EcoLogic Finance Awarded $465,000 by Skoll Foundation
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — EcoLogic Finance hasbeen selected to receive a 2005 Skoll Foundation Award for SocialEntrepreneurship in the amount of $465,000.
Based in Cambridge, Mass., EcoLogic Finance’s mission is to provideaffordable financial services to small- and medium-sized businessesoperating in environmentally sensitive areas of the developing world, whoseactivities foster environmental conservation and grassroots economicdevelopment.
Since launching operations in 1999, EcoLogic Finance has raised nearly $9.0million in low-interest loan capital from 55 private investors. With theseborrowed funds, the fund has made 123 loans with a gross value of over $18million to rural producer organizations located in ten countries in LatinAmerica and three countries in East Africa.
The Skoll funding, which covers a three-year period, will helpEcoLogic Finance continue building on the success of its loan program inrural Latin America, while launching a new financial management trainingprogram for its clients and expanding its work into Africa.
Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., the Skoll Foundation was created in 1999by Jeff Skoll, the first employee and first president of eBay. Its missionis to advance systemic change in communities around the world by investingin, connecting and celebrating social entrepreneurs, who are individualsdedicated to pioneering new solutions that result in lasting improvements tocomplex social problems.
“We're honored and excited to be part of the Skoll Foundation’s innovativeportfolio of organizations,”¯ said EcoLogic Finance President William F.Foote. “The peasant farmers, women, and indigenous people we lend to play acritical role as stewards of the land. With this substantial support fromthe Skoll Foundation, EcoLogic Finance will be able to expand its reach,helping many more small, local entrepreneurs make a decent living whileprotecting the environment.”¯
“The Skoll grant creates a dual benefit,”¯ according to Board member MatthewPatsky, co-manager of the Winslow Green Growth Fund. “The work of EcoLogicis promoting economic development, while providing an important piece of thesupply chain in the production of organic products.”¯
EcoLogic Finance is one of 13 organizations receiving $7.3 million from theSkoll Foundation through an open competitive process that identifies socialentrepreneurs who have piloted innovative programs and are ready to take thenext steps toward systemic social change. The awards will be presented onMarch 31 at the second annual Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurshipat Oxford University in England, where some of the world’s leadingpractitioners and thought leaders in social entrepreneurship will convene toset the future agenda for visionaries who want to transform society.
The Skoll Foundation’s mission is to advance systemic change benefitingcommunities around the world by investing in, connecting and celebratingsocial entrepreneurs, who are individuals dedicated to creating newsolutions that result in lasting improvements to complex social problems.
“We have cast our net far and wide to find the world’s best socialentrepreneurs,”¯ said Sally Osberg, President and CEO of the SkollFoundation. “EcoLogic Finance is tackling a complex social problem in orderto promote healthy, sustainable communities.”¯
For more information about the winners of the Skoll awards, visithttp://www.skollfoundation.org/grantees/index.asp.
Source: EcoLogic Finance