Bob Pattillo is an entrepreneur. He likes to start stuff. Some folks find him permanently outside the box. He is obsessed with new venture development: he sold a 54-year-old business in 2003 to focus solely on impact investment and enterprise development. He has dedicated 94% of his net worth to developing models for impact investment.
Here are some of the things he helped start: Bob’s first microfinance work was on the board of the Deutsche Bank Microcredit Development Fund with Asad Mahmood as the fund manager and a mentor to Bob. Accion board service soon followed and then work in the Mideast and North Africa where he helped create a MFI network, Sanabel; its original 17 MFIs serving 170,000 clients grew over 9 years to 61 MFIs serving 3 million clients, mostly women, in Yemen, Egypt, Syria, and Iraq,strengthening families, communities, and moderate leaders.
An early convert to for-profit social enterprises, he helped start the first CDO in micro-financing, the first secondary market fund (Antares), some of the first MFI ESOPs, and the first regional MFI accelerator in India (Bellwether). Bob also help start Gray Ghost Microfinance Fund, ASA Intl, STLF, MicroVest, and Accion Investments.
The success of microfinance has led to investment in other enterprises serving low-income customers in developing countries, including Cell Bazaar, a mobile-phone “Craig’s List” service for farmers in Bangladesh; D.Light, the inventor and distributor of solar-powered LED lamps in rural India; and PharmaSecure.
Bob is the founder Gray Ghost Ventures, First Light Ventures, Village Capital,and IDEX Global Fellowship (IDEX). He is an investor in Unitus Capital, the first investment bank dedicated to the impact market. In education Gray Matters Capital’s mission is “An education for 100 million women by 2036 that leads to a purpose-filled life”. In real estate, he pioneered the "STCDE" shell, a spec building concept that took Robert Pattillo Properties to 8th on the list of the largest industrial developers in the United States.
Pattillo is the son of a sharecropper, an eighth generation Georgian, and a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Harvard Owner/President Management Program. He has spoken widely, promoting impact investment to a range of audiences including Goldman Sachs partners in London, microfinance leaders in Morocco, students in Boston, Monterrey, and Atlanta,and a handful of billionaires. He has been featured in Forbes Top 30 and Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. He has been interviewed by SOCAP and Emory University.