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Intern Spotlight - Marc Pakravan

An incoming senior at Milken Community High School, Marc has developed a crowd sourcing stock market model for research grant funding and is now in the process of building the system. The summer before coming to InVenture, he was an intern at the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce where he helped market their ShopLocal initiative. In his free time he enjoys playing frisbee, ping pong, piano, and making guacamole. 

Why I decided to become an Inventurer this summer: 

I was looking to be apart of the new and exciting startup scene here in LA. I enjoy the process of growing an idea, especially one that benefits others, into something tangible. InVenture stands at the intersection of business, technology, and social good with its unique system to tap into informal markets. While InVenture is an established company, I have the chance to be involved in its growth and expansion. 

Interesting fact that most people don’t know about me: 

I once planned, cooked, and served a seven course meal. 

Intern Spotlight - Tanaya Srini

My name is Tanaya Srini and I’m a rising junior at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. My major is called the College of Social Studies, which combines studies in Economics, Government, History, and Philosophy. I’m also pursuing a minor in International Relations, with the hopes of being well equipped for a career in international development. Next semester, I’ll be studying development economics in London and am very excited to explore a new continent! Outside of the classroom, I love to sing, write, and be outside. One thing people may not know about me is that I’m a huge soccer fan and take my team’s rivalries very seriously (Go Gunners)!

Being born in Mumbai and witnessing India’s incredible growth in the last decade has strongly influenced my interest in South Asia and international development. Microfinance has played a large role in inciting much of this growth, but my true interest lies in creating sustainable and scalable growth for those among India’s poorest demographics. I decided to become an InVenturer this summer because InVenture shares my interest in promoting financial literacy and sound business practices for new entrepreneurs.  I’m most excited to interact with the entrepreneurs in the field to help them plan for their short and long-term goals and explore new services that InVenture can provide!

Assessing Borrower’s Ability to Repay

We couldn’t agree more! Including household expenses is an important determinant in assessing a borrower’s ability to repay debt. InVenture’s SMS platform, InSight, tracks 10 different expense categories. These include food, travel, labor, dress, utilities, health, inventory, rent, education, and mobile top-up.

InVenture with Mayor Villaraigosa at a Technology for Civic Innovation event at The HUB LA!

Women’s Day Celebration in Chennai

Share Trust, an NGO based in Gummidipoondi, Chennai, targets women and youth who are below the poverty line. Share focuses on income generation activities, health, hygiene, empowerment, and sustainability. Share had their Women’s Day celebration on March 23rd where a variety of programs were presented to the women including safety-related,skill development, as well as an introduction to InVenture! Check out the large audience below.


Concerns over Affordable Housing in Urban Areas

Affordable housing remains challenging for developers. Land availability, pricing, and project approval processes make low cost housing projects uneconomical for private developers. According to a report by KPMG, by the year 2050, 900 million people will be added to India’s cities. The majority of this growth in urbanization is a result of rural to urban migration. It is imperative that all stakeholders take part in solving the growing shortage of urban housing. The increased number of people in urban areas has resulted in an increase of slums and squatter settlements, which will only continue to grow. Besides this shortage of housing, high prices of land and real estate prevent lower income individuals from accessing housing even when available. Hence, access to home financing is crucial. By using InVenture’s SMS-accounting tool, InSight, individuals will be given a credit score allowing them to gain pre-approval for housing loans from Muthoot. See our new housing flyer below!image

Trainings in full swing in Chennai!

InVenture’s newest field officer, Jagan, has been training staff members at various Muthoot branches around Chennai. Thanks to the Real Charitable Trust NGO and the Oil Mill Muthoot Branch, he has also been able to train several other end users in Kalyanapuram and Tiruvallur. One small step for mankind, one giant leap for InVenture! 

Vote for InVenture! “Technology + Psychology: Change Behavior to Change the World”

Vote for InVenture so we can hold a workshop on “Technology and Psychology” at the 2013 Net Impact Conference October 24-26th in the Silicon Valley!

Voting ends March 15th and every vote matters, so we need you! Thanks - we appreciate the support!

InVenture Word Manifesto!


InVenture meets iLead!

InVenture had the opportunity of visiting the team of Aide et Action, a Microsoft Community Technology Skills Program partner that runs iLEAD (Institute for Livelihood, Education, and Development) centers. Hundreds of iLead centers span across India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. iLead focuses on education and technology training. iLead aims to empower rural and urban youth through four-month, market-oriented vocational training classes which culminate in job placement. InVenture looks forward to partnering with iLead, as financial management skills are especially crucial at the start of one’s career!

InVenture is highlighted in a recent Economist story!

The good news rolls on! InVenture was mentioned in an article on the economist about retail sales in emerging markets. Check it out!

Symbiotic Relationships

Our Director of Policy and Communication has a guest post on Ashoka Changemakers about lessons learned from the SAP Sapphire Now Conference in Madrid. Check it out!

The value of public private partnerships in today's political climate

A week ago, we revealed that we’re partnering with USAID DIV to expand our work with InSight in India. Today, we bring you a reflection on The Huffington Post from our Director of Policy and Communication Patrick Furlong, on the value of public private partnerships in a political climate that leaves us ever more divided. Make sure to check it out!

The Rise of the Social Entrepreneur

What does it mean to be an entrepreneur? How about a social entrepreneur? A great reflection on what has driven social entrepreneurship and what’s it all about: finding innovative ways across all sectors to drive important and needed social change.