Grunin Center Announces Omidyar Network Grant to Support Impact Investing Case Study at NYU

New York City, NY. (February 4, 2019)  – The Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship at NYU School of Law is pleased to announce it has received a grant from Omidyar Network to support the development of an interdisciplinary case study about the MicroBuild Fund, a demonstration impact investment fund with blended capital aimed at spurring housing microfinance around the globe. The case study will be the first in a series on the structures and terms being used to attract blended sources of financing into impact investing.

The case study will be developed by the Grunin Center in partnership with the Social Innovation & Investment Initiative of the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and will examine the unique legal, business and policy issues faced by the MicroBuild Fund. The case study will also be accompanied by a suite of teaching notes that can be used by educators across different disciplines. Through this effort, the Grunin Center aims to share critical learnings that may help incentivize the innovation and collaboration needed to scale blended finance.

As the global affordable housing crisis continues to grow at a rapid pace, it can be tempting to write off the problem as insurmountable—and this is precisely why we need case studies to show what is possible,” said Peter Rabley, Venture Partner at Omidyar Network. “MicroBuild Fund, together with the expertise of the Grunin Center and NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, presents an exciting opportunity to learn about an innovative financial product that is truly making a difference in the lives of low-income individuals and families, helping them secure the safe, decent, and durable homes that every person deserves.”


Once completed, the case study will become part of a virtual library being developed by the Grunin Center. This virtual library will help prepare a new generation of talented, committed, and globally oriented impact professionals by giving educators access to a range of teaching tools to support their efforts to embed themes of social entrepreneurship and impact investing into their course curricula. 

“This grant represent a significant step forward toward realizing the Grunin Center’s vision of helping  the legal academy, in the US and beyond, reimagine how legal education can embed themes of social entrepreneurship and impact investing,” said Deborah Burand, associate professor of clinical law and faculty co-director of the Grunin Center. “Furthermore, by supporting the creation of a case study that combines legal, policy and business issues, we hope to advance more interdisciplinary approaches (in classrooms and in boardrooms) to addressing the world’s most pressing problems.”


About the Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship

The Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship is the first center of its kind at a law school and is a global leader in the field of law and social entrepreneurship. The mission of the Grunin Center is to enhance the community of lawyers and legal institutions engaged in social entrepreneurship and impact investing and to accelerate their effective participation in the field. To fulfill this mission, the Grunin Center educates students and practicing lawyers about legal issues in the field of social entrepreneurship and impact investing; disseminates knowledge and legal research about law and policy developments in the field; and collaborates with other field-building organizations, universities, and research centers.


About the NYU Wagner Social Innovation & Investment Initiative

The Social Innovation & Investment Initiative serves as a central hub and incubator in the field of social finance, bringing together policymakers, philanthropists, finance professionals, nonprofits, and foundations to collaboratively strengthen the growing field.  With deep faculty knowledge, a core curriculum in Social Impact, Innovation & Investment—NYU Wagner’s Social Innovation & Investment Initiative serves as a leader in the evolution of investment strategies at the intersection of public good and private benefit.  Its work includes documenting best practices and developing case studies in both venture philanthropy and impact investing.