Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs.
Hi friends, it’s Spiffy, back again on Planet Earth with an eye on entrepreneurial leaders making the world a better place! I have one more interview for you this week. Today I’m excited to cruise around with Eva Yazhari, general partner at Beyond Capital Ventures. Are you ready to be inspired?
Spiffy: Hi Eva, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenges are you addressing through Beyond Capital Ventures?
Eva: It’s great to be here, Spiffy! Through our investments, we solve for three key areas: economic inclusion, climate change, and healthcare. We specifically focus on East Africa and India, two areas in the world that are going to see enormous population growth that will transform our world. Consumers who benefit from our platforms earn less than $15 a day. We believe that investing in purpose-driven companies in East Africa and India will create greater value for underrepresented groups and a net benefit to society over time. We believe that doing good and doing well can—and should—coexist.
Spiffy: Very cool! What motivated you to do it?
Eva: In the 1950s, my grandfather moved to Tanzania with his young family to run a health clinic in rural Tanzania. Hearing those stories while growing up shaped who I am today. It was my family history that inspired me to adopt an attitude of service and to be mindful of where I put my money to use. I eventually left Wall Street to create Beyond Capital, where I now live out my values of social justice, inclusion, and progress.
Spiffy: How would you say that your organization is working towards a more equitable world?
Eva: We explicitly invest in companies that are making a strong impact in their communities. Even if the company has a strong business model, we will not invest if they do not exhibit the qualities of a conscious leader or generate a strong impact. As a result, our work impacts the lives of over 50 million people, the vast majority of whom are women.
Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organizational milestone or initiative. What impact does that make on your community or audience?
Eva: Beyond Capital Ventures views the founders in our portfolio as true partners in our work. With our Equitable Venture pool, they share in the profits of our fund. It is important to note that in our industry, this model is not widely adopted — we are one of the few funds that implements this practice. The Equitable Venture structure allows entrepreneurs in emerging markets to become an owner in a model that is less extractive for all.
Spiffy: That’s indeed unique! Tell me about an inspiring startup that your organization has helped to advance its impact.
Eva: Based out of Kenya, Kasha Global is an online platform allowing low-income women to access critical health products such as menstrual care, contraceptives, and pharmaceuticals. The company is rooted in a strong commitment to advancing women's equality beyond the consumer. For instance, 70% of their delivery agents are primarily women. We have consulted them on numerous initiatives, assisted in brand design, and introduced them to important partners to increase their impact.
Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Eva—it’s been an honor!
Eva Yazhari is an investor, entrepreneur, author, and CEO/founder of Beyond Capital Ventures. After launching her career in Wall Street, Eva founded Beyond Capital to merge her passion for finance with her values, and now is dedicated to teaching others to do the same. (Nominated by Sujit Kunte at Spiral Ventures. First published on the Ladderworks website on August 30, 2023.)
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.
© 2023 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Sujit Kunte. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.