Wonderful to have our past MIT Development Ventures
student and HBS
alumnus DJ DiDonna
join me on MaximizingProgress.tv
DJ's now running African operations for a Harvard Kennedy School
spinoff company, EFL
or Entrepreneurial Finance Lab
. EFL's purpose is to identify high-potential entrepreneurs in developing countries and, in particular, people worthy of risky loans and equity investments. In other words, they are a kind of credit-risk analytic service in countries where there aren't yet credit ratings and other forms of independent assessment. Born out of academic research in the Center for International Development
at the Entrepreneurial Finance Lab Research Initiative
, the EFL addresses the crucial "Missing Middle
" of small & medium-size enterprises (SME) firms in developing countries...
"...time and time again, access to finance is held up as the major problem. Firms in this segment consistently rate access to finance as the top barrier to growth."
EFL and their lead African client, the South African financial services giant, Standard Bank
, seek to address this starting in the Kenyan and East African markets. Very exciting initiative indeed!
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