Kurt Hoffman

Managing Director, Social Development

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Mr. Hoffman has a solid track record over three decades as a pioneering architect of scalable and sustainable market and enterprise-based solutions to major social and environmental problems in both mature and emerging economies. Early in his career, Mr. Hoffman spent 10 years as a Senior Fellow in International Economic Development at the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex. From the mid 1980s through the mid 1990s, he independently advised many governments, foundations and international agencies on how to best promote small business development in poor countries and successfully launched a social enterprise and two venture-funded, commercial start-up businesses.

From 1997 to 2008, Mr. Hoffman designed and then directed the Shell Foundation – an innovative global corporate social investment vehicle. During his tenure, Mr. Hoffman was responsible for five different social investment platforms, deploying $40 million of Shell’s social risk capital and triggering $1.4 billion of investment. One of these platforms, Grofin Capital, was one of the most successful African SME financing facilities, with over $400 million investment capital under management.

Following on for four years through 2011, on behalf of The Hewlett Foundation, Mr. Hoffman was Director of TransFarm Africa – an influential independent finance and policy change initiative targeting the equitable commercialisation of small farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. In parallel and still ongoing, Mr. Hoffman and a Mozambican partner launched a specialist commercial services company in Mozambique now valued at over $1 million. More recently through November 2012, Mr. Hoffman was Chief Executive of the Institute for Philanthropy (London and New York) – a global leader in providing bespoke training to leading philanthropists to help them maximise the social value of their philanthropy and catalyse sustainable social change.

In the ten months prior to joining ECO Capacity Exchange, Mr. Hoffman became a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Innovation Management at the University of Brighton from whence he published a series of articles on the state of philanthropy and social enterprise in the UK and conducted a strategic review of opportunities to deploy innovative financing techniques and products and for harnessing market drivers to move, on a large scale, the developing world’s most vulnerable communities onto market-based routes towards long term economic sustainability.

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