Pilgrim on the 405

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Elizabeth Funk-The Dignity Fund

May 31st, 2021

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works at the intersection of profit and purpose.  She is a thought leader and veteran in harnessing the power of capitalism to solve the world’s most pressing problems.   

Elizabeth serves as the Senior General Partner at Dev Equity, a venture capital fund investing in B-Corps in low-income housing, urban revitalization, and sustainable agriculture in Latin America (Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Peru).

Elizabeth started her career in rapidly growing, innovative technology companies.  She served as a Product Manager for Microsoft Word when Windows was first launched and participated in forming the original Microsoft Office product.  After graduating as a Baker Scholar from Harvard Business School, she joined Yahoo! as one of the earliest employees-- quickly rising through the ranks to lead the business side of several divisions including Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Search, Yahoo! Auctions, Yahoo! Classifieds, Yahoo! Greetings and other properties.  Most importantly, she was a founder of Yahoo! Shopping and became a leader in developing and shaping Yahoo’s e-commerce strategy.  Under her leadership, Yahoo’s e-commerce initiatives grew to become over 2/3 of the company’s revenue.

After Yahoo! Elizabeth was appointed President and CEO of CML Global Capital, a publicly traded investment conglomerate based in Canada.  As CEO she oversaw several major transactions including executing a takeover of another publicly traded real estate company, a normal course Issuer bid, and eventually a privatization of the corporation.  She sold several of the firm’s corporate assets and eventually sold the remaining portfolio company to its management. 

Since that time, Elizabeth has dedicated her career to impact investing and corporate social responsibility-- demonstrating that strong financial performance and positive social change are inherently connected.  Her first impact investment fund, the Dignity Fund, provided growth debt to 14 Microfinance institutions in 12 countries, enabling loans to over 35,000 poor entrepreneurs per year.  The Dignity Fund was one of the very first for-profit investment vehicles in the Microfinance industry, paving the way for the massive influx of capital into that field.

Elizabeth became an avid evangelist for impact investing and has served on many boards of impact funds and social enterprises.  Her board positions include Unitus (chair) a microfinance accelerator; Deutsche Bank’s Microfinance Consortium, FINCA Microfinance fund, Align Impact’s fund-of-funds, MicroPlace (chair) an online investment company she helped sell to EBay, Root Capital (farm expansion capital), and Ujjivan (Microfinance bank that has since gone public) among others.

Elizabeth is an active member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) where she served on the international board and founded the YPO Social Enterprise Network; Toniic, an association of impact investors, and many other communities.  Elizabeth is a thought leader and frequent speaker on impact investing and corporate social/environmental responsibility. For more information on Dignity Fund go to https://dignitycapital.com/

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