Due to high interest rates and other macroeconomic challenges, there's been a global slowdown in venture capital funding to tech firms. David Grimaud at Bamboo Capital Partners explains how this lack of investment is impacting fintech companies in emerging markets, putting not only financial inclusion but other development priorities at risk. He explores how fintech innovators are advancing multiple SDGs, and how the investment community — especially impact-focused investors — can better support them.
A New Approach to Philanthropy: Why the Sector Must Prioritize Systems Change — And How Funders Can Respond
As global development challenges like inequality and climate change worsen, philanthropy is increasingly focusing on systems change — i.e., efforts to address the complex root causes of societal problems, rather than simply addressing the problems themselves. Heather Grady at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) explores why this new focus requires a different approach to philanthropic giving, and shares key learnings from RPA's Shifting Systems Initiative that could be useful to the broader philanthropic community working on systems change.
Scaling Climate Finance for Smallholder Agriculture: Lessons Learned from Partnering with Farmer-Allied Businesses
Small-scale agriculture supports the livelihoods of more than 600 million families and generates over 40% of jobs in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Yet as Elizabeth Teague at Root Capital points out, agricultural livelihoods are highly vulnerable to climate change, and smallholder farmers receive just 1.7% of global climate financing. She discusses how Root Capital is working with farmer-allied enterprises to help close this gap, sharing what they’ve learned about how to design and scale climate financing for smallholder communities.
‘Build, Test, Respond’: How Lean Testing Enables Organizations to De-Risk Their Scaling Strategies — And Accelerate Their Impact
Both social enterprises and non-profits aspire to create an agile organizational culture that enables them to learn from failure. But according to Amy Ragsdale and Emma Colenbrander at Spring Impact, this is not always easy for organizations dealing with short-term funding cycles and cumbersome evaluation processes. They explore how lean testing can help social enterprises and non-profits optimize their strategy and unlock impact at scale, and share examples of organizations that are using this approach successfully.
- Social Enterprise
A Hidden Risk — And Opportunity — in Clean Energy: Why the Energy Transition Cannot Happen Unless it Addresses Women’s Unpaid Care Work
In advance of the first-ever International Day of Care and Support, Kate Grantham at FemDev Consulting and Carolina Robino and Flaubert Mbiekop at the International Development Research Centre highlight the interconnections between unpaid care work and the global transition to clean energy. They argue that this transition will falter unless it addresses women's heavy and unequal responsibility for unpaid care work — reducing women’s clean energy contributions, and possibly reinforcing existing gender inequalities in the process.
From Trash Barriers to ‘Sky Latrines’: Leveraging Entrepreneurship to Address WASH-Related Challenges in Cambodia’s Floating Villages
Cambodia faces a number of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)-related challenges — particularly in the floating villages and dense lakeside communities around the Mekong River. As Simon Crittle at iDE explains, these waterways are heavily contaminated, causing residents to suffer from waterborne diseases. He explores how iDE is addressing these issues by helping local community members create and monetize waste-management solutions — providing livelihoods for women entrepreneurs in the process.
Overcoming Barriers to Impact Investment in Africa: Interviews with Fund Managers Reveal Three Promising Solutions to the Continent’s Funding Gap
African-based investment fund managers face an uphill battle to secure the capital they need to invest in home-grown enterprises, particularly when social impact is a key part of their investment strategies. Bernard Chidzero, Nkanyiso Hlongwa and Serena Fu at The Bridgespan Group share highlights from a recent report based on interviews with 25 stakeholders in the continent's impact investing sector, which reveal the obstacles faced by African fund managers — and some potential solutions.
Agricultural Insurance + Energy Access: An Innovative Pilot Program Reveals the Value of Bundled Services — And the Need for Cross-Sector Partnerships
As the world works to achieve SDG7, it's becoming clear that cross-sector partnerships will be key to meeting its goal of affordable, sustainable energy for all by 2030. Anshul Patel at Bboxx — a leading distributor of pay-as-you-go solar energy products — shares learnings from the company's recent partnership with Pula, an agri-insurance technology firm, which insured Bboxx customers against the climate-related crop failures that can lead to payment defaults and repossession of their energy products.