Blowing through renewable portfolio standards, ahead of schedule

2030 Renewable energy has bipartisan support, at least at the U.S. state level. Take Minnesota. A decade ago, a nearly-unanimous legislature and Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty set a goal to move Minnesota to 25 percent renewable energy by 2025. Eight years before the deadline, Minnesota has passed the 20 percent mark in wind and other renewable

New Zealand overcomes obstacles to launch first social impact bond

New Zealand has overcome obstacles to launch its first social impact bond. The $1.5 million bond is looking to get 1,700 Kiwis with mental health conditions into paid jobs. Bureaucracy and delays nearly killed the effort last year, but a new service provider, APM Workcare, has taken over the program. Success will be measured by the number of

Yume raises $2 million to reduce food waste in Australia

Yume has raised $2 million to reduce food waste in Australia. Yume’s online portal, which sells “surplus food” by connecting suppliers to buyers, has transacted A$400,000 since launching last year. The startup’s A$2.6 million ($2 million) financing included Impact Generation Partners and the Vincent Fairfax, Myer and English family foundations. “Surplus food is not necessarily close

Scottish wheelchair entrepreneur raises funds to bring Freedom One to market

Scottish wheelchair entrepreneur Alex Papanikolaou has raised more than a million dollars to bring his Freedom One wheelchair to market. Papanikolaou’s wheelchair couldn’t keep up with his active lifestyle so he invented the Freedom One, a lighter wheelchair with bigger tires and a longer-lasting battery. With £350,000 ($440,000) in grant funding, he built a prototype and

CoPower lines up impact capital in advance of retail green bond offering

Climate Finance Vancity Capital Corp., part of Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, is injecting $1 million into CoPower’s revolving credit facility for clean energy investment. The financing comes one week before CoPower issues a $20 million green bond, its biggest yet, to let ordinary people invest in clean energy projects across North America. Vancity joins four

#CDFIsInvest in U.S. jobs and businesses

Since 1994, the U.S. Treasury’s CDFI Fund has provided financing to community development finance institutions, or CDFIs, that make at least 60 percent of their financing available to low-to-moderate income neighborhoods. The banks, credit unions, loan funds, and venture capital providers support alternatives to gang violence in Chicago, finance business opportunities on Native lands and

Can South Africa provide energy for all?

Climate Finance South Africa produces half of sub-Saharan Africa’s energy and ranks highest on the continent for energy access. Still, 60 percent of rural South Africans don’t have access to the electricity grid, and many more are considered “energy poor.” A new report from ImpactAmplifier, a business accelerator in Cape Town, shows how far South Africa still