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Meet Marc Blumenthal of Social Ventures Foundation

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marc Blumenthal.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Marc. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
At the age of 19, while a student at the University of Pennsylvania, I participated in my first startup company as Vice President of The American Book Club, a pre-internet predecessor to

After gaining a teaching certification, I began a second start-up, The Learning Guild, which developed a wide variety of innovative educational programs involving millions of students, teachers, and adults throughout the Northeast. During this time, I also provided marketing consulting services to a wide variety of clients including the US Department of Agriculture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), State Street Bank and the American Management Association.

Following my time doing marketing consulting and education work, I became Managing Director of a multi-million dollar limited investment partnership. Upon leaving the partnership, I formed “Novations” to focus on select few Venture Capital opportunities that demonstrate the potential to provide significant value-added propositions to major markets in the fields of Medical Devices, Quality Control, Plasma Fusion, Marine Technology, and Aerospace.

In addition to these “commercial” ventures, I have authored the design of several sustainable “social” ventures that apply a business approach to solving public sector problems.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Innovative solutions to challenges – be they gaps in the market for certain products or programs or systematic changes to failed attempts at addressing social problems – always cause discomfort. It is the discomfort that let us know we are pushing the boundaries of progress and taking risks. The biggest challenges I face are obstacles created by people who are afraid of that discomfort and progress. Especially these days, the climate surrounding new businesses and the private sector’s faith in young entrepreneurs is dangerously low.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Social Ventures Foundation – what should we know?
I created the Social Ventures Foundation in response to a lack of sustainable resource allocation in the poverty reduction industry. Our mission is three-fold: to identify, promote, and invest in businesses of all sorts that have a product or service that lifts the livelihoods of the poor. The identification phase manifests as a newsletter in which we feature newly identified companies. The promotion takes place now via distribution of this newsletter and will be increased by our inaugural virtual summit on November 17th. (For more information, see our website: The investment phase will manifest itself as a balanced fund we will own (a non-profit owning a for-profit). This model is unique in itself, and will also serve to incentivize other companies to introduce affordable, sustainable, poverty-reducing products. We are very excited to introduce this entirely unique model and feel that the time is right to change the paradigm of poverty reduction away from unsustainable charity and into the self-sustaining private sector.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
We all have read the old trope characterizing entrepreneurs as eternal optimists. While optimism has kept me in the game when the going gets bleak, that isn’t the whole picture. I owe my success to passion-driven dedication to each individual project I have been a part of and the knowledge that my hard work would generate success. More than optimism, your heart has to be all in it.

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