ABN AMRO’s Social Impact Fund has invested in the social enterprise TTC (previously called Text to Change). TTC is a Dutch company that has developed a service specifically for developing countries using mobile technology for the fast exchange of information. The technology it develops is used to collect data for education purposes and to support relief aid.
Eric Buckens, Manager of the ABN AMRO Social Impact Fund: "TTC reaches a large and diverse market in developing countries. Its goal is to support people in their daily lives and to bring about real improvements in areas that impact directly on their lives, such as healthcare. This social enterprise fits perfectly with the goals of ABN AMRO’s Social Impact Fund."
TTC reaches millions of people in Africa, Asia and South America through more than 100 projects in healthcare, agriculture and education. Established in 2007, it is now active in 23 countries and has partnered with organisations such as UNICEF, the World Bank and WHO. It also works closely with governments, donors, NGOs and other businesses. TTC’s mobile services have helped more than 500,000 women in Tanzania during their pregnancy by giving them valuable weekly health tips and regularly reminding them to visit a health clinic. It has recently started putting its expertise to work in the fight against ebola.
Plenty of opportunities
Hajo van Beijma and Bas Hoefman, the founders of TTC, say that mobile phones are playing a fundamental role in emerging markets such as Africa. Van Beijma: "At this point, eighty per cent of the African population has a mobile phone. Many people who used to be unreachable now have access to potentially vital, life-saving information. The possibilities are endless.’”
Social Impact Fund
The ABN AMRO Social Impact Fund invests via direct participations in social enterprises that aim to achieve both social/sustainable and financial results. The fund is particularly interested in enterprises whose innovative business model can help revolutionise the market. Development of the fund fits in with the bank’s aim to strengthen its position as a leading socially responsible company. ABN AMRO not only wants to participate in the young and innovative social impact market; it also wants to contribute to this market. The fund currently works exclusively with capital received from the bank, but the plan is to allow customers to participate in the future. The ABN AMRO Social Impact Fund has previously invested in SCOPEinsight, beebox, Energy Floors, Big Move, Nudge and SIB/Buzinezzclub (in collaboration with the city of Rotterdam).