Essential news and insights to keep you ahead of the curve on impact investing and sustainable finance.

December 1, 2020

The Brief

Signals: Ahead of the Curve

Refugee investments provide blueprints for Biden’s reset on immigration. As the Trump administration was building walls and new restrictions, impact investors and innovative humanitarians were creating a marketplace of financing solutions for migrants and refugees (see, “A growing community of investors steers capital to solutions that benefit refugees”). The network of investors, funds and companies driving affordable housing, healthcare, mobile banking and other solutions now provides blueprints and proof-points for the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden, who has signaled a Day-One reset on immigration. “If there was ever a time for this kind of work to accelerate, it would be now,” says John Kluge. "We're starting to actually see a track record in the field.” Kluge founded Refugee Investment Network to connect capital with solutions that benefit refugees. The network’s latest report, "Building Inclusive Economies: Applications of Refugee Lens Investing," catalogs successful strategies and makes the case for more philanthropic and “catalytic capital” to build the market.

Dealflow: Follow the Money

Third Derivative aims to accelerate climate tech. In calculus, the third derivative is the rate of change of the rate of change, or to put it another way, the acceleration of acceleration. Third Derivative, a partnership of the Rocky Mountain Institute and New Energy Nexus, aims to commercialize and scale climate solutions more quickly by providing startups tackling climate challenges with access to funding, corporate partners and policymakers. “We need them all if we’re going to solve climate,“ Third Derivative’s Bryan Guido Hassin told ImpactAlpha. The nine corporate partners include AT&T, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, BP Ventures, Engie and Microsoft. Venture capital partners include Chrysalix Ventures, Emerald Technology Ventures, Factor[e] Ventures, Imperative Ventures, Social Alpha and Skyview Ventures. Many corporations have little idea of how they’re going to meet the bold climate ambitions they have publicly set, Hassin says. At the same time, promising ideas can die on the vine while startups navigate corporate bureaucracy.

Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent

Surdna Foundation’s Don Chen becomes co-chair, alongside Ford Foundation's Darren Walker, of the Presidents’ Council on Impact Investing, a philanthropic leadership group… Agnes Dasewicz is named co-CEO of global impact fund SEAF, joining current CEO Bert van der Vaart. Dasewicz helped launch Kauffman Foundation’s Capital Access Lab and served as director of the U.S. Agency for International Development… Impact Engine is looking for a senior associate in Chicago… 

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Impact Briefing: Week of November 20th

Host Monique Aiken recaps this week’s Agents of Impact Call on gender-smart investing and we go to South Africa to follow up with Secha Capital’s Kuhle Mnisi and Wukina’s Maureen Sibanda, this week’s Agents of Impact.

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