August 13, 2010

The Hoop Fund makes its debut

The debut of The Hoop Fund from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

 

Social enterprise offers virtuous circle around loans, production, connections in a ‘fair trade ecosystem’

JD LasicaLast night I got a first-hand look at the debut of The Hoop Fund, a new social enterprise (tagline: Lend. Produce. Enjoy.) with a terrific pedigree and promising future.

In short, The Hoop Fund enables participants to meet the makers of products we buy, invest in their businesses and become part of the prosperity of their communities.

More than 150 people packed into The Hub San Francisco last night for the “friends and family” debut of The Hoop Fund, founded by entrepreneur (and former journalist) Kevin Doyle Jones, the impresario behind the Social Capital Markets conference coming up Oct. 4-6 in San Francisco. Lots of familiar faces there — Gary Bolles, Sarah Kennon, Shannon Clark, Arabella Santiago — and I got to meet two of the principals behind The Hoop Fund: CEO Patrick Donohue and operations chief Maia Hirschbein.

The Hoop Fund is one of those ideas that you have to see in action to really appreciate. A slide presentation showing how it’s already making a difference in villages in Peru really drove home its message of entrepreneurial opportunities in the developing world. With the Hoop, you can support producers through a loan (I just made a $50 loan to Indigenous Designs), purchasing their fair trade products through a partnering brand, and then spreading the word to your own networks and community. Jones calls it a “fair trade ecosystem.”

Here’s a quick 2-minute video with Maia taken at the event — incidentally, my first-ever video taken with my new iPhone 4:

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