Interactive Panel (live audience polling and Q&A)
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Who owns social enterprises? Moving from beneficiaries to shareholders.

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For too long, we have been developing social enterprises without thinking hard about who owns and controls these businesses. It is high time we changed that. Capital markets can shape more inclusive economies by uprooting existing power dynamics in favor of those who have been historically marginalized. Innovative investment strategies and structures have enabled shifts in enterprise ownership, transforming ‘beneficiaries’ into empowered market players. This is exemplified by individual enterprises such as Babban Gona in Nigeria and Gigante Wet Mill in Colombia, as well as by government schemes such as the proposed Lan Pao Dam inclusive economic zone in Thailand.

This session will inspire participants to harness their assets to enable deep, structural transformations toward shared ownership. It brings together perspectives from social entrepreneurs, investors, and governments across emerging markets to discuss:

  • The merits of shifting ownership to groups who have been historically marginalized
  • Ideas for effective investment vehicles that can enable these shifts
  • The enabling conditions that need to be in place in the broader market ecosystem

Recent research by FSG has explored how the full spectrum of capital can support inclusive growth in emerging markets, including by enabling shifts in ownership structures. This approach becomes particularly important to entrench an inclusion focus as social enterprises evolve to more diversified shareholder bases and transition leadership beyond original founders.

Confirmed Panelists

  • Harvey Koh – Managing Director, FSG (moderator). As a leader of FSG’s Inclusive Markets and Impact Investing practice areas, Harvey brings deep expertise, experience and thought leadership in market shaping and catalytic investing built up over a decade of work around the world.
  • Laura Amaya – Associate Director, FSG (moderator). Laura co-leads FSG’s Latin America and Gender Equity practice areas, and has worked across emerging markets to devise market-based solutions to social problems. She recently led work to explore innovative ways of using finance to further inclusion, which included looking at Babban Gona’s shared ownership model.
  • Kola Masha – Founder, Babban Gona. Over the past decade, Nigerian agribusiness Babban Gona has received investment and grants from a range of global and local players. A notable one is a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant that enabled smallholder farmers to hold over 30% of the company’s shares.
  • Virgilio Barco – Managing Partner, Acumen Latin America. Acumen invested in a wet mill to support a Colombian farmer cooperative’s move into processing by creating a self-liquidating structure with a combination of equity and debt, paired with an equity buy-back plan. Acumen intends to eventually transfer full ownership of the wet mill to the cooperative.

Unconfirmed Panelists

  • Nat Pinnoi – Climate Finance Expert, World Bank. Nat has championed the development of the proposed Lan Pao Dam inclusive economic zone in Thailand, a government scheme aimed at facilitating and scaling shared ownership models.

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