The Career Farm Podcast with Jane Barrett - David Kyle of Impact Business Leaders

How do I get into a career in social enterprise and impact investing? David Kyle was asked this question again and again, so decided to provide a solution by founding a unique programme called Impact Business Leaders (IBL).

David Kyle of Impact Business Leaders- The Career Farm Podcast with Jane BarrettIBL is a unique social enterprise running six program centers in India, Kenya, The Netherlands, Nigeria, the UK and the USA. It aims to support regional social enterprises with local talent while allowing professionals to build meaningful careers in their own communities.

The program has three main components geared to launch attendees into the social enterprise sector: an intensive 7-day workshop let by experienced and successful social entrepreneurs, personalized career counselling, and provision of job opportunities in the areas of interest identified by the attendees.

A native New Yorker, David previously had a career with Citibank, all outside of the US. His role was transitioning expatriate business teams into local business teams - which is how he got into the talent development world. A mid life reassessment was triggered when he was 4 blocks away as the first plane hit the Twin Towers on 9/11. Determined not to be a wannabe banker he resolved to get out of the finance world, and set about meeting as many people as possible people to get advice. In order to shed his corporate skin he joined 'Save The Children' on a pro bono basis for a year with the aim to set up a new office in Brazil. Essentially this was a 'proving stage' he had to go through to show he was serious about moving out of corporate.

This led to a role at Acumen Fund, where he built the teams in Pakistan and Kenya and scaled the company. However he realised he was asking people to do things he had never done himself, so he set up and then ran a social enterprise providing funding to private schools in India. Which then brings us full circle to him setting up IBL to help other people make the transition into this sector. David has a lot of energy and enthusiasm but is very clear that people equipped to make the move into the social enterprise world are generally self-selecting; so the IBL program takes them through a process to make sure there is a good fit. Having been there and done it himself David is very honest about the pros and cons.

David Kyle of Impact Business Leaders- The Career Farm Podcast with Jane Barrett

In this interview you'll find out....

  • why one of his most important contacts was found in a Starbucks coffee line at 6am
  • why 'on the ground' experience is crucial for a career in impact investing
  • his own experience of running a successful social enterprise in India
  • what the IBL program entails and why it might benefit you
  • the reality of running a social enterprise


I really hope enjoyed the interview with David. If you have any thoughts or comments about this episode, please do share them with us on Twitter or Facebook – we’d love to hear from you!

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Thanks again to David for giving us his time to be interviewed.