Andrew Posner

peacefulloflove

Andrew Posner's picture
Name: Andrew Posner
Organization: The Capital Good Fund
Website: http://www.capitalgoodfund.org
Title: Co-Founder & Executive Director
Bio:
I believe that the work one does should be aligned with one's values and core beliefs. To me, the great motivation and inspiration comes from the fact that social entrepreneurship allows people to earn a living while applying their knowledge, wisdom and talent toward solving social and environmental problems. For this reason I co-founded The Capital Good Fund, a non-profit green microlender, while I was still working towards my masters degree, and I now work full-time as the Executive Director. Capital Good Fund provides loans, workshops and consulting services to individuals unable to access capital through traditional sources. In so doing, we work to reverse the iniquities inherent to the American financial system while also empower lower-income, marginalized individuals and families to take action on environmental issues and also profit from solutions to environmental problems--through entrepreneurship and energy-efficiency. I spent a year living in Granada, Spain during my Junior year of college. Granada is an ancient city (it was first a Roman village), and is therefore rich with history, architecture, culture and stories. What's more, Granada is a beautiful city, located at the base of the Sierra Nevada and filled with Moorish architecture. On a personal level, I feel strongly attracted to Granada because one of my favorite poets, Federico Garcia Lorca grew up there, and because the year I lived there was pivotal in my development as a human being. I want to see more and more young people entering the so-called "third sector" after they graduate college, and I want to see more opportunities for them both while they are in school and after they enter the job market. One of the more interesting aspects of Capital Good Fund is that all of our staff--with the exception of myself--are currently students. These students long to apply what they are learning in the classroom to real-world situations, and they have the energy, creativity and naivite to believe that bold, innovative ideas should be tried out and that they can sometimes work out. In other words, there are a plethora of social problems to be addressed and things that I want to see happen, but what most inspires me is to see more and more people making careers out of solving those problems: not only is it fun and exciting, but it's quite possibly the only sustainable, bottom-up approach to sustainable, meaningful social change. Aside from being the co-founder and director of the Capital Good Fund, I recently graduated from Brown University with a Master of Arts in Environmental Studies, where I wrote thesis on the need for green microfinance in the United Sates, laying out the blueprint for what Capital Good Fund is now working to accomplish. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language and Culture from California State University, Northridge, and am a LEED Accredited Professional. My thoughts and ideas can be found on several prominent environmental blogs, including Treehugger.com and the Huffington Post, as well as my personal web site, http://www.andyposner.org. I have spent a year living in Granada, Spain, bicycled across the United States, studied for three weeks in Bangladesh with Grameen Bank, among other adventures. When not working, I enjoy cycling, reading, writing, hiking, and watching good movies.

Challenge Entries

The top 1% of Americans now own more wealth than the bottom 90%. The recent financial crisis showed that when the wealthy fail, they get bailouts, but when the poor fail, they get foreclosures. At the same time, America's poor are left out of the environmental movement and are generally disempowered politically. For us, everything starts with financial empowerment.

To make $200 loans to Rhode Islanders with no or poor credit history to purchase and install programmable thermostats that lower their energy costs by $180 annually. Borrowers build their credit through repayments of the loan and reduce their energy consumption, thereby reducing carbon emissions.

To make $200 loans to Rhode Islanders with no or poor credit history to purchase and install programmable thermostats that lower their energy costs by $180 annually. Borrowers build their credit through repayments of the loan and reduce their energy consumption, thereby reducing carbon emissions.