Microfinance investing: what to do when facing a (likely) saturated market?

One of the most tense situation an investor in microfinance and financial services face is when looking at an opportunity in a market that is overheating. On one hand you have your prospect or client requiring a large line of credit, and on the other hand, you have been reading those reports that the market is almost fully saturated. And the situation of course is further form being all black, otherwise the decision would be …

How to price a Social Impact Bond?

I find it quite fascinating that there is almost nothing in the social impact bond literature- from the insightful Brookings report to the amazing Social Finance database – on how to price a social impact bond. There are some figures shared here and there, but without any substantiation or figures helping calculate the IRR. In my opinion, this is mainly due to the following reasons: i) most investors in Social Impact Bonds are foundations and/or …

Curbing dishonesty in Tunisia

I am not talking here about some of the ineffective moralistic campaigns conducted by some non profits and political parties. I am referring to the work of Daniel Ariely and other scientists looking at behavior economics and how their conclusions can apply to the Tunisian context. The first good news is that, when the frequency of cheating is tested objectively and scientifically, there is no major difference between people in Germany, in Argentina or Tunisia. …

The Little Dictionary of the Arab Spring

From my latest WIP book ‘The Little Dictionary of the Arab Spring” 😀 “ASS: Acronym. Stands for Arab Spring Superstar. May refer to a person from Arab origin, not necessarily living in the Arab world, under 35, who achieved fame after the “Arab Spring”, a wave of demonstrations and riots that began in Tunisia in December 2010. Generally, a blogger, activist and/or a founder of a non-profit who plays the role of spokesperson for the …

Principles

I am currently reading “Principles” by Ray Dalio. It is available for free on the Bridgewater website but you can also download it here: Bridgewater-Associates-Ray-Dalio-Principles Ray tries to write down the principles that he’s been following in his life and in his investment approach, resulting in one of the most successful and credible hedge funds worldwide. I find it fascinating to take the time and reflect on the principles that have been guiding your life, reaching …

Celebrating Failures

I took a personality test a while ago and one of the questions was surprisingly something like :“if you meet an entrepreneur, i) would you ask him about his achievements and success or ii) would you ask him about his background and failures” and my answer was definitely the latter ( I don’t know what it means in terms of personality type though). We are flooded so much with ted talks, unicorns stories – someone …

5 days in DPRK

Looking at the title I just put, maybe I should have called it ” 5 crazy things  I saw in North Korea” or ” 10 pictures the North Korea government does not want you to see” and other “North Korean porn” we see on the internet. I would have got some extra hundreds of views :). It has been a week since I am back to the Netherlands, and although I am still recovering from …

Entrepreneurship in hard places

I took this excellent online class given by a Princeton professor (what a nerdy way to start posts by the way), called “Making Government Work in Hard Places” . The class tries to capture patterns and lessons learned from public policy experiences in “hard places” – counties, states and districts choked with weak institutions, corruption and rotten bureaucracies (I am sure we all know few countries like this) – and discuss cases of successful implementation of reforms, such as reducing …