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Global Partnerships 

Description

Founded in 1994, Global Partnerships (GP) is a nonprofit impact investor. We invest in market-sustained solutions that expand opportunity for people living in poverty, helping them earn a living and improve their lives. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, GP also has an office in Managua, Nicaragua and plans to open up another office in East Africa in 2015. We invest in social enterprises - including microfinance institutions, cooperatives, solar light manufacturers and other social businesses – that deliver essential goods and services to people living in poverty.

Our investments are currently focused in four impact areas: health, rural livelihoods, green technology and microentrepreneurship. 

Mission Statement
Global Partnerships expands opportunity for people living in poverty.
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Global Partnerships
1932 1st Ave Ste 400 
Seattle 
WA
98101 
(206) 652-8773 

Gail DeGiulio 
Chief Capital Resource Officer 

Programs

Global Partnerships Programs

GP’s investments are focused currently on four impact areas:

Microentrepreneurship
Providing access to credit combined with financial/business education helps create sustainable businesses and job opportunities. This is why we support partners that that are responsive to client needs, which range from basic financial literacy to business marketing to holistic women’s empowerment education. We aim to continue supporting innovations that drive entrepreneurialism and will keep investing in partners that pair credit with customized financial/business education.

Rural Livelihoods
Smallholder farmers often lack access to technical assistance on the best crop-growing practices as well as working capital and access to commercial markets. We invest in partners that can provide these important services that will help smallholder farmers improve their livelihoods. We currently invest in 15 social enterprises providing a combination of technical assistance, access to commercial markets and working capital.

Health
By investing in initiatives in health education and screening as well as primary care and essential medicines, our investments in social enterprises help improve overall family health, which leads to greater economic opportunity. We now invest in 13 social enterprises that offer some combination of health services in addition to financial services.

Green Technology
We invest in partners that deliver affordable, appropriate solar light technologies to families living beyond the grid. Some of the benefits of solar lights include extending families’ workdays and study time, economic savings, and removing the toxic smoke emitted from handmade kerosene lamps, which can lead to upper respiratory disease.

Philanthropic support is critical to GP’s success, as donations fuel our innovation and unlock market-based solutions to poverty. Philanthropy enables us to identify emerging opportunities that have the potential to bring meaningful opportunity to people living in poverty, research new models and programs, and evaluate the impact of our work. Our social investment funds provide loan capital to partners with demonstrated sustainable business models, which in turn helps these partners scale up and serve more people living in poverty.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

We rely on philanthropy to continue exploring promising new initiatives and identifying partners that are committed to social impact. Thanks to research made possible by generous donations, Global Partnerships recently invested in Greenlight Planet.

Greenlight Planet (GLP) is a social enterprise that manufactures and distributes solar lights for low-income, off-grid communities in the developing world. GLP’s reach has expanded beyond India into sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and recently Latin America, where 24 million people lack access to electricity. Global Partnerships’ investment in GLP is helping them expand distribution in the region and offer more flexible payment terms to select distribution partners. This provides more families living in remote, un-electrified communities with access to clean, affordable lights.

Evaluation


Global Partnerships (GP) partners with and invests in social enterprises that provide people living in poverty with access to services, education and tools that can help them lift themselves out of poverty. Since it was founded 20 years ago, GP has invested over $117.5 million in over 68 social enterprise partners that reach more than 1.3 million people across 12 countries.

Proven Success
GP pioneers and invests in sustainable solutions that help impoverished people earn a living and improve their lives. For example, GP’s investment in its partner COMIXMUL’s community pharmacy program now enables over 7,000 Honduran women, many of whom live in poor, rural areas, to access essential medications at affordable prices. In recent years, GP has received growing recognition from a number of reputable institutions, including an “Impact Award” in the category of “Access to Finance” from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. government’s development institution.

Best Practices
GP uses a rigorous screening process to select its partners. Its team in Managua, Nicaragua travels extensively to conduct screening visits with potential partners to ensure: that the social enterprise is financially-sound, delivers impact for communities that are living in poverty, implements a sustainable business model, and is aligned with one or more of GP’s four impact areas: health services, rural livelihoods, green technology and microentrepreneurship.

Collaboration
Part of GP’s success is based on establishing strong relationships with social enterprise partners that best-understand local needs, challenges and opportunities. GP works alongside its partners to exchange ideas and build sustainable solutions. As of April 2014, GP has 38 active partners, whose profiles may be found here.

Financial Health
Committed to transparency, GP maintains standing as a GuideStar Gold participant (read its Guidestar profile here) and publishes its audited financial statements here. GP is a unique nonprofit in that it depends on both philanthropic contributions (funds research, learning and innovation) and investment funds (supports expansion of proven solutions). Philanthropic contributions are primarily received from individuals, development institutions, foundations and corporations. GP also earns revenue through the management of three social investment funds and through an equity investment in MFX Solutions, a socially-oriented company that supports lending to entrepreneurs in low-income countries with affordable hedging products and risk management education.

(Evaluated by the Seattle International Foundation, a supporting organization of The Seattle Foundation)

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

DateAmountPurpose
There are no recent grants awarded to this organization.

Financials

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