Exciting New Partnership Brings Loan Capital to Scaling Social Enterprises

We are thrilled to announce EverGift has teamed up with Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG) to bring hard-to-find loan capital to high impact social entrepreneurs. Based in Providence, Rhode Island, SEG is a nonprofit network of business and community leaders that donate expertise, time, and money to help social entrepreneurs achieve positive social change.  

Social Enterprise Greenhouse has a social enterprise portfolio of over 160 ventures based in Rhode Island and surrounding regions. The annual SEG Accelerator has graduated 58 ventures, 25 of which are scaling, and 49 operational. SEG also has a 100% repayment rate to their 4-year-old loan fund , which has granted 4 loans to scaling social enterprises.

pregOne example of SEG’s Accelerator and loan program successfully promoting positive social change is the participation of Solar Sister beginning in 2011.  Solar Sister eradicates energy poverty by empowering women with economic opportunity creating a deliberately woman-centered direct sales network to bring the breakthrough potential of clean energy technology to the most remote communities in rural Africa. In 2010, Solar Sister trained 10 entrepreneurs in rural Uganda. The following year, Solar Sister participated in the SEG Accelerator program, and in 2013, Solar Sister received a $20k loan from SEG to increase capacity. Five years later, Solar Sister has grown into the world’s leading social enterprise advancing a gender inclusive and market-driven solution to energy poverty. Solar Sister has trained more than 1,500 Solar Sister Entrepreneurs across Uganda, Tanzania, and Nigeria and built an award-winning last mile distribution business impacting the lives of more than 250,000.  Since gaining such traction, Founder and CEO, Katherine Lucey, was recently awarded Social Entrepreneur of the year by the prestigious Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

Social Enterprise Greenhouse has borrowed $25,000 from EverGift to lend to high-impact social enterprises with potential for impact like Solar Sister. SEG and EverGift share the vision that social enterprises are uniquely positioned to catalyze sustainable social change globally. These funds will help social enterprises make our shared vision a reality. In addition, EverGift’s loan has been matched by a grant from Kim and Frohman Anderson, a family dedicated to local social impact, thereby amplifying our impact!

Find out more about Social Enterprise Greenhouse


Growing a Social Business in The Dominican Republic

Over the past 3 years, EverGift and its long time friend, The DREAM Project, located the Dominican Republic, have been slowly cooking up the idea of partnership. In Fall 2013, everything fell together when a very special group of students entered The DREAM Project’s A Ganar program, a Partners of the Americas program focusing on reintegrating at-risk-youth into school or work. Twelve women were chosen to go through caregiver training; upon completion of the program in June 2014, each will have certifications from the Dominican Republic Ministry of Health as well as English language classes and Montessori Child Development technique training. These abilities are virtually unheard-of among Dominican childcare workers, though parents in our surveys stated they would pay $12.50 per hour for an on-demand sitter with these skills (that’s up from $1.25/hr, the regional average for full time nannies.) With tourism growing and tourist services making up the principal GDP in this region, there is certainly demand and great opportunity for these women to capitalize on. 

In January 2014, TRIUM Legacy Fund stepped up to distribute loan funds for the development of a nanny association made up of A Ganar students. One exeptional A Ganar student has shown great entrepreneurial spirit: she as well as another star employee was selected to lead the start-up efforts. EverGift Program Coordinator Emily Wanderer (and author of this blog post), has been working hands-on with the two leaders, the group of student caregivers and other staff at A Ganar to get the association off the ground. 

There has been great head-way over the last two weeks. One short week from now, EverGift will be hands-off and the students will continue setting up their business plan, working on contracts, and will present their completed project proposal to the TRIUM + EverGift Action Representative on April 15th in hope receiving an interest-free loan to cover start-up costs. If successful, the business is set to begin placing nannies with families between Puerto Plata and Cabarete this coming June. While we’re proud that this is the first association of nannies in the region, we are also proud to announce that the association is by all definitions a social business

Please stay tuned to find out more about what makes this a social business and much more!

REcommended Reading: Building Social Enterprise 


From the Nobel Peace Prize winning author of Banker to the Poor and Creating a World Without Poverty comes Building Social Business. Muhammad Yunus, globally referred to as the pioneer of micro finance, again sets out to foster a business culture serving the bottom billion, this time through consumer products. 

Yunus devotes many pages to defining (or redefining, as the case may be) ‘social business’, a term which was first coined in the Victorian era. To Yunus a ‘social business’ of the 21st century is defined by having a unique mission “to overcome poverty, or one or more problems (such as education, health, technology access, and environment) which threaten people and society.” Yunus also specifically excludes profit maximization for shareholder wealth in ‘social business’, contrary to the primary purpose of a corporation in today’s market economy.

This book is a quick and fun read for those of you interested in business innovation or entrepreneurship. As all his books have been, Building Social Business is distinctly idealist, although less painfully so than Creating a World Without Poverty. While he has spent most of his professional life in academia, it doesn’t show-through in this writing. Every chapter includes a plethora of examples, ideas and even some jokes which engage the reader and make this non-fiction read a fairly easy one on the cranium. We would definitely recommend this one!

In Action! 

A Ganar students in the Dominican Republic working together during the first week of vocational training. 

Evergift believes a collaborative effort is needed to promote solutions to unemployment. That’s why we’ve teamed up! Partners of the Americas’ A Ganar, implemented in Sosúa, Dominican Republic by The DREAM Project, a youth education NGO, offers at-risk-youth valuable training and mentorship, preparing them to enter the workforce.  In partnership with The DREAM Project, EverGift will be distributing an interest-free small business loan to A Ganar graduates.   -Stay tuned for more!

Vision for the future: Co-Founder Matt Wanderer


Matt Wanderer, Co-Founder

My vision is for every global citizen to have the financial power to choose their destiny and live a fulfilled life.  I started EverGift because of the inherent power of micro-finance to do just that, EMPOWER.  This year, I will work to expand EverGift, strengthen social enterprise and empower bottom of the pyramid individuals across the Americas, Africa and Asia. 

What We’re watching: Emmy winner, Esperanza

Esperanza: Their Stories were Built with Hope

About the Movie: “When Seattle Mariners catcher Dave Valle came to the Dominican Republic to play winter ball in 1985, he was only expecting to improve his baseball.

Instead, he found a lifetime commitment.

Motivated by the poverty he and his wife witnessed during his visits to the region, Dave and his wife founded Esperanza in 1995, an organization dedicated to giving those who needed it “a hand up, not a hand out.”

Now, this absorbing film chronicles Esperanza’s inspirational and moving story – through the eyes of those whose lives have been changed in incredible ways.  Discover how local families have been empowered to become entrepreneurs – with businesses that have lifted both their incomes and their spirits.  And see the renewed hope for a brighter future in the eyes of their children.

Valle describes Esperanza as the “gift that keeps on giving.”  In this film, you’ll see just how valuable that gift can be.”

Review: “An Emmy winning display of the beautiful Dominican Republic and it’s valiant peoples. This short documentary examines the impact of micro-finance on women and mothers, and their communities.  Beautifully shot and executed throughout, this film makes you want to get up out of your chair and be a part of the action! Great work, CelebrityFilms LLC, and Dave Valle for his conceptualization.” -Emily Wanderer, Program Manager, EverGift

EverGift Lift Fundraiser!

We invite you to contribute to our cause as we grow and continue providing small business loans to social enterprises. We have an experienced executive board and team of volunteers who dedicate their time to electing quality social enterprises and getting our message out. As we begin to grow our global presence we need to also build a budget. By contributing to our campaign you become the important foundation for a successful EverGift. www.razoo.com/story/evergift-lift

Welcoming Kevin McPherson, CFO, to EverGift! 


Kevin McPherson holds extensive experience in meeting the challenges inherent in nonprofits.  Having served on several philanthropic advisory boards and as CFO of foundations, Kevin has shown an unmatched dedication to philanthropy.  Kevin McPherson is a CPA and earned a BS in Accountancy from the University of Illinois as well as an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.

In large part he has held the position of CFO with privately-held companies in the life sciences, software and internet industries where he has led over $200M in financing rounds and managed multiple successful exits. Kevin has served as CFO at Restore Health, Forte Research Systems, Venture Investors, Authentify and Teach.com.  Earlier in his career he was VP Finance at Scios, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCIO), served in numerous finance positions at Hewlett Packard and was a senior auditor at Arthur Andersen.  

We are lucky to have Kevin aboard our mission.  His expertise will aid EverGift in providing efficient loan capital on behalf of our sponsors.  Welcome, Kevin!