The conversation at this year’s Social Capital Markets conference in San Francisco was “what’s next;” how do we bring impact investing into the mainstream? During her opening keynote, Jacqueline Novogratz of Acumen Fund stated that while there have been 192 new social impact funds created in the last 3 years, impact investing is still a … Continued
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Ed Note:We’re trying something new with Startup Friday – a sponsored start-up pitch. These are companies that trust our readership to judge their big idea. Learn more about sponsored pitches here, and please let us know what you think of our concept, as well as our inaugural pitcher, Bolder below… Bolder is a new start-up, … Continued
By Erica Frye The most interesting story about innovation and social entrepreneurship I found at West Coast Green was not in a scheduled program, but a side conversation with James Hanusa of Burning Man. Not being a Burner, I was unaware of the social initiatives generated by the Burning Man organization and community, and it … Continued
Corporations are obtaining cheap debt, yet such easy money is not spurring the economy. Rather companies are stashing their borrowings, rather than spending them. Money is allegedly sitting unproductive rather than going towards job creation. Are corporations to be held accountable for such (in)actions? Borrowing and Holding Capital is not Saving Capital Before we answer … Continued
Welcome to Zimride. The Bay Area-based firm builds relationships with universities and corporations, and hosts social networking sites that seek to match commuters who are willing to share a car to reach their destinations. The results: reduced emissions, less traffic, and increased social skills: after all, some people actually meet their Facebook friends in person.
You’ve heard of solar leasing programs for energy-conscious, yet budget-constrained, consumers. Now comes a leasing program to give wind-power developers the financing flexibility they need to acquire wind-energy technology regardless of the size of their project. Second Wind, a maker of wind measurement systems for the wind power industry, has introduced a leasing program for … Continued
Car sharing has gone from hippie practice to popular carless urbanite tool of choice, courtesy companies like Zipcar, with old guard companies like Uhaul joining in. But what about bikes? What about when you’ve got an errand that’s a little too long for a walk, but driving would be frivolous? Various bike sharing businesses have … Continued
Reporting from SoCap 2010: Convincing one wealthy donor to invest $50M to provide education loans to underserved individuals seems like a daunting task. But what about convincing 1 million people to invest just $50 each? Could you convince the millions of people that make charitable donations every year to instead make a loan to a … Continued
How can your company get involved in promoting sustainability for the next generation? Lexus seems to have gotten it right with its “Lexus Eco Challenge.” While Lexus has established itself as the leading luxury green automotive line, it is also a leader in developing a stellar environmental educational program for students in the K-12 system. … Continued
This post is the part of a special series on Clean Energy and the BoP leading up to the launch of the report “Power to the People” in Mumbai on the 28th of September 2010. The first article of this series can be found here: Power to the People Part 1 The launch announcement of the Global Alliance … Continued
After conducting interviews with clients, industry analysts, and senior Deloitte energy practitioners, Deloitte outlines the top ten issues and trends it sees for 2011 in its first renewable energy report. Here are their findings: Tangled Regulations Inhibit Progress Two steps forward and three steps back. Inconsistent regulations in each country, difficulty getting funding, and a lack … Continued
A great deal of impact investing takes place through traditional financing models including private equity, venture capital, and debt financing. However, there is also a movement to develop new impact investment vehicles that capitalize on both for-profit and government funding for solving social problems. Social Finance UK has pioneered one of these new vehicles: the … Continued
Quoting Nike CEO Phil Knight at his afternoon keynote at SoCap 2010, Jay Coen Gilbert says: “No one gets excited about a product. They get excited about a brand.” It is for this reason that GIIRS, the Global Impact Investment Ratings System, is creating a brand: a new asset class of impact investing. Created by … Continued
The World Resources Institute recently authored a report that states renewable energy is a potential US$2.1 billion alone market for India’s poor. Such opportunity exists because about 45% of India’s poorest rural households still do not have reliable access to the electricity grid, and 85% of them use free—and dirty—forms of fuel for cooking. The last reliable statistics are from 2005, but even if those percentages have decreased, there is still potential for creative entrepreneurs.
Anthropologie now sells scarves produced by a cooperative based in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali. The Ingenzi Knit Union, which employs about 40 women, knitted the accessories, which on average retail for about US$48. The added bonus: 100% of the proceeds will go towards additional skills training in Rwanda.