Our Staff Writers and Editors offer insights on the latest news, events, interviews and other happenings from the development through enterprise and base of the pyramid universes
Wednesday, July 29, 2015 — No Region Specified

OPINION: We Need to Prove Impact Investing Makes a Difference

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

While measuring impact is complicated, investors, grant makers, and nonprofit organization need to have some way to assess, manage, and communicate their real impact.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

Impact Investing Needs a Better Way to Measure Impact

Source: Quartz

In places where electricity is scarce or unreliable, kerosene lamps are a standard lighting source—but the fumes from burning kerosene pollute the air and kill 1.6 million people each year. D.Light Design, a private company based in San Francisco, manufactures inexpensive solar-powered lamps and sells them cheaply around the world. It is safe, reliable, and renewable energy available for about the same cost as a few candles. D.Light believes that it’s not only reducing pollution, but also improving health, safety, and performance—in school, productivity, and income.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: Why Impact Assessments Are Good for Non-Profits but Bad for Business

Source: The Guardian

By Erik Simanis: Impact assessments are a powerful – and necessary – part of a non-profit’s tool kit. Rigorously measuring how and how much a program solves a social ill and betters the lives of the poor ensures continual improvement. Impact assessments also serve as a report card back to the funders of non-profits. They assure donors that grant funds are being maximised and used for the purpose intended.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: F.B. Heron Foundation’s Big Shift to Impact Investing Is Moving Along. Where's the Money Going?

Source: Inside Philanthropy

The F.B. Heron Foundation is way out front on impact investing, with its goal of putting the foundation’s full endowment into social impact investments by 2017. So how's it going?
Tuesday, September 2, 2014 — South Asia

Is India’s new financial inclusion strategy already outdated?

Source: The Guardian

Plans to extend the reach of traditional banks seem so old-fashioned. Wouldn’t mobile money be quicker and cheaper?
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 — South Asia

Reserve Bank of India survey finds 47 percent of banking agents 'untraceable'

Source: The Financial Express

The success of the government’s thrust on financial inclusion, which largely hinges on the role played by business correspondents (BCs), is faced with a harsh reality check.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 — No Region Specified

What's next for impact investing: Definitions, measurement and rising expectations

Source: Devex

Impact investing represents a potential additional funding stream for development, but the field is still evolving and those working in it warn we may be expecting too much, too soon.
Friday, June 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

The U.N. Has Been Undercounting the World's Poor—by 400 Million

Source: The Atlantic

Good news: Economists at Oxford have come up with a better method for measuring global poverty. Bad news: There are way more poor people than previously thought.
Thursday, June 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Infuse Ventures, Intellecap Impact Investment Network invest Rs 3 crore in solar startup Surya Power

Source: The Economic Times

MUMBAI: Intellecap Impact Investment Network (I3N) andInfuse Ventures have invested $500,000, or Rs 3 crore, in Coimbatore-based solar-agriculture startup Surya PowerMagic.
Thursday, June 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Joining Forces for Impact Investing and ESG at TBLI CONFERENCE USA 2014.

Source: Press Release

Amsterdam, 19 June 2014 TBLI CONFERENCETM, dedicated to building a community of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and impact investors, held its second USA conference on 29 and 30 May in New York.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Invested Development Invests in iProcure to Improve Access to Farming Inputs in Kenya

Source: Press Release

Invested Development (ID), an early stage impact investment fund manager, has invested in iProcure, a technology startup serving the needs of the agricultural ecosystem in Kenya. iProcure provides software to enhance sales and inventory management in rural and peri-urban agriculture markets. As a result, farmers can access high-quality farming inputs and equipment conveniently and affordably.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

Donors seeking new relevance as African growth gains pace

Source: Business Day

AID has quite often been described as a life-support machine for Malawi, one of the world’s poorest nations. A country that has so far eluded the simplistic "Africa rising" narrative, Malawi remains one of the continent’s most aid-dependent nations.
Thursday, May 15, 2014 — No Region Specified

The Triple Bottom Line Investment (TBLI) CONFERENCE USA 2014 Lineup

Source: Press Release

TBLI CONFERENCE returns to New York City, connecting speakers and attendees from Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Boston Common Asset Management, MSCI, Madeira Global, Halloran Philanthropies, Thomson Reuters, IFC, Moody's Financial Services, IEX and Ceres, to name just a few.
Thursday, February 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

How to Assess a Social Enterprise

Source: HuffPost Impact

How do we really know when an organization is doing quality work we should rally behind and having a real, positive impact, versus just using the right buzzwords?
Thursday, February 13, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Press Release: Winners of the Sankalp Africa Awards for High Impact SMEs Announced

Source: Sankalp Forum

12 SMEs from around Africa showcased to an audience of 450 investors, donors, advisors and other SME sector supporters, 4 win awards at the first ever Sankalp Africa Summit in Nairobi.
Monday, September 30, 2013 — No Region Specified

PULSE Merged Into B Analytics Platform

Source: CSR Wire

B Lab and Acumen announce today that PULSE is being incorporated into B Analytics. From custom metrics to comparable ratings, B Analytics is now the one stop shop for measuring, benchmarking & reporting on impact.
Thursday, September 5, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Fighting Poverty, and Critics

Source: New York Times

Nina Munk’s new book, “The Idealist,” is about the well-known economist Jeffrey Sachs and his “quest to end poverty,” as the subtitle puts it. I know: That subtitle sounds like classic book-industry hyperbole, but, in this case, it’s not. That really is what Sachs has been trying to do. The question of whether or not he is succeeding is where things get tricky.
Thursday, September 5, 2013 — No Region Specified

Impact Investing 2.0 -- What $3 Billion Tells Us About the Next $300 Billion

Source: Huffington Post

There's an impression that the ongoing effort to use investment dollars to achieve both financial and social returns is elusive, with no coherent core of best practice. This is simply not the case.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013 — No Region Specified

Intellecap Impact And Unilazer Invest In Head Held High

Source: Deal Curry

Angels of the Intellecap Impact Investment Network and Unilazer Ventures, amongst others, have invested R2.5 Cr into Bangalore-based startup - Head Held High Services, a rural skills development and employment creation enterprise. The investment will be used to scale up operations and ink important partnerships over the next 12 months.
Thursday, July 11, 2013 — No Region Specified

PEPFAR: Millions treated, but better info management needed

Source: Devex

Over the past decade, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief has saved millions of lives, but a watchdog claims it could help even more if information were managed better.
Friday, June 14, 2013 — No Region Specified

Q&A: Impact Assessment Key in Rural Development Projects

Source: Inter Press Service

Marianela Jarroud interviews Eduardo Ramírez, Latin American Centre for Rural Development researcher
Friday, May 17, 2013 — South Asia

Entrepreneurship and Social Impact in the Middle East — Business as Unusual?

Source: All Things D

It is a striking feature of the growing startup ecosystems in the Middle East that the lines between “entrepreneurship” and “social entrepreneurship” — that is, entrepreneurship that makes a social impact — often blur.
Friday, January 18, 2013 — No Region Specified

Social Impact Investing Will Be the New Venture Capital

Source: HBR Blog Network

During the past century, governments and charitable organizations have mounted massive efforts to address social problems such as poverty, lack of education, and disease. Governments around the world are straining to fund their commitments to solve these problems and are limited by old ways of doing things. Social entrepreneurs are stultified by traditional forms of financing. Donations and grants don't allow them to innovate and grow. They have virtually no access to capital markets and little flexibility to experiment at various stages of growth. The biggest obstacle to scale for the social sector is this lack of effective funding models.
Thursday, October 4, 2012 — No Region Specified

Social Enterprise - ImpactAssets50 provides view of growing impact investing landscape

Source: Trust Law

SAN FRANCISCO (TrustLaw) - A database of fund managers who invest for maximum social, environmental and financial impact shows that assets under management grew 15 percent compared to last year to $10.2 billion.
Monday, April 23, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Environmental Index Could Save Rural Communities

Source: Phys Org

By creating the world's first long-term record of ecosystem health, Chinese and UK researchers have identified where specific social and economic policies have damaged the environment in eastern China. The work shows that wealth generation over recent decades is damaging essential ecosystem services on which the poorest rely - things like food, fuel, and clean water.
Thursday, April 19, 2012 — No Region Specified

How the Poor Cope with Crisis

Source: The Guardian

A study incorporating many grassroots voices examines how poor people in developing countries coped with the recent shock of higher food and fuel prices.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 — Latin America

Study: OLPC Fails Students as a Tool for Education


The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program of low-cost laptops for developing countries has not led to any measurable impact in academic achievement, according to a recent report.
Thursday, April 5, 2012 — No Region Specified

What It Will Take to 'Graduate' 1.2 Billion People Out of Extreme Poverty

Source: The Huffington Post

Despite the worldwide recession of the late 2000s, the total number of people living in extreme poverty has actually gone down in recent years -- so much, in fact, that we've reached the first of the UN's eightMillennium Development Goals five years ahead of schedule, a startling achievement. The number living in "extreme poverty" decreased by 100 million between 2005 and 2008.
Friday, March 30, 2012 — Asia Pacific

All Wrong On Poverty & Aid


IT is our claim that the debates on poverty and aid have gone off the rails. On poverty, it is too narrow, quibbling about a few percentage points above or below some historical number.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012 — No Region Specified

B Lab Releases First 'Best for the World' List of Businesses Creating Most Overall Positive Social and Environmental Impact

Source: CSRwire

'Best for the World' businesses score 50% higher than nearly 2,000 other sustainable businesses in most comprehensive assessment of overall corporate impact
Wednesday, March 7, 2012 — No Region Specified

Cash Transfers Do Not Address the Underlying Causes of Women's Poverty

Source: The Guardian

Women need more than just small amounts of cash to escape poverty – the limited 'empowerment' of income support should be coupled with training and employment
Monday, June 7, 2010 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Unlocking Cassava Potential for Food and Industrial Use

Source: Ghana News

Recognizing the potential of cassava as the 'poverty and drought fighter' crop in Africa, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and Farm Concern International have launched a 3-year program that will help 30,000 small holder farmers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania increase cassava for food and industrial use by processing it at village level. The first of its kind in this region, the project dubbed "Cassava Village Processing Project" (CVPP) will unlock potenti...
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