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
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.
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 — 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.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 — South Asia

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


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.
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


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 - 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.