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
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MasterCard Foundation Investing $47M in Agricultural Finance Projects Across Africa

Source: allAfrica

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has commended the MasterCard Foundation's pronouncement of investing $47 million in agricultural finance projects across Africa, including $15 million for a partnership with AGRA that will deliver financial support to 730,000 farming households.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: Responsible Investing Needs Better Steering

Source: Financial News

The focus should now be on environmental, social and governance investing, along with funds and index products that use these criteria.
Monday, October 5, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Impact Hub Launches Entrepreneur Fellowship in Africa

Source: CPAfrica

Impact Hub has officially launched a fellowship in 3 African countries – Burundi, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone – specifically designed at helping impact entrepreneurs make their innovations sustainable. The Hub’s Resilience Africa initiative is to launch hubs and two varying types of incubators in six African countries in partnership with Cordaid, an NGO from Netherlands.
Thursday, October 1, 2015 — South Asia

Making Leeway for Generating Greater Impact in Eastern India

Source: Press Release

The Intellecap Impact Investment Network (I3N) has announced a partnership with IIM Calcutta Innovation Park (IIMCIP) to facilitate the creation of a powerful ecosystem for entrepreneurship development in Eastern India. This partnership with IIMCIP furthers I3N’s commitment and ability to generate impact in Eastern India.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Zurich Pledges to Focus 10% of Investments on Delivering 'Positive Impact'

Source: BusinessGreen

Insurance group Zurich has revealed plans to plough around $100m into companies and projects that have a positive environmental or social impact.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 — No Region Specified

Who cares about socially responsible retirement plans?

Source: Benefits Pro

Study results and a new tool to screen mutual funds for fossil fuels.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

Small Foundations Are Embracing Impact Investing

Source: Next City

Paperwork and bureaucracy aren’t just pains in the backside of everyone working at every small business or smaller nonprofit. They’re also barriers to entry — for new people, new ideas and even new sources of capital.Crowdfunding might help level the playing field, but even that has a new set of challenges and limitations. When it comes to improving our cities, who knows how many opportunities to try out new approaches or scale up existing models are falling through the cracks?
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

GE Healthcare Commits $300M to New Emerging Markets Unit

Source: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

GE Healthcare said today it will spend $300 million to develop lower-cost technologies and healthcare delivery solutions across multiple care settings in emerging markets through a new business unit.
Monday, September 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

New IRS Rule Likely to Make Impact Investing Easier

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

The Internal Revenue Service took a major step this week to calm grant makers’ fears about taking risks with impact investments, giving them a green light to commit more of their assets to investments that further their missions.
Monday, September 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

Kresge Steps Up Social Investment Strategy, Commits to Invest $350 Million by 2020

Source: Crain's Detroit Business

The Kresge Foundation's board of trustees has stepped up its social investment plans with a commitment to invest $350 million, or 10 percent of the value of its endowment, in socially beneficial efforts by 2020.
Friday, September 18, 2015 — South Asia

Viewpoint: Sanitation Financing: An Opportunity to End Open Defecation

Source: Pioneers Post

“Why do we have toilets at school but not at home?” This question from one of her children prompted Nusrat, a wife and mother of six living in India, to apply for a sanitation loan. Within two weeks of receiving the loan, Nusrat was able to purchase a toilet. Now, one year later, the monthly instalments on Nusrat’s loan have all been repaid and her family is happier, healthier, and safer.
Friday, September 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

Making Sense of Funding Opportunities for Social Enterprises

Source: Devex

In spite of the growing interest of investors and donors in social entrepreneurship, funding for new, early-stage and growing ventures remains difficult to secure, leading some entrepreneurs to make decisions that may not align with the core mission of their organization.
Friday, September 18, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

African Development Bank Seeks to Spur $55 Billion for Energy

Source: Bloomberg

African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina, who took over this month, said he’s aiming to eliminate Africa’s energy deficit by 2025 by mobilizing $55 billion of investment.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 — No Region Specified

Shortage of Long-Term Finance Blunts Progress in Developing Countries, says World Bank Report

Source: Press Release

A shortage of long-term financing since the 2008 crisis is choking the investment-backed growth of companies in developing countries and hampering the ability of credit-worthy families to borrow for education and housing needs and escape poverty, a new World Bank report warned today.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

They Call It 'Silicon Savannah': What an East African Nation Teaches About Innovation

Source: Mail & Guardian

Kenya giant mobile phone company Safaricom recently made a move that, if other technology firms in Africa follow, could have revolutionary effects. It launched a Shillings 50 million ($500,000) innovation fund.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015 — South Asia

Unitus Seed Fund Expands Its India StartHealth Investment Program

Source: India Infoline

Unitus Seed Fund, the leading impact venture seed fund investing in startups innovating for the masses in India, announced that it is doubling down on its StartHealth investing initiative targeting investments of INR 15 crore in 6 new early-stage health technology startups. With partners such as Pfizer, PATH, Manipal Hospitals and Narayana Health, the StartHealth program provides flexible funding, expert support, and mentorship as well as access to healthcare facilities to accelerate the go-to-market path for promising startups. Unitus also announced that Dr. Ashwin Naik, founder of Vaatsalya hospitals, will be joining as a healthcare fund advisor to help support healthcare entrepreneurs invested in by Unitus. Separately, StartHealth participant UE LifeSciences announced earlier this week that it has raised a INR 19.5 crore Series A investment round led by Aarin Capital.
Monday, September 14, 2015 — No Region Specified

Women-Focused Funds Make Money, Create Controversy

Source: Tulsa World

Jason Baron uses an unusual metric for sizing up stocks: women. From his perch at U.S. Trust in Boston, Baron works in a small but growing part of the money-management business that’s trying to sell the idea that when it comes to investing, gender pays.
Friday, September 11, 2015 — No Region Specified

Investors Avoid Impact Investing Due to Complexity, Says Barclays

Source: New Model Adviser

Investors are avoiding putting money in projects that deliver financial returns while having a positive social or environmental impact because they believe they are too complex, according to research.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015 — No Region Specified

World’s Most Sustainable Water Source to Raise $10 Million in California Direct Public Offering

Source: Press Release

Cutting Edge Capital (CEC), a leading firm helping social ventures and entrepreneurs raise capital, announced today that its client WaterFX Hydro I, Inc., dba HydroRevolution, received regulatory approval for a California limited public securities offering (DPO) to accredited and non-accredited investors in the amount of $10 million. The offering is being listed on CuttingEdgeX, a web-based platform that showcases DPOs for all types of investors. CuttingEdgeX’s Online Investment Tool (OIT) streamlines the investing process by allowing issuers like HydroRevolution to post the offering documents, explain the investment, stay in compliance with the securities laws, and receive commitments from investors, all electronically.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015 — No Region Specified

$30 Million Committed to Australian Impact Investment Fund

Source: Pro Bono Australia

Superannuation fund HESTA has committed $30 million to create an impact investment fund managed by Social Ventures Australia, which is said to be the single largest investment of its kind in Australia to date.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

West Africa Off-Grid Solar Venture Gets $3.4 Million Investment Boost

Source: PV-Tech

Ghana-based pay-as-you-go solar firm PEG has raised GHS13.2 million (US$3.4 million) to expand its presence in the West African country.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How Big Data in the Backroads of Africa Will Help Feed the Hungry

Source: The Times of Israel

To do good, gathering donations from good-hearted people isn’t enough. The most efficient and effective way to bring about positive change is through business, partnering the profit motive with a project that helps improve lives.
Friday, September 4, 2015 — South Asia

Funding for Indian Startups Won’t Dry Up: Omidyar’s Roopa Kudva

Source: DealStreetAsia

Roopa Kudva, 51, took charge of the India operations of New York-based impact investor Omidyar Network in early July.
Thursday, August 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

Impact Investing Turns Out to Be a Sustainable Business

Source: The Economic Times

Fence-sitters, naysayers, and doubting Thomases amongst investors who always sought proof that impact investing - investments made with the intent of generating environmental and social benefit alongside a financial return - is worthwhile and profi table can now write out their cheques without losing sleep.
Friday, August 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

VC investing boom neglects startups tackling poverty

Source: San Jose Mercury News

The venture capital investing boom has sent billions of dollars to startups that serve the upper crust of society with an app to deliver your laundry or order a valet to park your car, yet many VCs continue to resist investing in viable businesses bringing toilets, water and electricity to the rural poor.
Friday, August 21, 2015 — South Asia

Intellecap Impact Investment Network and Rianta Capital invest Rs 10 million in Sampurn(e)arth Environmental Solutions

Source: Your Story

Intellecap Impact Investment Network has invested Rs 10 million in Mumbai-based waste management company Sampurn(e)arth in syndication with Zurich-based family office Rianta Capital and Primarc Group Director Siddharth Pansari of ah! Ventures.
Thursday, August 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

6 Questions To Ask Before You Invest In A Social Enterprise

Source: Fast CoExist

If you’re thinking about joining this growing movement, here's what you need to consider before you get started.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

Norwegian fund giant to sell its stakes in companies over environmental concerns

Source: CBC

Norway's $1.15 trillion Cdn sovereign-wealth oil fund announced this week that it will sell its stakes in four Asian companies over environmental concerns, underlining how willing it is to take an activist approach to companies that fail to meet its ethical standards.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: 73% of Investment Professionals Use ESG Information When Making Investment Decisions

Source: Business Wire

Almost three-quarters of investment professionals worldwide (73 percent) take environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues into consideration in the investment process, according to the CFA Institute ESG Survey.
Monday, August 17, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile Communications Helping Humanitarian Organizations in Tanzania

Source: ITWeb Africa

Tanzania's rapid uptake of mobile phones and massive investment in rural network coverage is helping disaster and humanitarian organisations in the country speedily disseminate and collect information.
Monday, August 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

With an Eye to Impact, Investing Through a ‘Gender Lens’

Source: The New York Times

Ellen Remmer had wanted to align her investments with her values for years, seeking to put her money into stocks and bonds that would have an impact beyond the returns. For her, this meant investing in organizations that either improved the lot of women and girls or helped the environment.
Monday, August 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

Venture Capital Investing Boom Neglects Startups Tackling Poverty

Source: San Jose Mercury News

The venture capital investing boom has sent billions of dollars to startups that serve the upper crust of society, yet many VCs continue to resist investing in viable businesses bringing toilets, water and electricity to the rural poor.
Friday, August 14, 2015 — No Region Specified

The New Math of Sustainable Investing

Source: The Atlantic

On May 17, 1984, Warren Buffett gave away the secret that has made his face the first result when you Google “the greatest investor of all time.” He opened a speech with the stories of ten investors, including himself, whose portfolios consistently outperformed the S&P 500. It’s no coincidence, Buffet insisted1, that their careers shared a common thread: tutelage under Benjamin Graham, who, as it happens, is the second person who comes up in the Google search.
Friday, August 14, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

GE Commits $14.7 Million to Build Healthcare Skills in East Africa

Source: Justmeans

The global health sector, particularly in the developing countries, faces critical workforce shortages. Africa ranks the lowest in the availability of health personnel. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 12 percent of the world’s population and bears 25 percent of the world’s burden of diseases, but has only three percent of the world’s health workforce.
Thursday, August 13, 2015 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: India’s Financial Inclusion Leader IFMR Holdings Raises $25m from Accion, LeapFrog and Lok

Source: Accion

IFMR Holdings, a leading financial inclusion platform in India, has announced that they have raised US $25 million in equity from Accion, a financial inclusion pioneer, LeapFrog Investments, a specialist investor in emerging-market financial services, and Lok Capital, an Indian impact investment firm.
Thursday, August 13, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MasterCard Foundation to Invest in Ugandan Companies

Source: New Vision

Uganda is among eight countries set to receive USD50m (Sh177b) by the Master Card Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity to fund innovations aimed at improving access to finance in rural populations in sub Saharan Africa.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 — No Region Specified

The Rapid Rise of Impact Investing

Source: BD Live

Investing in companies that create social, environmental and economic value is a trend that has been increasing worldwide. This type of triple-bottom-line investing is commonly called impact investing and last year, financial services giant JPMorgan estimated that the market was worth $60bn worldwide — and growing.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: TIAA-CREF Expands Suite of Responsible Investment Funds

Source: Business Wire

Social Choice International Equity and Social Choice Low Carbon Equity Funds launched in response to growing investor interest.
Monday, August 10, 2015 — South Asia

Silicon Valley VC firm Social+Capital Partnership lines up over $1B for India by 2025

Source: VC Circle

Four-year-old Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Social+Capital Partnership plans to invest over $1 billion in Indian companies in sectors such as financial services, energy, infrastructure and agriculture.
Friday, August 7, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Report: Kenya “clear hub” for impact investing in East Africa

Source: Disrupt Africa

Kenya is the clear hub for impact investing in East Africa, accounting to more than half the impact capital deployed in the region, according to new research by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and Open Capital Advisors.
Thursday, August 6, 2015 — No Region Specified

Three Takeaways From a Massive Tech Grant to Fight Global Poverty

Source: Inside Philanthropy

Why is Good Ventures worth watching closely? For a few reasons, all of which are exemplified in its grant to GiveDirectly, its biggest give to date.
Wednesday, August 5, 2015 — No Region Specified

BNY Mellon and The Forbes Funds Name Winners of $1 Million Social Innovation Challenge

Source: Press Release

UpPrize has named Conversant Labs, Marinus Analytics and PHRQL as the winners of BNY Mellon's $1 million Social Innovation Challenge. The winning ideas will expand digital access for visually-impaired people, help government agencies fight human trafficking, and ensure poor families have access to healthier foods. UpPrize, a unique collaboration between BNY Mellon, the BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania and The Forbes Funds, combines impact investing with a research-based social innovation challenge.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015 — No Region Specified

How California's Asset Pension System Uses Investments To Agitate for Social Change

Source: Barrons

Calpers, the nation’s largest pension fund, offers lessons to families with a bent for social-impact investing, blending ideology with a realistic view.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Impact Investors in Africa Are Looking East

Source: Forbes

President Obama’s recent trip to East Africa put the spotlight on a hot area for impact investing. So it’s timely that the Global Impact Investing Network(GIIN), in partnership with Open Capital Advisors, just published a detailed look at impact investing in the region.
Friday, July 31, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

A New Space Race - To Grow Social Enterprise

Source: The Huffington Post

Returning to San Francisco from Milan where I had met some of the 700 international delegates attending the Social Enterprise World Forum, I found my mind wandering to the 'space race' of the 1950s and 1960s. Space became a key battlefield of the Cold War. It was a proving ground for which political-economic system -- the U.S. or the Soviet Union -- had the right to claim its prowess.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015 — No Region Specified

Wall Street not giving up on U.S. social impact bonds

Source: Reuters

Wall Street firms like Deutsche Bank , Santander Bank and Bank of America are still interested in backing U.S. social impact bonds, despite the failure of the first such initiative.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015 — South Asia

Mutual Funds in India Invest $157M in Secured Debentures of Microfinance Institutions

Source: Press Release

Several mutual funds based in India, including Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI) Prudential Mutual Fund, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Mutual Fund, Kotak Mutual Fund, Reliance Mutual Fund and State Bank of India (SBI) Mutual Fund, recently invested in secured debentures issued by several Indian microfinance institutions (MFIs). The issuers include Equitas Microfinance (Equitas); Janalakshmi Financial Services (JFS); SKS Microfinance (SKS) and Ujjivan Financial Services (Ujjivan). Although the individual transaction amounts are not available, the investments by the mutual funds total approximately INR 10 billion (USD 157 million). The debentures bear coupon rates of 11.5 up to 13 percent, approximately 3 to 4 percent above than highly rated securities issued by other Indian companies. The securities are backed by receivables and fixed assets owned by the MFIs.
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 29, 2015 — No Region Specified

A New Model of Health Workforce Training

Source: Development Policy Centre

A new model of health workforce training has the potential to be an innovative, cost-effective, catalytic initiative that can build national health systems, empower women and make itself obsolete in a decade.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

East Africa Emerges as Global Hub for Impact Investing

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Investments focused on fostering social or environmental goals are playing an increasing role in East Africa, which a new report says is a global center for so-called impact investing.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015 — Latin America

Social Impact Bonds Are Coming to the Tropics

Source: Huffington Post

Recent developments indicate that Latin America may become a robust new frontier market for social impact bonds, with a rich set of multiple-player ecosystems.
Monday, July 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Village Capital Announces World's Largest Peer Selected Venture Capital Fund

Source: MarketWatch

VilCap Investments New Fund Continues Using Peer-Selection Model to Support Entrepreneurs Solving the World's Most Pressing Problems.
Monday, July 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

GE in $14.7M Vows to Build EA Healthcare Skills

Source: East African Business Week

Ahead of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi, announced a series of new commitments aimed at addressing some of the most critical health challenges in East Africa through a sustained focus on skills development and capacity building.
Friday, July 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

GE to Launch World-Class Healthcare Training Institute in Nairobi

Source: Capital FM

General Electric Company has announced it is at an advanced stage to launch the first-of-its-kind in Africa institute dedicated to training healthcare specialists and technicians. The GE Healthcare Skills and Training Institute will be located in Karen, Nairobi and is set to open its doors to practicing healthcare professionals and graduate students towards the end on 2015.
Friday, July 24, 2015 — No Region Specified

Impact investing could help plug $2.5 trillion funding gap for development

Source: The Guardian

Socially responsible investment can help tackle poverty, hunger and climate change. Can the fragmented industry overcome its barriers to becoming a real force for good?
Thursday, July 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

Who’s the Next Impact Target After Goldman Sachs Snaps Up Imprint Capital?

Source: Impact Alpha

Goldman Sachs’ move to buy San Francisco-based Imprint Capital has the small community of impact investment asset managers and dealmakers buzzing about who might next be asked to dance by a Wall Street suitor.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: “Social Responsibility” in Investments is Open to Interpretation

Source: Casa Grande Dispatch

Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker has a fascinating idea: People get nicer over time.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: The Emperor Has No (Green) Clothes


A shiny new object is popping up in impact investment portfolios everywhere – behold, the green bond. A corporate or municipal fixed income instrument offering both market returns AND positive environmental impact, green bonds have emerged over the past six months as a significant area of new issuance. Corporations are issuing carve-out bonds whose proceeds go to infrastructure retrofits, while munis are hopping on the green bandwagon with bonds targeting a wide range of applications, from “clean and green” to affordable housing and school construction.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

These Early Tesla Investors Are Pouring Millions Into Companies That Could Change the World

Source: Co.Exist

Ten years ago when Nancy Pfund first started making social impact investments, many people were skeptical about the idea of investing both for profit and social benefit. You either made money or you did good, but rarely both. "It was unheard of by most," she says. "There was a very limited set of investors who were prepared to take the plunge."
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

When Impact Investing Stays Local

Source: The New York Times

By the mid-1990s, the Houghton family, whose wealth is derived from the glass and ceramic material manufacturer Corning, was into its sixth generation. Many of the cousins felt they had lost touch and were drifting away from the family.
Friday, July 17, 2015 — South Asia

Top Innovation Ecosystem Leaders Across India Converge at India Innovation Forum 2015

Source: The Financial Express

The inaugaral edition of India Innovation Forum (IIF 2015) in Bengaluru saw top Innovators, Entrepreneurs, VCs, Impact Investors, CEOs and Thought leaders come together on 11th and 12th of July, 2015 to interact, share ideas and raise important questions on Innovation ecosystem in India. They interacted with a diverse group 150+ select senior executives from top Indian and multinational companies.
Friday, July 17, 2015 — Latin America

IDB Approves Climate-Smart Agriculture Fund

Source: Press Release

First-of-its-kind fund will support investments that increase rural livelihoods, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance biodiversity.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Hong Kong VC Firm Nest Expands to Nairobi to Support Continent’s Talents

Source: Ventureburn

Hong Kong VC and incubation firm Nest has recently announced its expansion into Africa, connecting local talent with Asian investors abroad.
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.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

As #FFD3 Kicks Off in Addis, Civil Society Raises Red Flags

Source: Devex

Development finance is entering a new era, and in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, civil society representatives remain unconvinced the new world of development cooperation holds more promise for the world’s poor than the old one.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015 — No Region Specified

MaRS Centre for Impact Investing Expands to Quebec, Eyes Further Growth

Source: Techvibes

Toronto-based impact investing platform Social Venture Connexion (SVX) has expanded to Quebec. It’s the first step in a plan to expand the platform across North America.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015 — South Asia

L&T Finance Acquires 26% Stake in Grameen Capital India

Source: Livemint

L&T Finance Ltd has acquired 26% stake in Grameen Capital India Ltd, which focuses on providing capital market access to social enterprises, the latter said in a press statement on Tuesday.
Friday, July 10, 2015 — South Asia

Indian Medtech Startup Gets $10M Injection to Be Facebook for Healthcare

Source: Tech in Asia

Indian healthcare communication platform Lybrate announced today it has secured US$10.2 million in series A funding from Tiger Global Management, Indian business tycoon Ratan Tata, and existing investor Nexus Venture Partners. The company previously received US$1.2 million in seed funding.
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

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."
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.
Friday, May 29, 2015 — No Region Specified

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


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


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 — 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.
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.
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 ( 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.