SEVEN Fund Initiatives

Michael Fairbanks

Michael Fairbanks

“My goal is to find pioneering thought leaders and entrepreneurs--those who focus inside the world’s poorest nations, even those who appear contrarian, especially when they can’t find support anywhere else, and then give them rocket fuel.”

Current Initiatives

Michael Fairbanks is Senior Advisor to Rwandan President Paul Kagame for economic development since 2001. He frequently travels with the president and puts the president's vision into policy and strategic frameworks.

Michael was an early architect of the Opportunities for the Majority Initiative at the Inter American Development bank, and is now Chairman of their Advisory Group that includes influential academics and practitioners: Dambisa Moyo, Ashraf Ghani, Iqbal Quadir, Frances X. Frei, and Paul Romer.

He conceived and oversees the US ten million dollar Global Pioneers of Prosperity program. This program finds the best small entrepreneurs in the world’s poorest nations and awards them training grants.

Michael is the editor of a trilogy of essay books on enterprise solutions to poverty. The first, “In The River They Swim,” was published in May of 2009, and he is hard at work on the second one called, “The Morality of Profit: Essays from Around the World.” He is attempting to use “the second class genre” of the essay because he believes that top down solutions, rigorous analysis and normative frameworks are not sufficient to eradicate poverty. Michael says, “Essays provide the freedom to explore how learning and deep introspection occur, how change manifests itself.”

He is exploring the possibility of creating a new company, built with a team that has no analogy in the world, to allow the poorest people in the world to become shareholders in the world's greatest companies. The feasibility of this will be determined by March of 2010.

Focus at SEVEN Fund

Michael works with Andreas to create the overall strategic vision of SEVEN. His specific areas of focus at SEVEN include working with the leaders of governments and multilateral institutions on enterprise solutions to poverty; and creating SEVEN’s intellectual agenda for Morality and Ethics.

SEVEN's Global Footprint

We invite you to explore SEVEN’s Global Footprint, our Latest News, and a selection of Resources related to enterprise solutions to poverty.


SEVEN is a leader in the field of Enterprise Solutions to Poverty. We ask the question, “How do we support those who are self-determined, action-oriented, and effective?” We find and invest in the innovations of pioneering thought leaders and entrepreneurs inside the world’s poorest nations; we support contrarian research, films, books and competitions that spotlight new role models and diffuse their best ideas. More

Conferences & Speaking Engagements

SEVEN hosts and participates in several conferences and speaking engagements each year.

View our Staff Speaking Engagements & Upcoming Conference Schedule