August 1, 2018

Global Development Through Impact Investing

Karen DeMasters | August 1, 2018 | Financial Advisor

Gil Crawford, CEO of MicroVest, an impact investing asset manager based in Bethesda, Md., recalls a loan officer relating a story to him about a group of women gathered in a town square in a small town in El Salvador a decade ago.

The loan officer was asked if he could tell which women were there for their first loan and which were returning for second or third loans to keep their successful small businesses going. When he said no, he was told the women who had school-aged children with them were there for their first loan. Those without children had profitable small businesses and could afford to send their kids to school.

That is the kind of difference impact investing can make in the lives of people who would otherwise be struggling, Crawford said. MicroVest works in emerging and frontier countries to facilitate loans provided by investors, people who not only want to help the community and the world but expect a return on their money. (Frontier countries are those that are even less economically developed than emerging economies.)

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