Elizabeth Funk

Elizabeth Funk

Founder and Chairman

Elizabeth Funk is a leader in bringing for-profit investment dollars to help solve the world’s toughest problems.  She is founder and CEO of Dignity Capital, a collection of Impact Investing funds and projects. She is the Senior General Partner at DevEquity an innovative fund providing for-profit venture-style investment funding to social enterprises in Latin America.

Elizabeth was one of the early pioneers in impact investing.  She created the Dignity Fund in 2004, one of the first for-profit funds mobilizing investment capital for the Microfinance industry.

Elizabeth continues to be an active voice in the impact sector, as a board member, investment committee member, public speaker, investor, advisor and mentor.  She is dedicated to harnessing the power of capital to address the world’s most pressing problems.

Dev Equity’s investments include a mango drying and processing company that teaches small farmers organic techniques, buys their mangoes for a substantially increased profit to the growers, dries them, and sells them to Whole Foods. Another investment provides affordable housing in Honduras and Panama for over 5,000 families, allowing them to move out of the slums into a stable and safe environment of homes built with environmentally sound materials, with clean water and a quality school on the guarded, enclosed grounds.

She is the founder and CEO of the Dignity Fund, an innovative for-profit social impact fund which has funded 23 Microfinance organizations around the globe, helping millions of poor entrepreneurs start businesses and build their own way out of poverty.

She serves on the investment committee of Abacus Wealth Partner’s innovative “fund of funds” which enables larger professional investors to deploy their capital to solve the most difficult problems in poverty, education and environmental issues both in the United States and abroad.

Elizabeth also currently serves on the Board of Advisors for Copia Global, a retail distribution system bringing access to modern products for poor rural villages in Africa.

Elizabeth participates actively in several select counsels and forums which bring together influential thought leaders on critical issues. She is an active member of TONIIC 100%, a group who has committed to place 100% of their investable assets in impact. She also participates in Battery Powered, is a guarantor with Microcredit Enterprises, and was a co-founder of the Young President’s Organization’s Social Enterprise Networks.

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For several years she served as Chairman of the Board of Unitus, one of the world’s most innovative Microfinance accelerators. Under her watch Unitus helped over 10 million families move forward out of poverty.

Her current and past Board positions include Young President’s Organization, Deutsche Bank’s Global Microfinance Consortium Fund, FINCA’s Microfinance Fund. She served on the board of the London-based, publicly traded venture capital investor I-Spire, and was a founding board member of Ujjivan, a leading Microfinance institution in India. Elizabeth was a founding member of The Silicon Valley Microfinance Network, pulling together over 250 leading thinkers in the Microfinance industry monthly to collaborate on ways to alleviate world poverty.

Elizabeth served for 12 years on the Board of Directors of Glide Community Development and the Glide Community Development Organization. Combined these two organizations built and manage three high rise housing buildings for the (previously) homeless in San Francisco. They provide homes and support services for marginalized individuals and families, allowing them to have a stable home and community. Most recently she served as Chairman of the Board of Glide Community Development Corporation.

She has recently completed her term on the International Board of Young President’s Organization. At YPO she was one of the founders of the Social Enterprise Networks, bringing together Presidents and CEOs of companies from around the world, the Action Network allows members to pool their connections and expertise to address issues of world peace (for example Israel and Palestine or India and Pakistan), natural disasters, orphans and climate change.

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She served several years as a board member and on the investment committee of Root Capital, deploying funding to farmer cooperatives around the world allowing small scale farmers to continue and prosper.

She was the founding Chairman of MicroPlace, a service that allows retail investors to invest in Microfinance, until it was sold to EBay in 2006.

Elizabeth was one of the earliest employees of Yahoo!  She served in many roles, but most significantly she was the founder of Yahoo! Shopping, managing the initial design and creation of what later came to account for a majority of the company’s revenues. She continues to be an active angel investor in the technology industry.

Elizabeth’s career path has also included serving as the CEO of a publicly traded company in Canada (CML Global Capital), a diversified investment company with businesses in Calgary, Alberta, Hong Kong, and Belize amongst others.

Early in her career Elizabeth served a Product Manager on the early team for Microsoft Word and was on the original founding team that created the now ubiquitous Microsoft Office.

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Elizabeth holds an undergraduate degree in International Relations and Economics with Honors from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She graduated from HBS as a Baker Scholar, the highest honor awarded to the top students of the class.

She has been profiled in publications including Forbes, the San Jose Mercury News, the Vancouver Sun, and Business Week. She was awarded a Leading Entrepreneur by TiE, a prestigious technology entrepreneur association.

In 2010 she was named “Businesswoman of the Year” by Veuve Clicquot and has been featured in a Harvard Business School case study. Harvard Business School has written two case studies about Elizabeth.

Elizabeth was born and raised in Kansas City, where she graduated from Pembroke Hill School with honors and was a competitive figure skater. She is now a single mother with two children and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Advisory Board

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Maria Otero

Maria has been a long-time friend and ally in our efforts to alleviate poverty around the world. Maria’s most recent role was as Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs under Secretary Hillary Clinton from August 10, 2009 through 2011, the precursor to the expanded responsibilities as Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, which she held until 2013. Previously she served as CEO of ACCION International, a leader in global Microfinance. She was the Economist for Latin America for the Women in Development office of USAID. She also served for five years at the Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA). She was named one of the 20 most influential women in the United States by Newsweek magazine in 2005.

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Gary Hattem

Gary Hattem recently stepped down after 15 years as President of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation and Managing Director of Deutsche Bank’s Community Development Finance Group, managing a portfolio of $600 million in loans and investments and has a long and successful history in aligning diverse capital providers to achieve social and environmental development goals.He was responsible for the firm’s lending, investment and philanthropic activities targeted to disadvantaged communities and oversees the firm’s corporate citizenship activities for the Americas.

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Sam Moss

Sam Moss has been a long-time advisor and mentor– inspiring us, making invaluable introductions to potential partners and connections, and sharing his extensive wisdom in the Impact Investing field. Sam served for many years at Gray Ghost where he helped establish one of the pioneer investment portfolios making important investments in impact projects and funds. Sam resides in Atlanta where he is actively involved in his local community, is the Chair of the Atlanta Social Impact Collaborative (ASIC) and serves as an Executive in Residence in the Social Enterprise program (SE@G) at Emory and serves on the board of Emery University’s Goizueta Business School. Sam is an active participant in SOCAP and a frequent speaker– and a dear friend.

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Tracey Turner

Tracey has been a leader in impact investing for over a decade. She was the founder of MicroPlace which allowed non-accredited investors to make investments in Microfinance funds. Elizabeth Funk served as the Chairman of the Board. After selling MicroPlace to EBay, Tracey Founded Copia Global. She co-founded the Silicon Valley Microfinance Consortium with Elizabeth Funk, Maya Chorengel and others. Watch this video to get a glimpse of Tracey’s inspiring passion and wisdom: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBjUSqo_l-k

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Alvaro Rodriguez Arrequi

Alvaro is the founder and chief executive of Ignia, an enterprise building investment firm based in Monterrey, Mexico, focused on investing in and developing commercial enterprises serving the base of the socio-economic pyramid. Formerly, he served as CFO of Vitro, one of the largest glass manufacturers in the world, and of Grupo Salinas’ retail arm, Elektra. He is one of the founders of Banco Azteca, among the two largest banks in Mexico in terms of coverage, and also worked at Accion. Mr. Rodríguez Arregui sits on the boards of Banco Compartamos, which he led through one of the largest IPOs in the history of Microfinance.

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Brent Kessel

CEO, Abacus Wealth Partners and Align
Celebrated Author of “It’s Not About the Money”
Brent Kessel is the Founder and CEO of Abacus Wealth Partners, which provides fee-only, comprehensive financial advice to help individuals, families and foundations expand what’s possible with money, helping investors map their values to available investments across all cause areas, geographies, and asset classes.  Brent’s book, It’s Not About The Money (Harper Collins), was named one of Kiplinger’s Top Five Business Books of the Year, and FastCompany named Brent one of the five most generous people on Wall Street. Abacus is a founding B Corp., is carbon-neutral, and donates over 5% of profits to charity each year.

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Elizabeth Littlefield

Elizabeth was appointed by President Obama as the President and CEO of OPIC, an Under Secretary level position. OPIC, as the US Government’s Development Finance Institution, operates in 102 countries and manages an $18 bn portfolio to support private investment in sustainable economic development, in the world’s poorest countries. Formerly she was CEO of CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), advancing poor people’s access to financial services.  She served as a Director for the World Bank’s Financial & Private Sector division.

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Jonathan Lewis

Jonathan is a social justice activist and social entrepreneur. He is the Founder of some of the most powerful engines in social impact.

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Lorene Arey

Lorene is Founder and President of the Clara Fund, a family foundation focused on promoting and supporting gender equality and sustainable markets.