femS3 is a non-profit organisation specialising on social enterprise development at the base of the global economic pyramid. We support local change-makers with seed-funding and capacity building and we provide strategic advice and technical advisory to donors and impact investors.
Our organisation was launched in 2006 by MicroVentures, a specialised private equity company investing into Microfinance Institutions (“MFIs”) operating in selected regions (India, Indonesia and the Andean countries) and Fondazione Maria Enrica, a private philanthropic organisation operating in Italy since 1999, whose aim is to promote the economic development of women living in low-income communities. Given its expertise in market-based solutions to poverty, femS3 was instrumental in launching Opes Impact Fund in 2012. With offices in Brescia (Italy), London (UK) and Bangalore (India), it operates all over India as Fem Sustainable Social Solutions (femS3), a non-profit company registered in 2010 under Section 25, according to the Indian Companies Act.
We started off with a simple but challenging task: to change the way we think about international development by supporting market-based solutions at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Our focus is on social enterprises who are catering to the urban and rural poor, whose basic needs have so far been largely unmet by traditional markets.
Social entrepreneurs around the world are the real change-makers who can positively impact the lives of their communities by providing them with quality and affordable goods and services. Our mission is to help them prove their idea and pave the way for investors to take it to scale. We are “last mile” specialists being there when the journey gets tough.
“Our collaboration with femS3 has helped us design a viable affordable Eco-housing delivery model for the rural working poor. This model gives us hope that eco-construction services, eco-material production enterprises and financing for sustainable housing can become powerful drivers, enabling access to access appropriate housing solutions by the working poor. These solutions are not dependent on public sector grants but instead fuel local economies, reduce environmental impacts and create healthy living environments”. Zeenat Niazi, Vice-President, Communications Solutions Branch, Development Alternatives.