The Art of Tightrope Walking – Amee Parbhoo ’06

Amee is in a balancing act - walking the line between for-profit companies and intentional social impact on local communities. Amee’s academic resume is impressive: graduating from Davidson and going on to earn her MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. Listen in to this episode of Hub & Spoke to hear Amee talk about impact investing, micro-financing, and matching up social impacting and for-profit companies.

Like many people, Amee wasn’t exactly sure what she wanted to do when coming into Davidson, but quickly found a passion and interest in international development and more broadly, international issues. Wanting to solve these big challenges, Amee felt like she didn’t have the toolkit yet, but used the Davidson connections to develop that kind of skill set. So she worked at McKinsey for a couple of years, until moving to India to work at a small for-profit company providing loans to women all over the country.

Crediting CK Prahalad for this line of thinking, Amee has to balance thinking about individuals who we would maybe think about as poor or underserved, and instead think about how we could empower them to be available for all the same opportunities that others may have. Balancing for-profit companies with their social impact, Amee in impact investing has to try to bridge the gap of solutions.

Amee calls herself a “failed entrepreneur,” but also recognizes the growth from that failure. Starting her business in graduate school, she spent her time trying to figure out what problem she wanted to solve. Talking to many people, building a product, and investigating sales cycles and marketing ventures, Amee had to decide to put the company on hold, a difficult decision for any entrepreneur.

Now, at Accion Venture Lab, Amee invests in fin-tech companies that are focused on consumers and small-business that don’t have access to all the services that many others do. Amee works with a worldwide team, listening to pitches and making recommendations.

Finally, Amee challenges young entrepreneurs to think of problems that might pertain to communities beyond their own. These kinds of solutions may crack something bigger in a population that’s not necessarily thought about as often and might just become the next big thing.

Amee is in a balancing act - walking the line between for-profit companies and intentional social impact on local communities. Amee’s academic resume is impressive: graduating from Davidson and going on to earn her MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. Listen in to this episode of Hub & Spoke to hear Amee talk about impact investing, micro-financing, and matching up social impacting and for-profit companies.
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