Elizabeth Funk’s career blends Silicon Valley high-growth start-up entrepreneurship with innovative impact initiatives that align for-profit and nonprofit approaches to accelerate positive social impact outcomes.
Elizabeth was one of the early pioneers in impact investing, founding the Dignity Fund in 2004. One of the first for-profit funds mobilizing investment capital for the microfinance industry, her fund demonstrated the benefits of harnessing capitalism to accelerate an industry that had previously been driven by philanthropy and the public sector.
At the same time she served as Chairman of the Board of Unitus, a nonprofit that was one of the world’s most innovative microfinance accelerators. Through these simultaneous roles Elizabeth developed a deep understanding of the relative roles nonprofit and for-profit approaches play in accelerating impact. Elizabeth continued her impact investing journey as Senior GP of Dev Equity, investing in companies that foster poverty alleviation, including several developers of low-income housing in regions across Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica, Peru, and Ecuador.
Elizabeth started her career in product design, marketing, and business development as a Product Manager for Microsoft Word and was part of the founding team of Microsoft Office. In 1995, as one of the earliest employees at Yahoo! she helped shape the early consumer internet with services such as Yahoo! Finance, Search, Auctions, Greetings, Travel, and others. Most notably, Elizabeth was behind the creation of Yahoo! Shopping, a forerunner to the booming sector now known as e-commerce.
Elizabeth’s career also extends to experience as the President and CEO of a public company, CML Global Capital, an investment conglomerate based in Canada. As CEO she oversaw several major transactions and eventually a privatization of the corporation.
Elizabeth has been actively involved in homelessness in California for nearly two decades. She served on the board and chaired Glide Memorial’s Community Housing initiative, which built two buildings for the formerly homeless in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, on the board of LifeMoves, a leading homelessness services organization in Silicon Valley, and on the real estate advisory board of HomeRise, a permanent supportive housing developer in San Francisco.
The founding of DignityMoves was the culmination of this lifetime journey– merging her experience in high-growth disruptive entrepreneurship, helping people help themselves through microfinance and low-income housing, and accelerating impact by harnessing the power of capitalism and the private sector.
Elizabeth has served on or chaired over a dozen nonprofit and social enterprise boards including South Pacific Development Bank, Uchu (Ecuador), Candid, Root Capital, Ujjivan Small Finance Bank, Deutsche Bank’s Microfinance Consortium and FINCA’s microfinance fund.
She is an active member of Young Presidents Organization where she served on the International Board, co-founded the impact networks, and now chairs the YPO Impact Investing Initiative. She is a member of Toniic (an impact investors network) and Battery Powered, among many other prominent impact-focused organizations.
Elizabeth holds an undergraduate degree in International Relations and Economics with Honors from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School as a Baker Scholar.