The Pearl Fund is not a charity, but as our high-potential businesses grow, they will need to attract and retain high performing talent, which means they in turn will have the “right kind” of impact on their communities as a natural byproduct of their growth.
We know this is true because we have seen it before. In 2008 Goldman Sachs published research indicating that the best way to improve an emerging economy is via mid-tier entrepreneurs (SME, small- to medium-sized entrepreneurs; these are not micro-finance but small companies that are poised to generate real job creation in their communities). The Goldman Sachs foundation put $100M into a fund to make that happen, and the now well-known 10,000 Women Initiative was created and has delivered measurable positive returns.
Brian P Phillips, the fund manager and our General Partner, was hired while at TechnoServe, by Goldman to help them select the highest performing entrepreneurs in the program and to ensure they got the resources necessary to scale their businesses. He has travelled the globe and met hundreds of these women entrepreneurs. In Africa, China, India, and all through Latin America entrepreneurs are all similar: they want to succeed. With the proper resources and assistance they can do so on their own, and the contribution they make in the communities where they live happens as a byproduct of their success.
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