Featured: Capitalism Reimagined

Social enterprises provide models for stakeholder capitalism in emerging markets. Social entrepreneurs in Asia, Africa and Latin America have for decades prioritized communities, employees and long-term growth over short-term profitability. Investors in such social enterprises see an opportunity to build on those models to drive impact in the broader economy. “Social enterprises will always be a subset,” of the market, says Meghan Curran, who directs the West Africa office of Acumen, which has invested $137 million worth of "patient capital" in roughly 140 companies. “How do we go from tweaking on the margins to mainstreaming these principles and practices?” In its new "Inclusive Business Playbook," Acumen explores the range and depth of the opportunity.

Dealflow: Inclusive Transition

Elevate Future Fund raises more than $60 million for diverse founders of climate startups. New York-based Energy Impact Partners is supplementing its strategy of enlisting corporate partners to invest in energy-transition technologies. The add-on: Building a more equitable and inclusive low-carbon economy by investing in underserved communities and companies led by diverse founders. The Elevate Future Fund will partner with tech accelerators and historically Black colleges and universities. EIP said the fund has raised more than half its $120 million target with new commitments from Microsoft, Alliant Energy, Southern Company, Xcel Energy and others.

Signals: Ahead of the Curve

Green bonds or greenwashing? Growth of aquaculture poses risks for ocean health. The Norwegian farmed fish giant Mowi ASA raised €200 million ($237 million) from investors last year in the seafood industry’s first green bond. The proceeds were pledged to green projects such as sustainable feed and fish welfare. Bond buyers may be “investing in troubled waters,” according to a consortium of think tanks and NGOs, which report  that Mowi’s green bond and others issued by seafood companies lack rigor and do little to address harmful aquaculture practices, including the use of wild fish for feed and poor fish husbandry. “Mowi has issued a green bond for nothing more than business as usual and this should be challenged by investors,” said Jessica Sinclair Taylor of Feedback, one of the environmental groups behind the new report.

Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent

Troy Perry, ex- of Franklin Square Group, joins Omidyar Network as director of policy and advocacy… Tonna Obaze is promoted to chief of staff and investor at Harlem Capital. Melody Hahm, ex- of Yahoo Finance, joins Harlem Capital as platform and community manager… William Brent, ex- of Power for All, joins Husk Power Systems as chief marketing officer… Rippleworks is hiring a capital portfolio manager… Pacific Community Ventures is recruiting a business advising director, credit analyst for small business lending and a people and culture manager… KPMG is hosting “Have an ESG strategy? Prove it!” Tuesday, Aug. 17.

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