Ajay Nagpal | Social Entrepreneurship

Ajay Nagpal, a senior executive in financial services, advocates for the next generation of social change leaders.

Category: Business

Getting Global Social Entrepreneurs to the Next Level

This article originally appeared on Skoll.

Echoing Green provides seed funding and technical assistance to emerging social entrepreneurs. Over the last few years we’ve seen a significant increase in innovative enterprises making social change through for-profit business models. This year, 45 percent of applicants to our social entrepreneurship Fellowship program proposed for-profit and hybrid business models, a 30 percent increase since 2006.

When looking at trends in this applicant pool, we noticed more than a third of the applications proposed work in Africa, and more than half of those were for-profit and hybrid organizations. Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria were among the top five countries of focus for the third year in a row.

From last year’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kenya to the upcoming Skoll World Forum, international attention and energy is focused on entrepreneurship in Africa. Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria are becoming social innovation hubs—with social entrepreneurs connecting, innovating new business models, and learning from each other. And increasingly they are using for-profit or hybrid structures to achieve their impact…

To read the rest of this article by By Min Pease, please click here


Ajay Nagpal is the Chief Operating Officer at investment management firm Millennium. Ajay Nagpal supports social entrepreneurship through his work as a Board member of Echoing Green. Please visit his finance blog to learn more about economics! Also, find him on Behance!

 

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The Overnight Dominance of 27 FinTech “Unicorns”

zenefits_1414602According to the publication Business Insider’s financial sector, there are a number of fintech “unicorns” appraised at over $1 billion, and proving to be an overnight success.

Square and LendingClub are examples of unicorn business making a splash while others (such as Housing.com and Zenefits) are beginning to lose steam. Since this same time last time last year, more Chinese and international fintech companies have claimed overnight dominance, this includes CrunchBase, Funderbeam, and CBInsights. Learn the names of twenty-seven high-valued fintech unicorns that are shaking up the game:  

  1. Rong360, the Chinese financial comparison site, is valued at $1 billion, founded in 2011, and it’s headquartered in Beijing.
  2. China Rapid Finance, the Chinese peer-to-peer lender, is valued at $1 billion, it was founded in 2001, though their online lending services didn’t begin until a full decade later. It is headquartered in Shanghai.  
  3. Zuora, which is a company that provides software that allows companies to easily take subscriptions, is headquartered in San Francisco and founded in 2007. It’s valued at $1 billion.
  4. Coupa Software, a cloud-based spending management tool, was founded in the state of California, founded in 2006. Valued at $1 billion, they raised $169 million.
  5. Jimubox, a Chinese peer-to-peer loan provider, is valued at $1 billion. Founded in 2013, it is headquartered 2013.
  6. Kabbage, an online small business lender, it’s valued at $1 billion. Founded in 2009, it’s headquartered in Atlanta.
  7. The London-based peer-to-peer loan platform for small business Funding Circle is valued at $1 billion. It’s founded in 2009.
  8. Formerly known as ZenPayroll, Gusto is an online payroll tool for small businesses valued at $1 billion. Backed Google Capital, the company  was founded in San Francisco in 2011.
  9. TransferWise, an international money transfer service, is a $1.1. Billion dollar company that’s headquartered in London and founded 2010.
  10. Valued at $1.5 billion, FinancialForce.com sells cloud-based accounting apps. Founded in 2009, the company is headquartered in San Francisco. Hewlett Packard and Lexmark are among the companies that utilize their services.
  11. Prosper, a peer-to-peer lending platform for consumers, is valued at $1.9 billion dollars. Just a little over a decade old, Prosper was founded in San Francisco and it’s backed by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
  12. Avant Credit, an online lender, was founded in Chicago, IL. The lending company is valued at $2 billion.
  13. The New Dehli-based One97 runs India’s biggest mobile marketplace and wallet. Valued $2 billion, One97 was founded in 2000.
  14. The $2 billion company Zenefits is a free HR software for small businesses. Headquartered in San Francisco, the company has been around since 2013.
  15. China’s first online-only insurer ZhongAn Insurance is valued at $2 billion. Founded in 2013, the Shanghai-based company was founded by Alibaba founder Jack Ma.
  16. GreenSky, lets businesses offer credit to customers, was founded in Atlanta in 2006. The company is valued at $2 billion.
  17. Klarna, online payment processing, is valued at $2.25 billion. Founded in Stockholm in 2005, Klarna offers payment service to Swedish nationals.
  18. Adyen, an online payment processor , is a $2.3 billion company that has Airbnb, Facebook, Netflix, and Uber as customers. Adyen was founded in Amsterdam in 2006.
  19. Mozido, a mobile payment and wallet provider, is a New York-based company valued at $2.4 billion.
  20. Oscar Health, a digital health insurance, is a $2.7 billion enterprise that was founded in New York in 2013.
  21. Credit Karma, which is a service offering access to free credit scores, is valued at $3.5 billion. The San Francisco-based firm was founded in 2007.
  22. SoFi, a marketplace for student loan refinancing, offers peer-to-peer student loan refinancing, mortgages and other types of personal loans. Located in San Francisco, the $4 billion dollar company was founded in 2011.
  23. Online payment processing service Stripe is valued at $5 billion and it’s used by Twitter, Salesforce.com, Lyft, The Guardian, Kickstarter, and a number of other notable companies. The San Francisco firm was founded in 2010.
  24. Qufenqi, an online electronic retailer that allows Chinese consumers buy electronics in installments, was founded in Beijing in 2014. It’s valued at $4.9 billion.
  25. JD Finance, an online financial service tied to online shopping, is valued at $7 billion. Headquartered in Chaoyang, China in 1998, they were able to raise $1 billion.
  26. Chinese peer-to-peer lender Lufax was founded in Shanghai, and it’s gone on to finance 20,000 loans worth a collective $2.5 billion since it launched in 2011. It’s valued at 428.5 billion.
  27. China’s biggest mobile payment product Alipay Ant Financial was founded in Hangzhou in 2004. It’s valued a whopping $60 billion.

Read the Business Insider article to learn more!


Ajay Nagpal is the Chief Operating Officer at investment management firm Millennium. Ajay Nagpal supports social entrepreneurship through his work as a Board member of Echoing Green. Please visit his finance blog to learn more about economics! Also, find him on Behance!

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Grads, Students Organizing Their Debt With Apps: Earnest, Credible, SoFi

sofi-inlineCNBC recently published an article articulating apps that help students to organize their debt, making it easier for them commit to repayment. For most graduates, landing a job is easily one of the most important concerns, however, student loan repayment shouldn’t fall by the wayside.

Approximately two-thirds of students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in 2016 will graduate with at least some debt, according to Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of Cappex, which a website dedicated to arming students with information on scholarships and colleges. For the average student, the debt level continues to increase, its peaked at more than $37,000 per borrower.

The moment the diploma changes hands, the hands on the clock begin to move, and the debt clock comes to life. Students not only must repay monies owed but must take on accumulating debt.

“Repayment begins six months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment,” Kantrowitz said. “For May graduates, that means November. For June graduates, it’s December.”

Student loan debt is a looming burden for many recent grads. Well over a quarter of graduates have said that “student loan debt would hold them back financially” after they graduate, according to a survey conducted by LendEdu. Also, less have voiced that they’re ready to tackle their student loan debt; just 29 percent said resolving their student loan debt was their primary personal-finance goal.  

Earnest, Credible, SoFi, and Gradible are the names of mobile apps and websites helping students to manage their debt. The numerous options for paying back federal loans, such as income-driven repayment plans through the aforementioned sites, as well as creative programs. Students can also look to studentaid.gov to learn more about federal student loan repayment.


Ajay Nagpal is the Chief Operating Officer at investment management firm Millennium. Ajay Nagpal supports social entrepreneurship through his work as a Board member of Echoing Green. Please visit his finance blog to learn more about economics! Also, find him on Behance!

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