From possibility to prosperity: Reshape Tomorrow™
What do Latin American fintech innovators, migrant women entrepreneurs in China and shopkeepers in Nairobi have in common? They are among the many groups of people around the world who face unique hurdles in accessing capital to grow their businesses.
At Moody’s, we believe that unrealized potential is a loss for both local communities and our broader global economy. That is why, in 2017, we announced the start of Reshape Tomorrow, our signature CSR initiative,to help small and growing business owners overcome the challenges of expanding their enterprises. In 2018, we began the real work.
“Reshape Tomorrow not only helps business owners reach their potential,” says Jennifer Stula Rivera, CSR regional head of the Americas at Moody’s Corporation, “it also helps shape healthier local economies — and in a healthy economy everyone thrives.”
In 2018, we issued a call for proposals from innovative organizations that would allow us to leverage our business skills by offering analytics, resources and pro bono services. We received over 50 qualified applications from organizations across the globe and carefully evaluated each on a range of factors. Ultimately, we selected seven inaugural partners across several regions to join The Fore (UK), our pilot partner: Acumen (global), The Asia Foundation (China), Echoing Green (global), Foundation for Small Business Development (US), TechnoServe (Kenya), WEConnect International (global) and Village Capital (Latin America).
“We’ve been really thoughtful about the partners that we’reworking with. Addressing financial wellness and access is all about adding value,” says Rudo Mutambiranwa, CSR regional head of Europe, Middle East,Africa (EMEA) and Asia-Pacific at Moody’s Corporation. “These eight partners help Moody’s create impact beyond simply writing a check.”
For example, Acumen is an organization that offers patient capital to emerging business owners. To help Acumen go further, we provided these entrepreneurs with coaching, financial training and sales and technology support to help them continue to learn and grow their businesses once they have received that capital. The partnership also creates opportunities for our employees to deliver online training to small business owners anywhere around the world.
Another partner, WEConnect International, is dedicated to connecting women entrepreneurs to global market-access opportunity, supporting credit training, promoting employee engagement opportunities and championing gender-inclusive sourcing. With access to WEConnect International’s eNetwork of over 7,000 women-owned businesses worldwide, Moody’s procurement and sourcing department will be able to diversify our own supply chains and the supply chains of companies with which we do business.
Since announcing our Reshape Tomorrow partnerships in October 2018, we made our initial grants, explored other expertise and resources we could provide, and started to gather baseline data from our partners about the work they are doing. By the end of this year, we will be able to apply Mission Measurement’s Impact Genome Project® methodology to standardize how we assess the impact of our investment over time.
“This is a long-term commitment for us,” Mutambiranwa says.“We want to be sure we’re creating real impact.”
“We’ve been really thoughtful about the partners that we’re working with. Addressing financial wellness and access is all about adding value.”
CSR REGIONAL HEAD, EMEA AND ASIA-PACIFIC, MOODY’S CORPORATION
Women entrepreneurs supported in the WEConnect program
Women-owned businesses in the WEConnect network
Aligning for change
Getting to know our ReshapeTomorrow partners closely is a critical part of the journey. It’s also one that has proved mutually rewarding. Our relationship with Acumen is a great example.
“As a brand-new partner, getting to know the Moody’s team has been a wonderful experience,” says Xaira Ferrara,business development lead at Acumen.
“The time and care they’ve taken to understand our mission and work, and how it fits with Moody’s company values and CSR strategy, has allowed Acumen to develop a true partnership based on transparency, clear goals and expectations, learning and, most importantly, as hared vision and mission to give those living in poverty the tools they need to improve their own lives.”
“At Acumen, we see great potential to leverage Moody’s expertise to elevate the insights we learned through our work over the past 18 years,” Ferrara continues.
“We are excited to explore research opportunities that can help unlock the potential of small businesses and social enterprises to positively impact emerging economies.”