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Progress Plan: 2006 Prepared for the Synapse Board of Directors November 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "Progress Plan: 2006 Prepared for the Synapse Board of Directors November 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 Progress Plan: 2006 Prepared for the Synapse Board of Directors November 2005

2 “ There is a dramatic amount of untapped agricultural income in Africa and other poor countries right now to be earned by increasing productivity and sales within countries and across national lines within the continents where the developing countries are...I want to thank the Synapse Market Access Fund for helping to build [this] strength and [the] capacity of grassroots producers in rural communities…” William Jefferson Clinton, September , New York City The Synapse Fund was officially “launched” at the Clinton Global Initiative, a high-level international gathering in New York City in September 2005

3 The Synapse Fund aims to alleviate poverty by addressing a critical issue in developing economies and emerging markets – the lack of affordable financing to small businesses. By providing SME financing, as well as the accompanying market access development, Synapse helps build the individual firm and the surrounding community, ultimately contributing to overall economic development in emerging markets. Further, by working with local intermediary financial institutions (IFIs), Synapse contributes to the institutional development of the financial sector. Synapse operates on the cutting edge of philanthropy by applying investment strategies to charitable giving. It identifies businesses and organizations with viable business models and innovative approaches to opening new markets and cultivating opportunities for grassroots producer products. Candidates for funding in this new model of venture philanthropy are measured by three fundamental criteria: oScalability oSustainability oImpact With these pillars in place, modest initiatives grow into robust and far-reaching market access solutions. And once funded, investments are carefully monitored, guided and supported by Synapse in order to achieve long term success and self-sufficiency. MISSION AND VISION The Synapse Fund Vision

4 BUILDING MARKET ACCESS Creating new partnerships Breaking exploitative relationships Creating institutions for market development FILLING THE FUNDING GAP Providing funding for small businesses too large for traditional Microfinance, but too small, or too marginal for commercial loan products FOCUS ON SCALABILITY Focusing on mainstream products and services provided by poor producers, working to diminish market barriers, develop new channels to exiting markets, and promote sales for increased livelihoods

5 A knowledge-based partnership: The Synapse Fund takes an active role in recipient organizations by providing expertise and closely monitoring progress. Investment in long-term business plans: The Synapse Fund makes long-term investments in its portfolio businesses to ensure growth and sell-sufficiency. Accountability for results process: The Synapse Fund actively monitors and evaluates its portfolio of social investments using internal benchmarks Provision of both cash and expertise: The Synapse Fund provide both financial resources and professional services to its investment recipients Low-interest loans: The Synapse Fund will provide low-interest loans, deliver capacity-building and market linkages via partners, thereby creating incentives for strong performance Reinvestment: The Synapse Fund will reinvest capital to create a virtuous cycle of capacity enhancement and market leverage Exit Strategy: The Synapse Fund will identify investment opportunities that are able to use The Synapse Fund to achieve the goal of future self-reliance. The Synapse Fund’s model of venture philanthropy uses market concepts as a driver for designing effective social products and services, and is based on the following key elements: INVESTMENT PHILOSOPHY The Synapse Fund – How it Works

6 The Synapse Fund will actively monitor and evaluate its portfolio of social investments using internal benchmarks. These benchmarks will be tailored to the specifics of each project, and will include compliance requirements for the investment organization’s management team. Further, they will distinguish clearly between outputs and outcomes, focusing on long-term, systemic capacity enhancement for all investment partners. The Synapse Fund will provide oversight and technical assistance to ensure the success, and eventual self-sufficiency of its portfolio investments. In setting its performance goals, The Synapse Fund will focus on the following core metrics: loan performance market expansion job creation innovation* mission adherence * Though innovation is difficult, GTN will seek to create metrics that capture a business’ innovation capacity per benchmarks established in loan agreements EVALUATION The Synapse Fund – How it Works

7 By providing financing and market access, Synapse is building individual companies, the surrounding community and contributing to overall economic development in emerging economies. Further, by working with local entrepreneurs and financial institutions, Synapse helps to create an environment that enables sustainable growth and market development. Synapse Contributor (e.g. Citi) Community Development Small Business Intermediary Financial Institution Synapse Fund Build partnership & fund capacity Create jobs & econ dev Develop financial structures & biz relations Provide tech assist & market access Meet goals to alleviate poverty & develop markets

8 The Synapse Fund – Projects Project: Kenya Smallholder Farmers Investment Company, Ltd. (KESFIC) Kisumu, Kenya KESFIC, a co-op of small farmers in western Kenya, has traditionally purchased raw groundnuts from rural markets at low prices during harvest season and then sold them at a premium in urban markets when supply is less available and prices are higher. While its gross profits have increased, KESFIC’s growth has continued to lag. Using Synapse funding, KESFIC will be able to transition beyond the basic bulking, storage and trading of groundnuts and into value-added production. Synapse partners for this project are TechnoServe (providing business development services and marketing support to KESFIC) and Kenya Rural Enterprise Program (KREP) Bank, as the intermediary financial institution. Projects: Under Development/Review Site visits were made in August 2007 to seven small businesses in Brazil. Immediate prospects for Synapse were in honey processing and Brazil nut production. Meetings are currently scheduled with General Mills, Nordstrom and other interested companies in Synapse’s network to define how these small producers could potentially be integrated into their supply chains. Additional proposals from more than one dozen countries in South Asia, Latin America, and Africa are being reviewed.

9 Realities and Challenges Over the next 6 months, The Synapse Fund faces three primary challenges: Capitalization It is essential that Synapse raise additional capital to make further investments. Operations Synapse needs to build internal capacity to establish Fund operating procedures, build internal investment capacity, build broad interest in Synapse and trading networks, and assist in the capitalization process. Cultivating Relationships with Potential Investees To become a legitimate and robust social venture fund, Synapse must expand its network of partners around the world. CHALLENGES

10 CAPITALIZATION As with any fund—profit-making or social investment—The Synapse Fund will need to raise a significant body of capital to make investments and establish lasting operating procedures. As The Synapse Fund continues to extend loans, much of the investment capital is cycling through the organization. However, the loan terms will not foster significant internal capital growth. Accordingly, a successful round of capitalization is critical to the long-term investment capacity of the organization. It is also likely that, like all social venture funds, capitalization and operations funding will be an ongoing activity for the organization. As noted in the operations section, we project that Synapse will need to engage a part-time development officer within the next 2 years. Realities and Challenges

11 CAPITALIZATION The Synapse Fund has committed to raise $3.0 million by December Within the next 3 years, The Synapse Fund will amass a body of investment capital valued at approximately US $10 million. For this undertaking, we will need the financial and technical support of high net worth individuals, corporations, venture capitalists, multilateral institutions, private foundations, and country governments. Realities and Challenges

12 OPERATIONS The Synapse Fund has brought on board a manager and global consultants with expertise in venture capital and SME development finance. With this team, we have laid out the vision of the Fund, core values and basic investment critera. Prior to investment initiation, The Synapse Fund will need develop both organizational capacity and detailed investment planning tools. OrganizationInvestment Organizational Planning Schematic Detailed investment criteria Seed Round Planning and Execution Terms of Engagement Fund Development Beyond Seed Round Guidelines for Oversight Staffing Evaluation Metrics Strategic Partnership Cultivation Identification of investment targets Realities and Challenges

13 INVESTMENTS Synapse will need to continue to selectively make decisions among potential investments. In the short-term, Synapse will look to initiate investments with comprehensive scope across sectors, and with strategic geographic distribution. Within this context, there are several possibilities: 1. Synapse could focus on critical sectors where funding gaps exist, and where strategic intervention could result in market growth. Agriculture, textiles, tourism and crafts are promising SME sectors. 2. Synapse could set goals for geographic distribution of investments With investments slated for Africa and South America, Asia, Synapse could look to other regions for future investments. Alternatively, Synapse could focus attention on Central Asia, building a strong investment portfolio before expanding to other regions. 3. Given the widespread distribution of effective SMEs, Synapse could respond to donor demand in investment development. During ongoing fundraising operations, the Fund could offer donor “stovepipes,” creating earmarked investments for regions of interest, or even “named funds” for donor cultivation. Realities and Challenges

14 LEGAL STATUS The Synapse Fund was launched as a project of the Global Fairness Initiative (GFI) As the Fund’s fiscal sponsor, GFI assumed overall programmatic responsibility for Synapse, and maintained a relationship with Synapse, akin to a “public education fund,” maintaining overlapping staff and operations, but with different boards. As of August 13, 2007, The Synapse Fund was separately incorporated as a independent 501(c) 3 nonprofit corporation. All Synapse donations go directly to the Fund and are fully tax-deductible. Checks can be made to “The Synapse Fund.” Pro-Bono Legal Representation The law firm of Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP has offered to be the pro-bono legal council for Synapse. EAPD has helped Synapse pursue its own tax exemption, and will help draft loan contracts, and will ensure compliance with US laws. Realities and Challenges

15 LONG RANGE PLANNING As The Synapse Fund matures, many of the operational questions that exist today will begin to be answered. It is our hope that the growth arc of the organization leads it to focus on building market access and financial access for SMEs in many parts of the developing world. Synapse will remain a linked to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). CGI provides Synapse an international platform for donor and investment development, and currently acts as both an action motivator and an engine for accountability. The Synapse Fund has made very public commitments to the international community to deliver vital services to the developing world. As an independent 501(c)3, The Synapse Fund will remain an operational and philosophical reflection of the Global Fairness Initiative (GFI). The search for innovation, and developing scalable enterprises that extend globalization’s benefit to the world’s marginal populations are GFI’s core operating principles. As an institution, GFI maintains a very small institutional footprint, with extremely low overhead costs,* and remains nimble and adaptable to meet emerging needs. *89% of GFI income is expended on program work Into the Future …

16 BOARD OF DIRECTORS The Synapse Fund has been fortunate to attract the highest caliber of individuals to serve on the Board of Directors, representing international scope and impressive depth in venture capital, socially-responsible investment, social philanthropy and informal-sector business operations. At this juncture, Synapse personnel envision various potential roles for Board members: Assist in capitalization Identifying and/or cultivating high net worth individuals, outreach to foundations and corporations, assisting with fundraising events, etc Assist in the development of organizational operations and loan-making technical materials As Synapse will follow many of the basic tenets of venture capital investment, the experience of Board members in this area will be vital in the operational development of the institution. Inform Synapse staff on program interests, geographic interests or fundability of projects and presentation materials As relative outsiders, Synapse Board members can be vital sounding boards for program development, and can suggest investment ventures of personal interest. Into the Future …

17 Grant Aldonas President, Splitrock International Steven Bennett Chief of Staff, The Brookings Institution Eileen Kotecki President, Hawthorne Group Barbara Krumsiek President and CEO, the Calvert Group Janet McKinley Chair, Oxfam USA Sally Painter Vice President, Dutko Global Advisors Todd Peterson Synapse General Counsel, Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP Sonal Shah GlobalDevelopment, Google.org Karen Tramontano President, Global Fairness Initiative Ricci Wolman Business Consultant Board of Directors

18 Progress Plan: 2006 Prepared for the Synapse Board of Directors November 2005 “As global citizens, we all have an inherent responsibility—to each other and to future generations—to work together toward a more inclusive and sustainable prosperity.”* The Synapse Market Access Fund is designed to help realize this dream by providing critical market access and support to the working poor throughout the developing world.” *William Jefferson Clinton, September 2005 The Synapse Market Access Fund 410 First St SE, Suite 300 Washington, DC synapsefund.org


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