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Episode #55 - June 2023

With over 719 million people across the world living below the international poverty line and the current data indicating the world will miss its target of eliminating poverty by 2030, we dive into the issues facing these efforts, what international organizations are missing, and why it is so important to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #1 as soon as possible. It is not by chance that the first SDG is the elimination of poverty in all its forms. Through a wide array of studies, conversations, observations, and engagements, the world recognizes that many different issues stem from poverty including crime, malnourishment, migration, and more. This is not only a problem for the Global South, but for the entire world, as poverty remains endemic in all countries (Iceland has the lowest poverty rate, at 4.5% of its population) and the SDG #1 promises to leave no one behind, while focusing on the most extreme forms of poverty first. However, since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the world has seen the first rise in global poverty rates in over a generation. This issue is not going away soon, but local social entrepreneur, Marc Blumenthal, has a new approach that he believes will create sustainable systems designed to empower local communities to bring economic development to their own communities.

In this episode we speak with Marc Blumenthal of Social Ventures Foundation and the EPIC program, and hear from him about how the top down approach of the global development agencies has failed those experiencing poverty and how his new social venture program will tackle the issue from the bottom up. By by-passing governments and working directly with the people, Marc believes his social ventures and social franchises can create economic drivers that are lead and run by the people in-need. Rather than funding the haves and expecting a trickle down effect, the Social Ventures Foundation looks to work with people on the bottom of the economic ladder, not only to build businesses, but to also provide social impact. 

Marc BlumenthalMarc Blumenthal has been involved in a variety of startups in the fields of Education, Medical Devices, Plasma Fusion, and Aerospace.  He founded SVF in 2017 and has been involved in the enterprise on a full-time basis. At the age of 19 he was involved in his first start-up, while attending the University of Pennsylvania. His second venture was designed around providing educational opportunities for millions of children across the Northeast, through The Learning Guild. After his time with the Learning Guild, he became Managing Director of a multi-million dollar limited investment partnership, which then led him to creating his own Venture Capital firm, Novations. 

He began the Social Ventures Foundation in response to a lack of sustainable resource allocation in the poverty reduction industry. Our mission is three-fold: to identify, promote, and invest in businesses of all sorts that have a product or service that lifts the livelihoods of the poor. Through this work, they engage directly with the people in

these communities to build sustainable paths to a better future, economically, socially, and communally. 

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