Our Training Faculty
Frontier Market Scouts faculty are leaders in the social impact sector.
Ross developed the Village Capital concept in 2009, and has led the development of programs worldwide. Before launching Village Capital, he worked with First Light Ventures, a seed fund focused on impact investments. Prior to First Light, Ross worked on the development of four education-related start-up ventures: the Indian School Finance Company in Hyderabad, India; the National College Advising Corps in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and two ventures using technology to promote civic participation.
He conceived, built and leads all facets of global seed investment and portfolio management activities for Accion Venture Lab having sourced, analyzed and negotiated investments in India, Kenya, Mexico, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and the U.S. Paul has also secured funding partnerships from Rockefeller Foundation, Gates Foundation, and CGAP and advisory relationships with a range of other leaders in the financial inclusion space.
Steven L. Ellis, CFA. Steve is the founder (in early 2000) and president of Colorado Capital Management. He has 30 years of experience in the financial industry. His early work included teaching college courses in accounting and finance, consulting for a major accounting firm, and researching and acquiring investments as the chief due diligence officer of a national financial planning firm. Since 1989, he has advised individual and institutional investors on the management of their wealth. He is currently spearheading the firm’s work in the area of impact investing. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), holds a business degree from the University of Colorado, magna cum laude, and a masters degree from Cornell University.
Andrew’s passion was ignited when he witnessed his talented university friends strive for success in high status careers, only to find themselves disheartened by the profit-at-all-cost corporate mentality.
He questioned, "Why is it that we define success in business through lists like the Fortune 500 that rank organizations based on revenue alone?"
Redefining success became his mission, leading Andrew to publish a bestselling book, become an in-demand speaker, and teach courses through the Trump Organization and the United Nations University for Peace.
Alex is a member of Omidyar Network’s investment team where he helps source, structure and manage Omidyar Network’s for-profit investments and nonprofit grants. Alex invests across the Entrepreneurship and Financial Inclusion initiatives with a focus on Africa, Southeast Asia, and other emerging markets. He is a deal team member for a number of innovative companies including Cignifi, Lenddo, MicroEnsure, Offgrid:Electric, Pagatech, RevolutionCredit, RUMA, and Zoona. In his personal capacity, Alex is also a Board Advisor to MPOWER, a P2P lender focused on financially underserved students at US Colleges & Universities.
Amit Sharma is currently engaged in several global initiatives that intersect markets, risk management and international development. He is co-founder of Empowerment Capital, an investment management and strategic advisory company focused on income generative scalable enterprise for the global poor—leveraging the power of institutional capital, and consulting corporate entities in the engagement of and support to market-viable poverty alleviative commercial initiatives.
Dr. Yuwei Shi is a Professor of Strategic Management at MIIS. An expert in competitive strategy and early-stage venture business model development and evaluation, he has published over three dozen papers in peer-reviewed journals and a number of books and book chapters. He has taught MBA and doctoral programs in nearly a dozen universities across the globe, and won the Excellence in Teaching Award at the Institute and the Allen Griffith Teaching Award.
Morgan Simon has spent the last decade engaged in impact investment, emphasizing community empowerment, leadership, and ownership. She is a consultant at Pi Investments, building a 100% impact portfolio with an emphasis on community empowerment and environmental sufficiency. In that capacity, she evaluates investments across asset classes, including direct investments.
Previous FMS Trainers
Kent Glenzer, Dean, Graduate School of International Policy and Management, MIIS
Kent works at and on the intersection of power, hegemony, social change and organizational and inter-organizational dynamics, particularly in Aidland north, south, east, and west. He’s held global leadership positions with CARE and Oxfam -- where he led strategic planning, organizational learning, development, accountability, and evaluation units – and has a joint appointment at MIIS in the Development Practice and Policy (DPP) and MBA programs. Recent consulting partners have included the U.S. Army, Ford Foundation, Geneva Global, Save the Children US, Food for Peace, and Free the Slaves. He is on the Board of numerous organizations and initiatives, including the Management Assistance Group, International Initiative for Social Sustainability, and IFAD’s Participatory Impact Assessment and Learning initiative. Kent also is an associate editor of the Action Research Journal and co-editor of the forthcoming Third Edition of The Handbook of Action Research.
Alex Bashian, Senior Investment Manager, Invested Development
Alex Bashian is the Senior Investment Manager for Invested Development, an impact fund investing in early stage companies focused on innovations in alternative energy, sustainable agriculture, and information and communications. Alex leads new investments in the alternative energy space, provides portfolio management services to existing investees, launched and currently oversees the firm's Nairobi, Kenya office, and developed the firm's first venture debt investment strategy.
Miguel Granier, Founder and Managing Director, Invested Development
Miguel Granier is the Founder/Managing Director of Invested Development (ID), a Boston-based impact investment management firm. Before founding ID, Miguel, was the founding Investment Manager for First Light Ventures and founder of MCAP Consulting. He began his career in social enterprise as a loan officer for ACCION New York and has also worked for the insurance giant Fidelity National Financial in New York and Delter Business Institute in Beijing, China.
Jason Spindler, CEO & Global Managing Director, I-DEV International
Jason Spindler leads I-DEV's global team, vision and strategy. Jason has over a decade of experience in global finance, venture capital, business management and industry development in both developed and emerging markets. Jason is a former investment banker from Salomon Smith Barney/Citigroup. He later joined the private equity arm of turnaround specialists AlixPartners. Jason then moved from New York to Peru where he served as a business and economic development volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps and later helped launch a farmer-owned agri-business that today is an industry leading, multi-million dollar enterprise.
Patricia Chin-Sweeney, Director, I-DEV International
Patricia oversees I-DEV Africa’s operations as well as the global Insight team, which advises SMEs and corporations , as well as development organizations and foundations, on emerging markets business and economic development strategy. Patricia has consulted on market-based solutions to poverty, CSR and business growth throughout Africa and Latin America. She is also a member of the Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs’ East Africa Steering Committee.
Rob Lalka, Director of Strategy and Partnerships
Rob Lalka the Director of Strategy and Partnerships for Village Capital. Previously, he was the Senior Advisor for Global Partnerships at the Howard G. Buffet Foundation, and before that, he served in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Office of Global Partnerships and was a member of her Policy Planning Staff. He has co-authored partnership strategies for the United Nations and the World Bank and has been a Presidential Management Fellow, a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, and a Truman National Security Project Fellow. He graduated from Yale University and holds his master’s degree in global public policy from Duke University.
Victoria Fram, Village Capital, Director of Operations
Victoria Fram is the Director of Operations at Village Capital, responsible for managing internal operations, program implementation and the Village Capital Fund. Most recently, she worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on the Program Related Investments team, analyzing investment opportunities in the fields of global health and global development. Prior to that, she was an Investment Associate at Metropolitan, a global private equity real estate fund-of-funds.
David Kyle, The Calvert Foundation, COO
David Kyle was named in December 2011 to the newly-established position of Chief Operating Officer, responsible for loan origination, sales, human resources, systems, and customer service. David came to Calvert Foundation with a long and well-traveled history of success in helping organizations get to the next stage of growth.
Jason Fairbourne, Fairbourne Consulting
Jason Fairbourne holds MSC in Development Management, London School of Economics and is a graduate from Utah Valley University.
He is a pioneer in the field of micro franchising, the founder of the Fairbourne Consulting Group, and is currently the Peery Fellow at the Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management. He is the author of MicroFranchising: Creating Wealth at the Bottom of the Pyramid, as well as many other articles and publications.
Dr. Peter Robertson,Human Insight
Peter is a founding partner of Human Insight Ltd, a thought leader, business ecologist and specialist in leadership issues. He has written widely on this subject and has developed the AEM-cube, ACT-cube and RPA set of organizational assessment tools.
Peter has delivered key note speeches on the principles of business ecology around the world as both guest and resident speaker at many academic and management institutions. He is also a high level business consultant who specializes in strategy facilitation and leadership support and development. Assignments range from executive team coaching to board alignment to small- and large-scale strategy and culture development interventions.
Sara Olsen, SVT Founder, CEO
Sara is the co-founder of the Global Social Venture Competition, author with SocialEdge, and a globally recognized public speaker. With SVT she has designed systems that today reveal the impact of over $9Bn in over 23 countries. These systems recognize the cross cutting relationships between impact and financial performance in industries including clean technology, housing, public health, the arts, agriculture, social media, and finance.
Sara attended Dartmouth College for her undergraduate work and received an MBA and MSW degrees from UC Berkeley and the University of Chicago. Sara considers her most valuable education, however, to come from teaching public high school in Mississippi and helping start a social enterprise at Shorebank Corporation in inner-city Chicago.
Simon Desjardins, Shell Foundation, Program Manager
Simon runs Shell Foundation’s Access to Energy Program, which has the goal of helping to provide access to modern energy services for the poor. Before joining the Shell Foundation in 2008 Simon worked globally in a broad range of business and development roles, with experience in start-ups, multinationals and NGOs including High Street Media, UNDP, Hewlett-Packard and Scotia Capital. He has helped catalyze the growth of the world’s leading pro-poor energy enterprises in India and Africa (Husk Power, M-Kopa, d.light). In addition, he co-created a leading SME debt provider in India, IntelleGrow, which provides customized loans to small and growing businesses in the energy and infrastructure sector.
Ravi Kurani, ImpactSpace, Co-Founder
Ravi is a budding entrepreneur with a background in sustainable business and supply chain management. Ravi launched a due diligence and investment campaign for the BoP (Bottom of the Pyramid) communities in India, while working with First Light Ventures Fund and Village Capital. First Light Ventures and Village Capital democratize entrepreneurship through peer support networks. Ravi founded ImpactSpace.org, which is a database of social enterprise companies, financial organizations, and people. Ravi is committed to utilizing technology to find innovative ideas and designs for emerging markets. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UC Riverside, MBA in International Finance from MIIS-Middlebury College, and a Certificate from Stanford University in Renewable Energy Systems.
Specialties: Fluent in spoken Gujarati and Hindi, Fluent in spoken and written Spanish, Advanced skills with MS Office, SolidWorks, MatLab and some PSpice, Managerial Economics, International OB, Financial Accounting, Business Statistics, Marketing Management, Financial Management, Managerial Accounting, Operations Management, Statics, Dynamics, Engineering Circuit Analysis, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Linear Systems and Controls, Heat Transfer, Machine Design, Transport Phenomena
Ian Fisk, The William James Foundation, Executive Director
Ian is the Executive Director of the William James Foundation. He earned an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a BA in Political and Social Thought from the University of Virginia. He is the founder and head of ITF Consulting, a professional services consulting firm. He is the former co-chair of DC's Professional Net Impact Chapter and the secretary of the Washington Area Business Alliance for Sustainability. He has extensive experience in the non-profit, for-profit, political campaign, and government sectors.
He has started or co-founded a number of non-profit and for-profit organizations, including a magazine, a citywide service day, a monthly salon, and a citywide tool loaning library. He has serves or as has served on the boards of the Youth National Organization for Tomorrow, Community Action International Alliance, College Bound, The I Do Foundation, and The Gateway Community Development Corporation.