Greg is a serial Social Entrepreneur. He is the Founder of SPBD Microfinance Network, the leading microfinance institution in the South Pacific. Through SPBD, Greg has provided over US$160M in micro-enterprise financing plus small business training to over 75,000 poor but aspiring women micro-entrepreneurs in Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Greg is also the founder of MicroDreams, a microfinance acceleration fund and Transformative Ventures LLC, a Microfinance advisory company.
Greg is also the Executive Chairman of Water Health International (of NY), an affordable clean drinking water solution marketed in India, Nigeria and Ghana.
Greg has served as a director on several impact-industry boards including: the International Association of Microfinance Investors (of NY), Microfinance Pasifika (of Fiji), Planet Finance (of Paris), and Plebys (of Irvine, CA) a “Base of the Pyramid” investment fund.
Greg was named “Person of the Year” in the Pacific Island nation of Samoa for his work in empowering poor families in that country; was honored to be a United Nations Global Advisor for its International Year of Microfinance, and was awarded the “Singapore Global Social Entrepreneur” Prize and the first ever “Colgate Impact Award” by his alma mater Colgate University.
Greg speaks extensively at conference and universities around the world on the topics of microfinance, social entrepreneurship, financial inclusion and impact investing. Five business case studies have been written about the work of SPBD (Harvard Business School, Kennedy School of Government and Kelley School of Business at Indiana University).
Greg also promotes hi-tech entrepreneurship and was a founding director of the Ice Angels, Australasia’s largest angel investor group and serves as Chairman/Director of three New Zealand software firms: Biomatters Ltd, Cumulo9 Ltd and English-To-Go Ltd.
Prior to these ventures, Greg recorded significant achievement with Ford Motor Company and Mazda Motor Company in product development, manufacturing and financial management positions. He led teams in the U.S., Japan and Europe and while with Mazda was honored to be the youngest-ever Buchou (Division General Manager) of any major Japanese company. Greg began his professional career as an external public auditor with Coopers and Lybrand in New York City.
Greg has an MBA with concentrations in Finance and Marketing from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University, an MS in Accounting from NYU Stern, and a BA with Honors in Economics from Colgate University. Greg is also a CPA and a member of MENSA.
In the world of investing and finance, the word microfinance may not come up often. It is however a significant global initiative geared towards improving the lives of the impoverished, particularly in third world countries.
Make your money work for you. It’s something we often hear when the finance industry markets its products and services. However, in recent years, something interesting has begun to happen. Not only can you make your money work for you by earning interest in savings accounts or investing it in mutual funds or ETFs, but you can also make it work for the greater good.
In most cases, real-world change, designed to improve the economic conditions of the world’s poorest, is only possible through grassroots efforts. For regions struggling with poverty, the problem must be addressed first at the individual level. To improve the overarching economy, grassroots efforts are critical. According to Gregory Casagrande, that’s where microfinance has shown proven and consistent results.
Mr. Casagrande has an extensive and successful corporate financial background that has taken him to work all over the world. In his line of work, he has been most interested in the Pacific Islands and with specifically the idea of helping the economies of developing nations. Mr. Casagrande commenced his career pursuits by first earning a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Colgate University in 1985.
Greg Casagrande launched South Pacific Business Development Foundation (SPBD) in the remote island nation of Samoa in January 2000. He has since lead SPBD to become the largest and first successful microfinance institution in the region. Greg also serves on the board of PlaNet Finance and the The Prgaue Institute.
Gregory Casagrande is happy to connect and share his experiences in microfinance, social entrepreneurship, impact investing and more. Follow or contact Gregory to learn more.