As published in The Marketplace Magazine Jan-Feb 2019
More than two dozen private funds that make investments in women-led businesses were launched in 2018, a study by the Wharton Social Impact initiative suggests.
The study, spearheaded by social impact and gender lens advocate Suzanne Biegel, shows considerable growth in gender lens investing — investing to generate financial returns and a positive impact on women. The Wharton School is part of the University of Pennsylvania.
As printed in The Marketplace - 2018 - September/October
Take the example of delivery giant FedEx, which had its genesis in a college term paper.
Founder Frederick Smith was an undergrad student at Yale in 1966, studying topology — ways to connect service points through a central hub to geometrically improve efficiencies. Smith recognized that guaranteed overnight delivery would be required in the new economy, and no one was at that time prepared to meet the need.
He got a poor grade on the paper but used the idea five years late to obtain planes, set up a hub and incorporated delivery trucks. The company bled red ink for its first four years but had sales of $1 billion by 1983.
An article in AdWeek magazine notes that each day, FedEx ships 14 million packages to 220 countries. Sales now top $60 billion. ◆