How MicroVest Keeps Capital Flowing to Micro-Entrepreneurs

The global financial crisis didn’t dent the demand for loans from small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs around the world. But it sure whacked the supply of capital available to lend to them. MicroVest, a for-profit asset management firm owned by three non-profit organizations, treated the challenge as an opportunity to re-engineer its financial offering so it

Foundations Slow to Deploy Program-Related Investments

Philanthropic foundations have an under-utilized source of capital to make loans, loan guarantees and equity investments in social ventures. Since 1969, foundations have had the ability to use “program-related investments,” or PRIs, to invest in organizations that advance their “charitable purpose,” while earning a real financial return. The investments even count toward foundations’ legal requirement

What Kind of Financing Do African Social Enterprises Need?

The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Capetown in South Africa is conducting a survey on the funding needs of social enterprises in Africa. Social enterprises in Africa can participate in the survey to generate a clearer picture of their financing needs. The results will be used to promote African

Unitus Seed Fund: Why Bill Gates Is Backing Impact Entrepreneurs in India

Will Poole, a top Microsoft executive-turned seed-stage investor, is tapping American and Indian tech entrepreneurs to back some not very non-techy startups in India. Late last year, he closed his $20 million Unitus Seed Fund with a limited-partners list that included an array of startup founders, including the original success story:Bill Gates. Unitus has taken

CarePayment: Keeping the Medical Bill Collectors at Bay

Kendra is typical of many Americans covered by health insurance polices that come with high-deductibles, steep co-pays and less-than-complete coverage: deep in medical debt. Less typical is the solution the 41-year-old Michigan mother found to start to pay off her family’s hospital bills, without bill collectors, credit reports or interest. Cash payments from patients are

After Building SunEdison, Jigar Shah Eyes $1 Trillion Opportunities

A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real solutions to climate change. “Impact to me means $1 trillion,” says Jigar Shah, president and co-founder of Generate Capital, a new specialty finance company that works with project developers and technology manufacturers to finance what he calls “the resource revolution.” Shah knows

Market-Based Solution to Lionfish Invasion: Eat Them!

New Orleans, LA – Lionfish are malicious, and delicious. For most species of eatable fish, overconsumption is a threat to survival. In the case of lionfish, overconsumption may be the road to redemption. Speckled and striped beauties with flowing fins pinned up by venomous spines, Lionfish are native to Southeast Asia. They were introduced to