= using local peer networks to support entrepreneurs
URL = http://www.vilcap.com/
"Village Capital improves entrepreneurial success with social ventures and accelerates the impact investing space by building peer support organizations for entrepreneurs in cities throughout the world. Inspired by early microfinance lending groups, where entrepreneurs select loan recipients from their own group, VilCap “crowd-sources” the most investable companies for investor partners.
VilCap began as a pilot program in 2010 in Mumbai, Boulder, New Orleans, and the Bay Area. The program has had over 500 applications. Out of 82 participating enterprises, ten received investment. We found the following early results:
- Improved Companies. 83% of entrepreneurs said their enterprise improved as a result of VilCap. One professional investor observing the Bay Area pilot said that the number of investable enterprises increased from zero at the beginning to twelve at the end.
- Entrepreneurs Find Value Beyond Investment. 98% of participants would recommend program to peers, and 90% plan meet weekly post-program.
- Lowered Cost of Seed-Stage Investing. For a program cost of $65,000, The VilCap network sourced 500 potential deals and invested in 10.
- Industry Recognizing Program Value. Program cited as “#1 Trend to Watch in 2010” on Change.org; featured in Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, Beyond Profit, and Social Capital Markets
- Entrepreneurs Achieve Post-Program Success. VilCap enterprises have received validation in the business-plan competition circuit, winning 4 since the close of the first round of pilots."