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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 1, 2015 — No Region Specified

Impact Investing For The Millennial: You, Too, Can Have An Investment Portfolio

Source: Forbes

Impact investing has been catching headlines with major banks like Bank of America BAC +1.48% and JP Morgan developing so-called “impact portfolios.”
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 — No Region Specified

Profits Meets Philanthropy in ‘Pay-For-Success’ Investments — Horizons

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Do you care about reducing the prison population? Want to create work opportunities for homeless people? Re-employ veterans? Well, a new model of investing allows you to fund such projects — and even take home a profit.
Friday, June 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Buyout Firm Vital Plans $500 Million Africa Fund As Demand Booms

Source: Bloomberg

Private equity firm Vital Capital Investments LP is planning a $500 million investment fund that will focus on African industries overlooked by competitors.
Friday, June 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

Technology Billionaire Bill Gates to Double Investment in Clean Energy Projects Over Five Years

Source: International Business Times

Technology billionaire Bill Gates says he’ll plow $2 billion of his own money into breakthrough energy projects that reduce emissions and eschew fossil fuels. The planned investment doubles what Gates already has spent on early-stage energy companies geared to fight climate change, the Financial Times reported Thursday.
Thursday, June 25, 2015 — No Region Specified

Early Tesla Motors Investors Raise $400 Million Impact VC Fund

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Two early investors in Tesla Motors Inc.TSLA +0.96% teamed up and raised a $400 million venture capital fund to back startups that have a positive social or environmental impact, Venture Capital Dispatch has learned.
Thursday, June 25, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Report: Private Impact Investing Funds Yielded Financial Performance in Line With Non-Impact Funds

Source: Digital Journal

Private impact investment funds -- specifically private equity and venture capital funds -- that pursue social impact objectives have recorded financial returns in line with a comparative universe of funds that only pursue financial returns.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 — South Asia

MyDentist Raises Around $8M From LGT Group, Existing Investors

Source: VCCircle

Mumbai-based Total Dental Care Pvt Ltd, which runs dental care chain under the MyDentist brand, has secured Rs 50 crore (around $8 million) in its Series C round of funding led by LGT Venture Philanthropy, a global impact investing organization founded by LGT and the Princely Family of Liechtenstein.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 — No Region Specified

U.S. States Want to Do Good: Here's How Wall St. Is Helping

Source: CNBC

Goldman Sachs could be coming to a pre-K program near you. Or, at least, that may be the case in Pennsylvania.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Calvert Expands Responsible Indexes; Launches New Funds

Source: Business Wire

Calvert Investments, Inc., a global leader in Responsible Investing, announced today a major new initiative that the firm describes as the next step in the evolution of responsible investing. The firm is building upon its global Responsible Investing research expertise and has launched a suite of Responsible Indexes and related lower cost Index Funds that will track them.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

What Nestlé Forgot to Mention When Giving Its Reasons for Scaling Down in Africa

Source: Quartz

Five years ago, Nestlé announced its bold expansion plan for the sub-saharan Africa region: a $161 million investment to build three new factories and 13 new distribution facilities. The desired outcome? Increased sales for the food multinational and 750 new jobs for the 21 countries in the region. This plan was inspired by the much-talked about economic revival of Africa and its “rising middle class”.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

Thread Raises $3.5 Million Round for Clean Textile Innovation

Source: Tech.Co

Thread, a Pittsburgh-based startup dedicated to creating dignified jobs in the developing world, recycles plastic into socially responsible fabric.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — South Asia

Aavishkaar raises $75 million for foreign investments

Source: Economic Times

Aavishkaar, India's biggest social entrepreneurship focused venture capital fund, will be investing about Rs 500 crore ($75 million) in start-ups from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — Asia Pacific

$100 Million for Social Startups in Australia

Source: Pro Bono Australia

Socially and environmentally conscious startups are set to benefit from the creation of the new $100 million Impact Investment Funds - said to be one of Australia’s biggest.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

Double Duty Dollars: Behind the Crazy Idea That Investors Can Make Money and Change the World at the Same Time

Source: Forbes

In 2001, after 29 years cultivating Napa’s Silver Oak Cellars and its iconic cabernet sauvignon, Justin and Bonny Meyer sold their 50% stake to partner Ray Duncan for $110 million. With Justin’s health iffy, they hoped it would give them more time together forphilanthropy and to build their newer winery, Meyer Family Cellars. But just eight months later Justin died of a heart attack at 63, leaving Bonny, then 52, to manage the money and their shared charitable mission.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 — No Region Specified

White House rallies investors to commit $4 billion to clean energy

Source: Reuters

The White House has pushed foundations, institutional investors and philanthropies to commit more than $4 billion to clean energy projects and help fight climate change, doubling a goal set in February, officials said.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Why we’re building an investment fund to back solar energy in Africa

Source: Quartz

The near-trillion dollar question is: what kind of power infrastructure should Africa build? Should it replicate the large-scale electricity grids of the developed world, or is there a shorter path to electrifying Africa?
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Morgan Stanley Extends Commitment to Sustainable Investing with Its Inaugural Green Bond

Source: MarketWatch

Morgan Stanley announced today that it has closed on the issuance of a $500 million green bond, the Firm’s inaugural green bond and the latest step in the Firm’s ongoing strategy to advance market-based solutions to social and environmental challenges.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Merrill Lynch Introduces New Sustainable Impact Multi-Asset Class Portfolios and an ESG Measurement Resource

Source: MarketWatch

Merrill Lynch today announced that it has added sustainable impact multi-asset class portfolios to its expanding platform of impact portfolios to serve clients interested in using their investment capital for positive social and environmental purposes. Additionally, the firm will provide its 14,000 financial advisors new resources to help clients understand the impact of their investments in these portfolios.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 — No Region Specified

With Diverse Tools, OPIC Guides Impact Investing for U.S. Government

Source: Forbes

Root Capital CEO Willy Foote interviews OPIC’s President and CEO, Elizabeth Littlefield, on impact investing and OPIC’s evolving role in development.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Impact Investment Fund launches: a new $100 million socially-conscious Aussie start-up fund

Source: Financial Review

The constrained Australian venture capital industry is about to receive a $100 million infusion earmarked for companies that promise to do good for society or the environment.
Thursday, June 4, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

An Angel Network That Invests Only In Ethiopian Ventures

Source: Forbes

RENEW Strategies, an impact investment advisory firm that manages a network of wealthy families with an interest in African development, is part of the Impact Angel Network, which currently invests entirely in Ethiopian ventures.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Viewpoint: Investing in Health, Investing in Africa

Source: CNBC Africa

Africa faces two key challenges to achieve its full potential. The remarkable economic progress of the last 15 years must be sustained. And, this progress must be broadened to include the many millions of people who have yet to benefit from the continent’s rising prosperity.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: Root Capital Announces New $15 Million Lending Facility to Finance African Agricultural Enterprises

Source: Root Capital

The company will finance agricultural enterprises throughout sub-Saharan Africa to enhance local food security and stimulate inclusive economic growth in the region.
Monday, June 1, 2015 — South Asia

Rajasthan-based Karma Healthcare raises investment from Ennovent Impact Investment Holding

Source: Economic Times

Ennovent Impact Investment Holding on Monday said it has invested an undisclosed in Rajasthan-based healthcare provider Karma Healthcare.
Monday, June 1, 2015 — South Asia

Profit From a Cause

Source: Business Today

Making and selling portable toilets? Investors wrinkled their noses when Rajeev Kher, Managing Director of Pune-based Saraplast Pvt Ltd, first sought funds from them in 1999. Sixteen years later, the toilets have been such a success that he is spoilt for choice as he looks for a third round of funding. "My company has been profitable for a long time," he says. "But I will never forget that when I started off, it was Aavishkar which came forward to support me."
Friday, May 29, 2015 — No Region Specified

70% of institutional investors turning down projects on environmental, social and governance grounds

Source: PWC.com

Seven out of ten institutional investors interviewed by PwC say they would decline to take part in a private equity fund raising or would turn down a co-investment on environmental, social and governance risk grounds.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — South Asia

Why India's farm sector is getting increasing attention from impact investors

Source: Economic Times

Impact investors are now turning their focus to agriculture and its allied fields, after a decade of attention to microfinance, financial inclusion and healthcare.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — South Asia

Swiss investor Rianta Capital Zurich is scouting for impact investments in India

Source: Tech In Asia

Switzerland-based impact investor Rianta Capital Zurich has partnered with Villgro, India’s social enterprise incubator, to scout for funding opportunities in agriculture and allied sectors.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — Latin America

Catholic Trust Looks to Brazilian Fund for Social Returns

Source: The New York Times

A Brazilian investment fund is taking to heart theVatican’s endorsement of leveraging capitalism’s tools to help address inequality.
Friday, May 22, 2015 — South Asia

Angel Investing 2.0 – Will Angel Investing Go Online in India?

Source: YourStory

The last one year has seen a huge surge in angel investing in the Indian startup ecosystem. As a platform that has now become the largest marketplace for startup funding; we have been witnessing how the ecosystem has evolved over the last 18 months. In early 2013 when LetsVenture was founded, startup funding was traditionally done through offline networks and fundraise was challenging; our intent was to make fundraising faster and efficient for the founders.
Thursday, May 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

‘Socially Responsible’ Investing Has Beaten the S&P 500 for Decades

Source: MarketWatch

Socially responsible investing is gaining major traction, thanks in part to the emergence in the U.S. of “impact investing,” a concept that started in the U.K.
Thursday, May 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

Socially Responsible Investors Focus Most on the Environment

Source: Millionaire Corner

Investors who wish to promote social responsibility are most focused on the environment and invest accordingly, according to a new Spectrem Group study.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 — Asia Pacific

World Bank Group President Pledges Up to $11 Billion in Support to Indonesia

Source: The World Bank

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim pledged up to $11 billion in new financing in the next three to four years to Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Study: Less Than Half of Foundations Use Impact Investing

Source: Philanthropy.com

The survey found that 41 percent of respondents said their foundations currently use impact investing, 6 percent plan to in the future, and 20 percent don’t plan to.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: OPIC awards seven clients Impact Awards for excellence in development

Source: OPIC

OPIC recognized seven clients for excellence in development at its May 19 Impact Awards. Clients were recognized for projects that bring electricity to remote villages in India, financial services to small businesses in the Middle East, affordable education to poor families in Sub-Saharan Africa and much more.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

Silicon Valley’s Clean Tech Investors Eyeing Sustainable Food, Experts Say

Source: Undercurrent News

Food is becoming the epicenter of the growing responsible investment movement in the San Francisco Bay area's Silicon Valley, panelists said during the impact investing discussion at Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sustainable Food Institute last week.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

JPMorgan Chase says $34 million already committed to Detroit

Source: Detroit News

One year after pledging to invest $100 million in Detroit over five years, JPMorgan Chase & Co. says $34 million has so far been committed in the Motor City.
Monday, May 18, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Cambridge University to Adopt Ethical Approach to Multibillion-Dollar Fund

Source: The Wall Street Journal

One of the world’s oldest—and richest—universities has decided to adopt a more “ethical” approach to investing its multibillion-dollar endowment fund.
Friday, May 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

US to Coordinate Efforts, Mobilize Investment for Global Entrepreneurship

Source: Devex

Think entrepreneurship is critical for global development? This week the U.S. government indicated it does too with the announcement of a new initiative aimed at coordinating its global entrepreneurship efforts and spurring additional investment.
Thursday, May 14, 2015 — No Region Specified

Older Investors Opening Up to Socially Conscious Investing

Source: InvestmentNews

Younger investors have long been interested in socially conscious investing, but a new report from Spectrum Group indicates that older investors — loath to “throw away” money — are starting to turn to funds that espouse a cause, as long as they get a return.
Thursday, May 14, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: TriLinc Global Impact Fund Makes Impact Investments in Africa and Latin America

Source: Business Wire

TriLinc Global Impact Fund (“TriLinc” or the “Company”) announced today that it has recently approved $3.97 million in trade finance transactions to companies in South Africa and Argentina. The transaction details are summarized below.
Thursday, May 14, 2015 — No Region Specified

Report: Over One-Quarter of Investors Under 45 Have Significant Investments in Socially Responsible Companies

Source: ThinkAdvisor

Millennials and Gen Xers are more comfortable with robo-advisors, and women are more risk averse, according to surveys of investors and financial advisors. Now comes another difference between these investors and others: They are more inclined toward socially responsible investing.
Thursday, May 14, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

African Development Bank Invests $50 Million in Indigenous Power Developer CEC Africa

Source: CPI Financial

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved on 29 April 2015 a $50 million investment in CEC Africa Investments Limited, a multinational power company headquartered in Nigeria and Zambia.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 — Latin America

Harnessing Social Impact Investing in Latin America

Source: The Huffington Post

For many, Latin America is associated with a laundry list of negatives: drugs, corruption, gang violence and transnational crime. However, our new reportHarnessing Social Impact Investing in Latin America, helps to dispel some of these myths. In fact, in the realm of social impact investing, it is on the forefront of rapidly-changing global trends.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: SOCAP Open Is Live, Accepting Session Ideas for SOCAP15

Source: PitchEngine

SOCAP, the world’s largest conference for social enterprise and impact investing, launches SOCAP Open and is accepting session ideas for SOCAP15, now through June 7th.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Wave Closes $10 Million Investment to Provide Tools for Owners of Small- and Micro-Businesses

Source: Yahoo!

Wave (waveapps.com) has closed a $10 million Series C investment with participation from CRV, The Social+Capital Partnership, OMERS Ventures, and a strategic investor in the global fintech software space. This brings total investment in Wave to $35 million, with the new funds earmarked for ongoing innovation and development of small business financial tools.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: Are There Really Too Many Venture Capitalists in Impact Investment?

Source: Pioneers Post

For years I have heard those involved in impact investment moan about the extent to which experienced venture capitalists (VCs) are “taking over”: bringing values which will destroy the very essence of the movement.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 — No Region Specified

Does "Socially Responsible Investing" Mean Anything to You?

Source: Millionaire Corner

The unusual aspect of socially responsible investing is that while some people swear by it as a way to improve the world and make some money doing so, other investors don’t even know it is a consideration.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 — No Region Specified

Impact Engine Announces Angel Network for Social-Impact Investing

Source: Chicago Tribune

Chicago-based Impact Engine on Tuesday announced a new angel network as a way to tap into a growing interest in social impact companies among local investors.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 — No Region Specified

Complement Your Giving With Impact Investing

Source: The Huffington Post

Individual Americans gave $241.3 billion to charities in 2013, the most recent year for which data are available. They gave even more to their future selves, investing some$300 billion in their retirement accounts. Clearly, $241 billion in donations has the potential to accomplish a lot of good. But what about the investments?
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 — Latin America

Press Release: Acumen Launches Expansion to Tackle Poverty in Latin America

Source: Market Watch

Acumen announced today its expansion to support social entrepreneurship in Latin America. The pioneer in impact investing will be headquartered in Bogotá and will invest in innovative entrepreneurs and enterprises in Colombia and Peru to drive faster, sustainable solutions to poverty and create new paths forward to tackle economic inequality. While extreme poverty in Latin America has declined by half, more than 80 million people still live on $4 a day and more than 200 million are at risk of being pulled back into poverty by economic instability and climate change.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 — No Region Specified

Impact Investing Grows, but There's Still a Dearth of Deals

Source: Forbes

A new study found that 146 of the world’s largest impact investors manage a big hunk of change: $60 billion. But they also continue to bemoan a lack of high-quality investment opportunities. And finding a way to exit isn’t easy.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 — Latin America

Press Release: Acumen Launches to Tackle Poverty in Latin America

Source: Market Watch

Acumen announced today its expansion to support social entrepreneurship in Latin America. The pioneer in impact investing will be headquartered in Bogotá and will invest in innovative entrepreneurs and enterprises in Colombia and Peru to drive faster, sustainable solutions to poverty and create new paths forward to tackle economic inequality. While extreme poverty in Latin America has declined by half, more than 80 million people still live on $4 a day and more than 200 million are at risk of being pulled back into poverty by economic instability and climate change.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 — No Region Specified

A Look at Endowments and Responsible Investing

Source: ValueWalk

The April 2015 Commonfund Study of Responsible Investing analyzes policies, practices and attitudes with respect to responsible investing among 200 U.S. colleges and universities of various sizes. The study included 123 private and 77 public institutions who have made a commitment or are considering a commitment to responsible investing. These educational institutions altogether have more than $88.8 billion in endowment assets as of June 30, 2014.
Monday, May 4, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Fifth Annual Impact Investor Survey Reflects on Industry Growth, Past and Projected

Source: Business Wire

146 of the world’s largest impact investors, including fund managers, banks, development finance institutions, foundations, and pension funds report having committed $10.6 billion to impact investments in 2014, with plans to commit 16% more in 2015. The surveyed sample, which manages $60 billion in impact investment assets, indicates satisfaction with both financial returns and social/environmental impact performance, compared to expectations.
Monday, May 4, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ethiopia Offers 100% FDI Facility to India for Healthcare

Source: The Financial Express

Ethiopia offered 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) facility to India for setting up hospitals and other healthcare facilities in Ethiopia. The host country will acquire land for Indian entrepreneurs and offer other incentives and tax facilities as well.
Friday, May 1, 2015 — No Region Specified

A Q&A with Audrey Choi, CEO, Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing

Source: Just Means

If you think that sustainable investing requires a trade-off around performance, Morgan Stanley's Audrey Choi wants to change your mind.
Thursday, April 30, 2015 — South Asia

Acumen Increases Its Efforts to Improve India's Private Education With New Investments

Source: Acumen

Acumen announces its new investment in Ignis Careers andStandard of Excellence in Education and Development (SEED) to improve the current state of low-cost, private education in India. India has the largest kindergarten to 10th grade system in the world with more than 1.6 million schools. More than 96 percent of children, ranging from ages 6 to 14, are enrolled in school. However, the quality of education is poor, and half of the children in Grade 5 can only read at a Grade 2 level.
Thursday, April 30, 2015 — No Region Specified

Impact investing takes the bite out of auto loan sharks in the U.S.

Source: Dallas News

Michelle Corson, founder of On the Road Lending, pools investors’ money to finance cars for low-income people at decent rates.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 — No Region Specified

A New Inning for Impact Investing

Source: Forbes

For years, a nascent movement led by passionate pioneers out to change the world has been slowly but surely taking shape. Quietly, these early fearless leaders have been championing the idea that businesses can be a tool for social good, beyond the jobs that they create. Specifically, they’ve been building the movement for a new class of investors and entrepreneurs to lock arms and build companies that provide products and services that address daunting social challenges, and generate a financial return for investors. These companies are found in many sectors, including large markets such as education, energy, transportation and healthcare that are ripe for disruption.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 — South Asia

Portal for Blue-Collar Jobs Babajob Raises $10M from Australia's SEEK

Source: VCCircle

Bangalore-based Babajob Services Pvt Ltd, which runs the job portal for blue-collar workers, has raised $10 million from Australian company SEEK Ltd, it said on Tuesday. SEEK has picked a minority stake in the firm.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 — South Asia

IFC Invests in Cambodia’s PRASAC Microfinance Institution Ltd. to Expand Lending for Micro and Smaller Businesses

Source: The FINANCIAL

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has provided a loan of up to $10 million to PRASAC Microfinance Institution Ltd., Cambodia’s largest organization of its kind, to increase lending to micro, small and medium enterprises in the rural and agricultural sectors.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: OPIC to Launch Call for Global Development Investment Funds Proposals

Source: Overseas Private Investment Corporation

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, today announced its 2015 Global Engagement Call for Proposals from fund managers seeking OPIC financing for private equity investment funds.
Monday, April 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

'Do-good' Companies Can Do Well for Investors, Wharton Researchers Say

Source: Chicago Tribune

Impact investing is a nice idea — and for many critics that’s precisely the problem.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Impact Investors: Don’t Sacrifice Returns, Take On More Risk

Source: Green Tech Media

Even impact investors must demonstrate replicable, attractive returns.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

Women: The Next Wave of Angel Investors?

Source: Forbes

Females have historically made up less than 15% of the angel investors in the United States. Having more women on the funding side matters.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

Global Fund Launches Online Platform for Strategy Development

Source: The Global Fund

The Global Fund partnership has launched a consultation as part of a process to engage a wide range of stakeholders in developing its 2017-2021 strategy.
Friday, April 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

Social Impact Bonds Spread to New Zealand

Source: The National Business Review

The Ministry of Health is well down the track to pilot the country's first social impact bond, originally mooted 18 months ago, which would pay out on measurably improved social outcomes such as reductions in alcohol and drug use or recidivism.
Friday, April 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

Bamboo Finance Announces the First Close of Financial Inclusion Fund II

Source: Insurance News Net

Bamboo Finance, a private equity firm specializing in investing in business models that benefit low-income communities in growth markets, today announced the first close of $31 million in its second financial inclusion focused fund with investments from Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA-CREF) and AXA-IM.
Friday, April 17, 2015 — South Asia

Indian Microfinance Company Equitas Finance Plans IPO, Looks to Raise Up to Rs 1,500 Crore

Source: The Economic Times

Chennai-based microfinance company Equitas Finance is said to be planning an initial public offering (IPO) that could mean substantial returns for exiting private equity and venture capital funds. The company that's 98% owned by a dozen private equity and venture capital funds is looking at raising around Rs 1,200-1,500 crore by selling a stake of up to 25%, said three people involved with the plan.
Friday, April 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

Equity Crowdfunding Hits $662 Million in 2015

Source: CNBC

Booming investments in real estate are leading the way among equity-crowdfunded projects, which rose to $662 million in the first quarter of 2015, a big jump from the $483 million recorded in the final quarter of 2014.
Thursday, April 16, 2015 — South Asia

Canada, India Fund 5 Innovations to Improve Health in India, With Focus on Mothers and Children

Source: Phys.org

Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Government of Canada, and the Grand Challenges India initiative of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, today announced an investment of $2.5 million (CAD) in five health innovations in India. Many of these novel projects aim to improve maternal, newborn and child health (known as 'MNCH'), which is Canada's flagship development priority, and a tremendous challenge for the Government of India.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

$1.4 Billion Fund Targets Eco-Social Development in Sub-Saharan Africa

Source: Africa Outlook

The Fundo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA) has announced the launch of five dedicated investment funds that will target high growth industries while promoting economic and social development in Angola and the Sub-Saharan region.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

Now It's Easier Than Ever to Invest in Stocks for Social Good

Source: Co.Exist

With a new online brokerage aimed at millennials, you can pick a theme—like "Improve Education" or "No Glass Ceiling"—and invest. The catch is you'll still be supporting big, conventional conglomerates.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 — South Asia

India's Social Entrepreneurs Promised "Maximum" Support From Minister

Source: Pioneers Post

The Indian government will put its ‘heart and soul’ into supporting social entrepreneurship – the minister for science, technology and earth sciences has pledged.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

Shhh! Don't Tell Institutional Investors, but Sustainability Drives Returns in Real Assets

Source: The Huffington Post

ImpactAlpha.com - Dave Chen and his team at Equilibrium Capital in Portland, Ore., don't generally pitch pension funds and other institutional investors on the firm's thesis that environmentally and socially beneficial practices can drive operational efficiencies, reduced risk and above-market, or 'alpha,' returns.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Press Release: TriLinc Global Impact Fund Makes Impact Investments in Africa and Latin America

Source: Market Watch

TriLinc Global Impact Fund announced today that it has approved a total of $9.2 million in trade finance facilities to companies in South Africa, Kenya, and Argentina, bringing total financing commitments as of March 31, 2015 to $76.7 million for business expansion and socioeconomic development through its holdings in Africa and Latin America.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 — No Region Specified

Bain Capital Hires Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to Lead Its Social Impact Fund

Source: Bloomberg

Bain Capital, the $75 billion private equity firm founded by 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, hired former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to lead a social impact fund.
Monday, April 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

Assessing Impact Investing and Borrowing in Old Age

Source: The New York Times

Socially responsible investing in its basic form doesn’t go far enough for some people. After all, countless mutual funds already avoid shares of companies that produce addictive or dangerous products — like tobacco, alcohol or firearms.
Monday, April 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

Where Is the Rockefeller Family Reinvesting Its Former Oil Holdings?

Source: Barron's Impact Investment Blog

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund—the $866 million-asset foundation started in 1940 by John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s five sons—announced in September that the family would divest itself of all their coal, tar-sands, and fossil-fuel investments held in the fund’s endowment. The eight Rockefeller family trustees on the board decided the fund needed “to better align its endowed assets with its mission” of combating climate change.
Monday, April 13, 2015 — South Asia

Coming of Age: Institutional Investors See Investment Merit in India’s Non-Banking Finance Companies and MFIs

Source: Business Line

Institutional investors in the debt market are gradually gaining confidence about looking beyond traditional government and highly-rated corporate debt to bonds and other debt instruments issued by non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) and microfinance institutions (MFIs). NBFCs and MFIs are also helping create this new market, either by issuing debentures or pooling their debt assets.
Friday, April 10, 2015 — South Asia

Press Release: Global Impact Investing Network Publishes Landscape Report on Impact Investing Industry in South Asia

Source: Global Impact Investing Network

The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), in partnership with Dalberg Global Development Advisors, today published the full release of The Landscape for Impact Investing in South Asia, a “state of the market” analysis of the impact investing industry in the region. The most comprehensive study of impact investment activity in South Asia to date, the full report includes a chapter for each of the six countries studied—Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
Friday, April 10, 2015 — No Region Specified

Wells Fargo Selects Clean Technology Startups for Innovation

Source: 3BL Media

$10 million program to help four winning companies develop energy-efficient smart glass, cooling, battery and smart metering technologies.
Thursday, April 9, 2015 — No Region Specified

Study: Large Majority of Ultra-High Net Worth Investors Don’t Take Social Impact Into Consideration

Source: Millionaire Corner

Younger wealthy investors have a greater interest in socially responsible investments than older investors.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015 — South Asia

Indian Mobile Wallet Leader MobiKwik Raises Close to $25 Million in Funding, Targets Another $100 Million By End of 2015

Source: The Financial Express

Mobile wallet company, MobiKwik, which has over 15 million users and 25,000 merchants, has announced that it raised close to $25 million in a Series B round led by Tree Line Asia. Cisco Investments, American Express and the existing investor, Sequoia Capital were part of the fund raising drive.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

African Hub Set Up to Boost Research Autonomy

Source: Nature

African scientists look set to gain greater control over research in their own countries, if an ambitious plan for a regional hub to award grants and develop research capacity bears fruit.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015 — South Asia

How to Stop Worrying and Love the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Source: The Washington Post

China launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in October of 2014 and has met with nothing but opposition from the United States. Officially, the objection cited by the United States is a lack of clarity about AIIB’s governance, as well as concerns about whether the AIIB will adhere to strict environmental and labor standards in its operations. It is clear, however, that U.S. opposition also derives from fears that the AIIB — spearheaded by China and part of China’s “New Silk Road” strategy — will diminish U.S. leadership in the region.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015 — North Africa and Near East

MIT Alum Hopes to Spread Tech-Boom Excitement in Young, Increasingly Connected Middle East

Source: BetaBoston

Some of the Middle East’s most promising entrepreneurs and deep-pocketed investors gathered at the Habtoor Grand Hotel here last month for the sixth edition of the ArabNet Digital Summit, one of the largest forums for the Middle East’s burgeoning startup industry.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015 — South Asia

Rajasthan’s Karma Healthcare Bags Funding to Bring Telemedicine to Villages

Source: Tech in Asia

Indian rural healthcare startup Karma Healthcare has raised an undisclosed amount in pre-series A round from impact fund Ankur Capital and an unnamed international VC firm.
Monday, April 6, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Heifer Awarded $750,000 From Starbucks Foundation to Support Coffee Farmers in Tanzania

Source: Market Watch

Heifer International was awarded a Starbucks Foundation grant of $750,000 to help fund the Mbozi Farmer Livelihood Improvement Project in Tanzania, which will help improve livelihoods and quality of life for smallholder coffee growing communities in the East African country.
Monday, April 6, 2015 — South Asia

10 Impact Investors in India That You Should Know

Source: e27

Out of the total 1.3 billion population in India, around 80 per cent are living in poverty. There are some companies in India — both in the tech and no-tech segments — helping this large segment to address various problems related to irrigation, lending, travel, education, etc., by providing cost-effective solutions. These impact ventures are getting financial assistance in the form of grants or funds from various investment firms, called Impact investors.
Friday, April 3, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Singapore, Indonesia Lead Growth in Sustainable Investing in Asia

Source: Eco-Business

While Asia still lags Europe and the United States in sustainable investing, the market for funds employing such strategies is healthy and expanding rapidly in the region, with Singapore and Indonesia leading the growth.
Thursday, April 2, 2015 — No Region Specified

MCE Social Capital Reaches $100 Million in Loan Guarantees for Social Good

Source: MCE Social Capital

Launched in 2006, the nonprofit impact investing firm has used its innovative loan guarantee model to generate economic opportunities for nearly two million people living in poverty.
Thursday, April 2, 2015 — South Asia

The US Is Warming Up to China's Big New Development Bank

Source: Business Insider

Washington appears to have softened its stance towards the new Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, backing down from its earlier resistance and saying it is now ready to welcome the institution.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

This Woman Might Be the Most Successful Impact Investor You've Never Heard Of

Source: Entrepreneur

The February ribbon cutting for Gigawatt Global’s new $24 million solar field in Rwanda was an impact investment showcase. More than 28,000 solar panels, arranged in the shape of the African continent, added six percent to the entire country’s electricity production.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 — South Asia

Press Release: Caspian Impact Investments Raises $20 Million in Financing From OPIC

Source: Overseas Private Investment Corporation

Caspian Impact Investments (CII) today announced that it closed a debt financing commitment of $20 million from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution.
Monday, March 30, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Social Investment Problems Include 'Too Much Hype and Hubris and Not Enough Transparency' Says Report

Source: Civil Society

Social investment in the UK requires less hype, more transparency from lenders and more focus on the needs of charities and social enterprises if it is going to succeed, according to a commission of thinkers and practitioners in the world of social finance.
Monday, March 30, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: McKinsey & Company Starts Its Own Version of Bain’s Bridgespan

Source: Nonprofit Quarterly

The announcement that Helene Gayle, the retiring CEO of CARE, was going to be inaugural CEO of the McKinsey Social Initiative struck us as noteworthy for reasons that other press outlets really haven’t covered.
Monday, March 30, 2015 — South Asia

New Chinese Bank Becomes Major Headache for U.S.

Source: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Another day, it seems, brings another new member to China's latest big international initiative: a new development bank for Asia.
Monday, March 30, 2015 — South Asia

Interview: India in Strong Position as the 'Laboratory for Innovation', Says Acumen's Ajit Mahadevan

Source: Business Today

Ajit Mahadevan, Country Head, Acumen, tells Sarika Malhotra that the company's aim in investing patient capital is not to seek high returns, "but to jump-start the creation of enterprises that improve the ability of the poor to live with dignity. In the long-run we do aim to see a return of our capital". Acumen has been investing in India since 2001 and has backed 26 companies across portfolios, including low-cost maternity care, skills training and education, water filtration enterprises and more. In addition to providing patient capital to investee companies, it has also invested in human capital and a wide range of management support services to help the companies scale up.
Monday, March 30, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Think Bigger: Social Entrepreneurship's Critical Need for Accelerators

Source: Entrepreneur

Prossy Sebunya has a passion for clean cook stoves -- a technology that’s critical in third-world countries, where fuel is an expensive commodity, wood fires lead to deforestation and unhealthy conditions prevent sanitary food preparation.
Friday, March 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

That Time a Hedge Funder Quit His Job and Then Raised $60 Million for Charity

Source: The Huffington Post

Elie Hassenfeld had an enjoyable and lucrative career in finance. Then he discovered an unusual passion.
Friday, March 27, 2015 — Latin America

Inter-American Development Bank Creates New Institution for Private Sector Operations

Source: Devex

The Inter-American Development Bank is in the process of forming a new entity to handle its private sector activities, according to a bank employee with knowledge of the plans.
Thursday, March 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

Funding for Financial Inclusion Rises to $31 Billion in 2013

Source: Reuters

Global investment in affordable financial services for the poor has risen by an average seven percent per year since 2011, a World Bank think tank said in a survey released on Wednesday.
Thursday, March 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

Survey: 57% of Institutional Investors Believe ESG Has Positive Impact on Returns

Source: Pensions & Investments

Some 57% of asset owners and other institutional investors surveyed believe incorporating ESG into alternative investments decision-making has a positive impact on risk-adjusted returns, said a report Monday from Mercer and LGT Capital Partners.
Thursday, March 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

Sunlabob Renewable Energy Receives $2.1 Million Investment

Source: pv-magazine

Sunlabob Renewable Energy, a Laos-based group that specializes in bringing clean energy solutions to rural communities, has this week secured an impact investment of $2.1 million to enable it to expand its off-grid programs in Asia, Africa and the Pacific region.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 — South Asia

Ratan Tata, Others Invest in Grameen Capital's Social Impact Debt Funding Arm

Source: VCCircle

Grameen Capital India, a social impact-focused investment advisory firm, has raised an undisclosed amount in funding from a group of investors, including Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, the holding firm of Tata Group, for a new debt investment vehicle.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 — South Asia

Artoo IT Solutions Raises Rs 3.1 crore Series A Funds From Accion Venture Lab, Artha Initiative

Source: The Economic Times

Bengaluru-based Artoo IT Solutions, which has developed a financial customer relationship management solution for the financial sector, has raised $500,000 (Rs 3.1 crore) in Series A round of funding from Accion Venture Labs and Switzerland-based Rianta Capital Zurich's Artha Initiative.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 — South Asia

Social Impact Bonds for Factories in Bangladesh

Source: Forbes

2013 Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh, where nearly 1,200 garment workers lost their lives from a factory collapse, are wrestling with a critical question: Who should pay for the work needed to ensure basic factory safety standards in Bangladesh?
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigerian Tycoon Shortlists 167 Kenyan Start-Ups for Funding

Source: Business Daily

Nigerian billionaire businessman and philanthropist Tony Elumelu has selected 167 Kenyan entrepreneurs to benefit from his Sh9.2 billion start-up fund targeting 10,000 enterprises across Africa.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Future Of Africa’s Private Equity Space Is Increasingly Female

Source: AFKInsider

Private equity is historically a male-dominated field, and historically, Africa’s local industry has been no different.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

SA’s Impact Amplifier Catalysed $4.5m in Startup Funding by End of 2014

Source: Disrupt Africa

South African incubator and consulting firm Impact Amplifier has revealed to Disrupt Africa it had catalysed over ZAR55 million (US$4.5 million) in investments into early-stage startups, and aims to close over ZAR100 million (US$8.2 million) of capital deployed in 2015.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 — Asia Pacific

How Lee Kuan Yew Transformed Singapore From Small Town Into Global Financial Hub

Source: The Conversation

Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of one of Asia’s smallest but most developed economies, has died. Lee led Singapore after its separation from Malaysia to emerge as one of the world’s most powerful financial centres.
Monday, March 23, 2015 — South Asia

Medical Devices Industry in India Underinvested: WHO

Source: DeshGujarat

The ambitious ‘Make in India’ campaign of Prime Minister Narendra Modi throws up opportunities for growth of domestic medical devices industry, which is not only “underinvested” but heavily import-oriented at present, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.
Friday, March 20, 2015 — South Asia

Press Release: Ennovent’s Impact Investment Holding invests in Anant Learning

Source: Ennovent

Members of the Ennovent Circle, the Ennovent Impact Investment Holding and Upaya Social Ventures, closed a seed investment round in Delhi-based Anant Learning & Development.
Friday, March 20, 2015 — South Asia

Press Release: Impact Investment Exchange Asia Selects 4 Innovative Social Enterprises for Impact Accelerator

Source: Asia IIX

IIX (Impact Investment Exchange Asia) is pleased to announce that 4 Social Enterprises (SEs) have been selected for its Philippines-based Impact Accelerator™. Impact Accelerator is an intensive acceleration program that targets early-stage SEs with high potential for growth and scalability.
Thursday, March 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

Impact Investing Can Help Foundations Avoid Obsolescence

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

John D. Rockefeller would never have considered abandoning the oil business. But that is exactly what some of his heirs did last fall. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a family foundation with $860 million in assets and a long history of supporting environmental causes, announced it would divest itself of all fossil-fuel investments.
Thursday, March 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

Daktari Secures $15.5M for Portable Diagnostic

Source: The Business Journals

Cambridge-based Daktari Diagnostics is inching towards commercialization of its fast and portable diagnostics platform, securing $15.5 million in equity funding earlier this month with hopes of entering the global market this year.
Thursday, March 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: America's Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Disaster: Are There Lessons to Be Learned?

Source: The Diplomat

The floodgates have opened. After the U.K. announced last Thursday that it would seek to join the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a trio of other European powers — Germany, France, and Italy — followed suit. With a March 31 deadline looming for countries to gain “founding member” status, expect more states – possibly including Australia and South Korea – to join in as well.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Press Release: International Finance Corporation Loaning $2.5m to La Fayette Microfinance Bank, Nigeria

Source: MicroCapital

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is investing NGN 400 million (USD 2.5 million) in La Fayette Microfinance Bank, one of eight members of the Advans Network of microfinance institutions, which is based in Luxembourg and managed by Horus Development Finance of France. The investment will support the growth of La Fayette, which was created in June 2012 and target micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises in Nigeria’s urban areas.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 — South Asia

Social Issues-Focused Digital Media Co The Better India Raises $160K From Intellecap

Source: VCCircle

Bangalore-based The Better India Pvt Ltd, which runs a news website focusing on social issues under the same brand, has raised $160,000 (Rs 1 crore) in funding from members of angel network Intellecap Impact Investment Network (I-cube-N), a company statement said. Investors include Raveen Sastry, a co-founder of e-commerce portal Myntra.
Monday, March 16, 2015 — No Region Specified

Ethical Investments: Lack of Awareness Means Investors Are Supporting Industries They Oppose

Source: The Independent

Liz Berwick is a fairly typical saver. The 35-year-old mother of two hopes to put away around £3,000 this year by saving regularly into a tax-free Isa. The question is, where?
Friday, March 13, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bramer Bank Provides Gateway to Investment in Africa

Source: World Finance

Mauritius is the easiest place to do business in Africa, offering a compelling banking environment for industry pioneers such as Bramer Bank.
Friday, March 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

From the Gates Foundation, Direct Investment, Not Just Grants

Source: The New York Times

The Ebola crisis underscored a problem that vexes experts in global health: Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective ways to save lives, especially in developing countries, yet traditional vaccines can take years to develop.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 — No Region Specified

The 100% Club

Source: Financial Advisor Magazine

When it comes to managing money, the rich are increasingly pursuing more than just financial rewards and going full tilt on the idea of using investments as a tool for social and environmental change.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 — No Region Specified

Impact Investing Is the Top Way to Contribute to Society in the Future, Says Global Survey of Philanthropists

Source: Pro Bono Australia

Impact investing is seen as the most promising trend by the majority of global philanthropists, according to new figures. The BNP Paribas Individual Philanthropy Index 2015 revealed that 52 per cent of global philanthropists nominated impact investment as the top way to contribute to society in the future.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 — No Region Specified

Village Capital Announces Latest Impact Investments

Source: Forbes

Village Capital, a leading venture firm investing in social enterprises, recently announced its latest investments. Operating with a unique model that starts with a cohort of startups in a particular industry, most recently healthcare IT, that actually relies on the startups to choose the companies Village Capital invests in.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 — No Region Specified

OurCrowd Helps Wharton Students Launch Largest Student-Run Impact Investing Platform in the World

Source: Business Wire

OurCrowd, the world’s leading equity crowdfunding platform, has announced a unique collaboration that will help students at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania get an industry-leading experiential education in impact investing. This initiative will greatly expand the Wharton Social Venture Fund (WSVF), a flagship program operated under the Wharton Social Impact Initiative (WSII) which allows students to select, curate and diligence investments that will change the world.
Monday, March 9, 2015 — No Region Specified

How Impact Philanthropy is Shape-Shifting

Source: Barron's Impact Investment Blog

A study by Exponent Philanthropy suggests philanthropists and family foundations are becoming more impact-oriented, doling out fewer grants but with larger dollar amounts given to only the top-performing nonprofits.
Monday, March 9, 2015 — No Region Specified

Adding Good Deeds to the Investment Equation

Source: The New York Times

Every two years, the residents of Richmond, Calif., a city long known for some of the highest rates of violence in the United States, gather to discuss its priorities. For years, the No. 1 concern was crime.
Friday, March 6, 2015 — No Region Specified

Global impact assets expected to hit $12.7 billion for 2014

Source: Pensions & Investments

Global impact investments were expected to grow to $12.7 billion last year, up 20% from the previous year, according to a report released Thursday by Global Impact Investing Network.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 — No Region Specified

5 Things You Didn't Know About Philanthropy

Source: Huffington Post

One of the greatest challenges for philanthropy today is the very term itself --philanthropy.
Monday, March 2, 2015 — No Region Specified

F.B. Heron Foundation Is Going 'All In' on Impact Investing

Source: Forbes

Clara Miller, who has headed the F.B. Heron Foundation for the past three years, wants to take the ultimate impact investing step: moving the foundation’s $300 million endowment entirely into impact investments.
Monday, March 2, 2015 — No Region Specified

Report: Global Sustainable Investing Market Surpasses $21 Trillion

Source: Sustainable Brands

The global sustainable investment market has grown “substantially” in the past two years with assets reaching $21.4 trillion by the start of 2014, according to a new report by the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA).
Monday, March 2, 2015 — No Region Specified

A Research Agenda for HIV Survivors

Source: Science and Development Network

Chronic disease among HIV positive people has been overlooked, say K. M. Venkat Narayan and Sten Vermund. Over 35 million people worldwide are living with HIV. Massive global efforts and investments to deliver combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) have transformed a fatal infectious disease into a chronic, treatable disease.
Friday, February 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

Morgan Stanley Survey Finds Sustainable Investing Poised for Growth

Source: 3BL Media

Over seventy percent of active individual investors (71%) describe themselves as interested in sustainable investing, and nearly two in three (65%) believe sustainable investing will become more prevalent over the next five years, according to a new survey published today by the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing. The new Sustainable Signals report examines the attitudes and perceptions of individual investors towards sustainable investing and considers the broader implications for investors, corporations and governments.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — South Asia

Why Bill Gates Is Backing Impact Entrepreneurs in India

Source: Entrepreneur

Will Poole, a top Microsoft executive-turned seed-stage investor, is tapping American and Indian tech entrepreneurs to back some startups in India that are decidedly not tech-related.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — No Region Specified

The Slippery Slope of Impact Investing

Source: Forbes

Impact investing is hot right now. The meteoric rise of social enterprise is shaking the foundations of the nonprofit sector, and traditional investors are starting to pay attention. There are more than $46 billion worth of impact investments currently under management, and a total projected market potential of up to $45 trillion. Though we’re not yet mainstream, we are on way.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Kompanion Financial Group Completes Equity Raise with Investment from FMO and Triodos Investment Management

Source: Kompanion

Kompanion Financial Group, one of the largest microfinance institutions in the Kyrgyz Republic both by loan portfolio and number of clients, has concluded an equity raise selling a 35% stake to international investors. The shares were purchased by Netherlands based investors FMO and Triodos Investment Management, with the latter investing through Triodos Fair Share Fund and Triodos Microfinance Fund. Kompanion’s founder Mercy Corps will remain majority shareholder and hold a 65% stake. The funds will be used for growth capital in the lending operations and support Kompanion’s transformation to a licensed banking institution.
Monday, February 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tencent Backs Mobile Jobs Startup With Its First ‘WeChat Africa’ Investment

Source: TechCrunch

Tencent has made its first investment in Africa under the banner of its WeChat messaging service. WeChat Africa, a joint venture between Tencent and Naspers, announced an investment in M4JAM (Money For Jam), a South Africa-based mobile job service that connects to WeChat.
Monday, February 23, 2015 — South Asia

A Chance to Fly

Source: The Economist

Emerging markets used to be a beacon of hope in the world economy, but now they are more often a source of gloom. China’s economy is slowing. Brazil is mired in stagflation. Russia is in recession, battered by Western sanctions and the slump in the oil price; South Africa is plagued by inefficiency and corruption. Amid the disappointment one big emerging market stands out: India.
Monday, February 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

The Future of the Global Fund

Source: Devpolicy

During his recent visit to Canberra, Stephen Howes spoke to Dr Mark Dybul, the head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. You can listen to a podcast of their full conversation here. The following is a condensed transcript.
Monday, February 23, 2015 — South Asia

Bangladesh's Entry Into Impact Investment

Source: The Daily Star

Growing up as a daughter of a high ranking civil servant in Bangladesh, I have distinct memories of my father's trip to Paris every year in the 1980s. To me it was exciting -- Papa was seeing Paris -- the most romantic city in the world. To him it was a dreaded trip because it was Donor Consortium that brought him to France to beg for donor money for Bangladesh.
Friday, February 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Hennion & Walsh Launches Sustainable Impact Investing Trust

Source: PR Newswire

Hennion & Walsh, one of the nation's premier providers of investment services and an advocate for individual investors, today announced the launch of its SmartTrust Sustainable Impact Investing Trust, further expanding its suite of proprietary SmartTrust Unit Investment Trust (UIT) portfolios. Selected by Argus Investors' Counsel and based, in part, on criteria established by IW Financial, the Trust seeks to provide investors with total return potential by investing in the stocks of companies that meet the Trust's investment criteria including, but not limited to, environmental, social and governance factors.
Friday, February 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Ontario to Invest $4M in Businesses With Social Conscience

Source: Toronto Star

Premier Kathleen Wynne says the Liberal government is putting up $4 million to finance 11 socially conscious enterprise projects across the province.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

Inside Citi’s Plan to Deploy $100 Billion for Cities, Renewables, Climate

Source: GreenBiz

Today, Citi, the global banking giant, is announcing its next-gen sustainability strategy that includes an eye-popping number: $100 billion over 10 years for “lending, investing and facilitating” activities focused on mitigating climate and other sustainability solutions.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

What Impact Investors Can Learn From Microfinance

Source: Devex

What has microfinance achieved for the world’s poor? Estimates vary widely, but 300 million people are estimated to be direct beneficiaries of the microcredit movement, and more than $68 billion may be currently invested in the industry, according to a 2010 estimate from the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, a unit of theWorld Bank.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

Hialeah Health-Tech Firm Attracts Investor Attention

Source: Miami Hearald

Working out of a Starbucks in 2012, Obdulio Piloto saw an article about the Peter Thiel Foundation’s Breakout Labs’ funding effort for revolutionary technology projects.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: New Strategies Needed to Attract Small Savers to Invest in Shares

Source: allAfrica

It had been a 'bad' trading year. The balance sheet was deep in the negative, following heavy investment in restructuring, rebranding and repositioning.
Friday, February 13, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Sustainable Cattle in Kenya Pay Off

Source: TreeHugger

For thousands of years the pastoralist communities of northern Kenya have herded their cattle alongside elephants and zebras, the grass of the rangelands shared between livestock and wildlife in relative balance. In recent decades, climate change, habitat loss, and human population growth have combined to erode that balance, leading to overgrazing and the degradation of the grasslands that both humans and wildlife need to survive.
Friday, February 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

Reshaping a Narrative as Canada’s Community Foundations Move Into Impact Investing

Source: Social Enterprise Canada

After decades of existing primarily to distribute grants, many of Canada’s 191 community foundations have been wading into a new kind of financial activity, impact investing. The shift encompasses exploring deep questions about their reason for being and how they are/should be showing up in the world.
Friday, February 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

Another Inconvenient Truth: Vice Pays

Source: CFI

The politically correct and socially sustainable is, though certainly laudable, not particularly profitable. Investors shunning sin stocks manage portfolios that are, on average, significantly less profitable than those possessed by shareholders without similar scruples.
Thursday, February 12, 2015 — No Region Specified

Impact Investor Global Partnerships Invests in Solar to Connect the Poor With Light

Source: The Huffington Post

To this day, an estimated 1.3 billion people do not have access to electricity. That is over a billion people who struggle to refrigerate their food and medicine, study at night to further their education, or charge their mobile phones. Electricity is crucial to human well-being and development, and lack of access to it is a huge barrier to overcoming poverty in the developing world.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 — No Region Specified

Step One in Growing Impact Investing: Prove Social Enterprise Works

Source: The Huffington Post

Rigorous evidence of impact is not just about accountability in impact investing. It is an enabler of the field's growth in its own right.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 — No Region Specified

BlackRock Hires Robin Hood’s Winshel to Head Impact Investing

Source: Financial Advisor

BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest money manager, hired Deborah Winshel to run a new unit dedicated to impact investing, a strategy that seeks to make money while improving society.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Call for Mines to Invest in African Health Systems

Source: Cape Business News

Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has called for mining houses to invest in centres for disease control to help fight Tuberculosis and Ebola in African regions where they mine.
Monday, February 9, 2015 — South Asia

Time For Indo-US Collaboration in Social Impact Investing: A 5-Point Agenda

Source: The Huffington Post

With President Obama concluding a successful visit to Delhi, the Indo-US bilateral agenda is now poised to move ahead on nuclear and renewable energy, defence collaboration, trade and investment and several other important issues. However, we at Asha Impact, a social investing and public policy organisation, believe one major issue was not explicitly addressed, both in the official dialogue and the extensive media coverage. An issue that both countries can seize upon to effectively leverage the convergence between India's overriding objective of inclusive growth and the United States' strategic interest in seeing India succeed in its development path.