The TED Talks series of audio and video podcasts is a rich pool of interesting thought. I particularly enjoyed Sasa Vucinic from the Media Development Loan Fund, an organization that describes its mission as follows:
In many transitional countries, independent news organizations are starved of affordable finance; credit usually comes at the price of compromising editorial independence. MDLF financing is often the only way a media company can access capital while preserving its autonomy. MDLF provides resources that empower its clients to make the most of their dedication to objectivity and accuracy, building solid businesses around the core values of independent journalism.
MDLF maintains a segregated, revolving pool of funds for its loans and investments. Loan repayments are recycled through the pool to provide financing for other news businesses. Most MDLF financing is given in the form of loans or finance leases. Maturities, amounts and interest rates vary depending on the particular company, business plan and country. In general, however, loans and finance leases have terms of four to seven years, including grace periods of six months to one year for beginning principal repayment.
Sasa was introduced as a “non-profit venture capitalist.” When I heard that phrase, lightbulbs went on in my head.