghana. Ambition is to provide 500.000 people in Ghana with a more secure future in the first 5 years, and scale up to other developing countries in Africa.

Status

People’s Pension Trust Ghana has received its pension license from the National Pension Regulating Authority in September 2016. The IT system has been built and a local team is operational to start selling the pension product. The first 500 participants are saving on average 2 USD a week. People’s Pension Holding (PPH) has won the Innovation in Technology award on the World Pension Summit in November 2016.

Investment need

PPH is in the midst of a €3 million series A funding round with 3 investors (a.o. Aegon) doing due diligence. She is looking for 1 or 2 additional investors to complete the round with €1,5 million.

If interested, please contact Fennie Lansbergen (fennie@Enviu.org).