In an earlier post, I wrote that a trip to India was a major catalyst in my decision to shift the focus of my practice to working with social enterprises and impact investors. Since that first trip to India at the end of 2008, I have returned 5 times. Of course, the travel is expensive and sometimes exhausting, but it has allowed me to cultivate important personal relationships with partners there, including my legal colleague and friend Pankaj Jain and all of the wonderful people at Dasra. In addition, I have been able to develop a direct understanding of the context in which my social enterprise and impact investors are operating.
I’m now 18 hours into a 25 hour sleep-deprived trip to Nairobi – my first time to the African continent. In the three weeks I will spend in Kenya and Uganda, I hope to start to build the same kind of relationships that have made my experience in India so rewarding. I’m aware on this trip of how much of a head start I will have because of the powerful network that is arising out of the Unreasonable Institute.
Early in my trip, I will be meeting with clients and Unreasonable graduate ventures Kopo Kopo, One Degree Solar and re:char, and will have the pleasure of connecting with friends at Unreasonable Capital Partners First Light Ventures and Invested Development. I will complete my trip by going deep on Eco Fuel Africa with Unreasonable fellow extraordinaire Sanga Moses. Most importantly, I will have the honor of attending Sanga’s wedding! And sitting across the aisle from me is Rich Hoops, who is also based in Boulder and actively supporting Unreasonable ventures – including Nairobi-based LivelyHoods.
I am grateful to the Unreasonable Institute for bringing these extraordinary people to Boulder, and for helping to forge relationships that have the potential to change the world for the better.
More to come.