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Conference LiveBlog: Kevin Compton of Radar Partners

By Opportunity International

At this morning’s opening plenary session on the main stage at the Opportunity International Conference, Kevin Compton, the co-founder of Radar Partners and co-chair of Opportunity’s Banking on Africa Executive Task Force, spoke about the impact and goals of the ambitious Banking on Africa campaign, and how despite all the exciting technologies he’s seen, one of the greatest innovations he ever witnessed was the Trust Group he saw on his summer Insight Trip to Rwanda.

Highlights from Kevin Compton’s Presentation

The astounding technological innovations that have impacted the world were the calculator in the 1960s, the personal computer in the late 1970s, and Facebook in 2003. But the innovation that changed me forever is the Trust Group. The Trust Group has more accounting than a calculator, more productivity than a personal computer, more communication than a fiber optics link, more relevant information than the Web, and more socialization than social media.

When I visited a Trust Group this summer in Rwanda, I had the following observations:

  • It felt like a Fortune 500 board meeting (only much better)
  • A little girl–11 or 12 years old–delivered her mother’s payment–she was trusted and trustworthy, and honored by others while she honored the process.
  • Their time together and shared goals fostered trust
  • Their powerful and unwavering self-discipline
  • The loan officer is a POTENTIAL facilitator, but the people owned the process–I wanted to take them back to my own meetings, they would have made them so much better
  • There was so much mutual respect for each member–they yielded the floor to each speaker
  • The group not only trusts, they co-invest in business, such as the motorbike delivery service they own together

What if every business in the U.S. had a Trust Group?

  • Would there be mutual accountability among board members?
  • Would they respect others’ business needs and processes?
  • Would they share best practices?
  • Would they have self discipline?
  • Would they work toward common goals?
  • Could we jointly manage a motorbike?

Banking on Africa is making an impact on clients’ lives.

Banking on Africa Goals and Results
Goal 1: Mobilize $384 million

  • $123.6 million in donations by 2012 (Current: $122.5 million)
  • $40 million in debt by 2015 (Current: $35 million)
  • $221 million in client deposits by 2015 (Current: $58.5 million)

Goal 2: Impact 5 million clients, 30 million lives by 2015 (Currently at 1.22 million clients, 7.3 million lives)

How do we finish the Banking on Africa campaign strong?

We want this last million to come in from thousands of new supporters who want to Bank on Africa. It’ll be one person funding a Trust Group, another funding a school loan, another funding a farmer. We want to use this exciting campaign to bring new people to Opportunity through new media (Facebook, Twitter, Mobile Apps). We are currently engaging our growing community of over 100,000 Facebook fans. We are currently reaching over 35,000 people through emails.

It will be more than technical innovation, it will be the Trust Group. Please help us finish this ambitious campaign. Join us on the Insight Trip to Rwanda next February 26-March 2, 2012, to see the impact of Banking on Africa firsthand. Thank you for being on the ride with us, we appreciate it.

A bit about Kevin Compton

Kevin Compton is co-chair with his wife, Gayla, of the Banking On Africa Campaign Executive Task Force, and an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He served as a general partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers for 18 years, and in 2005, co-founded Radar Partners, building a diversified portfolio of investments across a range of asset classes. Prior to joining KPCB, Kevin was VP and general manager of the Network Systems Team at Businessland (now Siemens). During his tenure, the company’s sales increased from under $70 million to over $1.4 billion. Kevin currently lends his expertise on the boards of several public and private companies. Using his investment experience, Kevin assisted Opportunity International in launching a Loan Guarantee Fund. Within 18 months of its inception, it leveraged $15 million in new local currency capital for Opportunity International partners.

This session was streamed live at opportunity.org/live. Visit opportunity.org/live throughout the conference to watch it live.

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