Michael MacHarg - MercyCorps Ventures


MacHarg HS.jpg

There are very few social entrepreneurs with the breadth and depth of experience as Mike MacHarg.  Mike's career spans the areas of micro-finance, pharmaceutical development, sustainable energy through progressive purchasing, and now impact investing with Mercy Corps Ventures.  In this episode, we take a look at: 

  • the unique career path Mike has explored and developed
  • why he's chosen to pursue certain initiatives (and to walk away from others)
  • challenges he's faced over the years (and what advice he has to offer in return)
  • thoughts on the future of impact investing
  • the advice he has for social innovators just getting started.

Mike's self-effacing style is a pleasure to listen to and the show is chalk full of wisdom for new and experienced social entrepreneurs alike.

Show Notes:

Experiences Referenced:

The World Bank


Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship

Mercy Corps Ventures

Places Highlighted:

Petra, Jordan

Reading Referenced:

Thank You for Being Late by Thomas L. Friedman

Mike's Background:

Michael brings 20 years of experience applying entrepreneurial approaches to addressing global social challenges. Michael serves as Senior Advisor to the new Social Ventures team at Mercy Corps - leveraging his experience launching early stage enterprises to help Mercy Corps identify, incubate and grow impact-oriented, for-profit businesses. Prior to Mercy Corps, Michael was Co-Founder of Simpa Networks, a venture-backed energy services company with a bold mission: to make modern energy simple, affordable, and accessible for everyone. Simpa sells solar energy solutions on a pay-as-you-go (Progressive Purchase) basis to underserved consumers across rural India. Prior to Simpa, Michael led Arc Finance’s research into micropayment approaches for financing pro-poor clean energy and water enterprises in developing countries. Prior to Arc, Michael consulted to the social venture capital fund, Acumen Fund, mapping private sector investments across east Africa. Michael was on the founding team of the first nonprofit pharmaceutical company, the Institute for OneWorld Health, whose goal is clinical development and distribution of affordable new medicines for diseases of poverty in the developing world. Michael spent his early career with the Social Development Department of the World Bank. Michael holds degrees from Duke University (CASE Scholar) and Vanderbilt University (Ingram Scholar) and has studied at the Universidad de la Habana in Cuba.

Subscribe to Unstoppable on your Podcast player or listen directly at: