Invest2Innovate (i2i)

Kalsoom Lakhani

Washington, DC USA

Invest2Innovate, (i2i), is a global social enterprise intermediary that connects funders/investors with social entrepreneurs focused on building sustainable enterprises in emerging markets.

Our goal is to maximize long-term social impact in developing communities by cultivating ecosystems in the "untapped" markets, fostering partnerships and collaborations that allow entrepreneurs to achieve positive social and/or environmental objectives. We provide tailored services to social entrepreneurs to make them viable investees and maximize their social impact, and work with partners to further develop this space. We are piloting in Pakistan, and will expand our operations to other countries after 2012.

Currently, impact investors and funders tend to invest in professional businesses that are relatively lower risk. The current “hubs” of impact investment activity are concentrated in India, East Africa, and Latin America. These regions have developed key ecosystems to foster the growth and success of this space. However, many social entrepreneurs in other markets are left grappling for investor attention, and lack the knowledge to become attractive or viable investments, and require support to maximize their potential to their low-income customer base. i2i aims to bridge this gap by:
  • Identifying high-potential social entrepreneurs in emerging markets through partnerships with incubators, accelerators and partner organizations.
  • Providing tailored services to entrepreneurs to maximize their impact to their BoP customer base and make them viable and more attractive investees to impact investors and funders.
  • Partnering with likeminded organizations, funds, and networks to cultivate ecosystems in these markets.