Intellecap, the think-and-do-tank for social innovation capital, has leveraged its historic emphasis on microfinance to work across advisory and consulting firm to a range of areas from capital raising and investment banking to knowledge dissemination and business incubation. We had primarily come to Intellecap to discuss their organizational model and how it might translate to urban issues and social and environmental sustainability as well as Intellecap’s assessment of social innovation capital markets.
Although Intellecap has traditionally focused on social and economic impacts and less so on the environment, the Rockefeller Foundation has provided support to allow Intellecap to adapt their private sector lens to business models focused on urban poor and disaster resilience, which has led to their research on environmental technologies, like solar lamps, and on business models for water and sanitation. Interestingly, we found Manju George and team already in the midst of analyzing the intersection between cities and climate change.
Intellecap’s knowledge dissemination and incubation experience has lent itself easily to microfinance, especially by working the synergies between each of their business lines. The Sankalp competition and Intellecap’s magazines and publications have opened up microfinance and MSME development to financial and business principles. Intellecap has also promoted franchising and replication of MFIs through Intellecash, which includes a training academy and MIS systems. The reach of the organization allows joint engagements to achieve a range of goals. Specifically for our objectives, Intellecap had indicated an interest in entering micro-housing, which would provide an entry point to urban issues without taking on a whole range of challenges.