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Mr. Kurt Hoffman

Director at School for StartUps

Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital Advisor


Kurt Hoffman has a solid track record over three decades as a pioneering architect of strategic, institutional, and program-level civil society initiatives to tackle the twin global challenges of overcoming poverty and advancing the sustainability agenda.

From 2011 through 2012, Kurt served as Chief Executive of the Institute for Philanthropy, a global leader in training leading philanthropists to help maximize the social value of their philanthropy. Since 2015 he has served as director of School for Startups (S4S), a UK-based social business whose mission is to advance entrepreneurship’s contribution to equitable economic growth. It does this by inspiring and training entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses. Prior to this, he designed and launched TransFarm Africa – a multi-million-dollar funded investment initiative catalyzing equitable, sustainable commercialization of subsistence small-farmer agriculture across sub-Saharan Africa.

Kurt spent 10 years as a Senior Fellow at the University of Sussex and 5 years as an entrepreneur launching two venture capital-funded start-up businesses. From 1998 to 2008, he designed and led the Shell Foundation, an influential corporate foundation pioneering new approaches to strategic corporate social investment and creating enterprise-based solutions to poverty. In all these positions, he has played a vital role in designing robust needs analysis/business diagnostics tools for organizations such as gazelle firms, not-for-profits, and social enterprises. His ability to identify and analyze critical needs in these organizations has been crucial to their success.

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