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Move over microfinance. Mobile money is touted as the new magic bullet

Nearly four in every 10 dollars from impact funds targeting emerging markets in 2015 went to microfinance, but access to small amounts of credit hasn’t been the panacea for poverty that was promised. Fuller access to a variety of financial services enabled through mobile phones, is the future, says Kusi Hornberger, a vice president at

Laureate Education raises $490 million in first IPO for a public benefit corp

Laureate Education has grown to become the world’s largest for-profit college by targeting middle class students in emerging markets, particularly in Latin America. Its debut on Nasdaq last week marked a first for a public benefit corporation, a new legal status in many states that commits a firm to a social mission. The Baltimore company is backed

Village Capital’s digital health entrepreneurs choose Certintell and LivWell Health

Well Being Digital health companies Certintell and LivWell Health will each receive $75,000 after being selected by their peers in VilCap’s three-month accelerator program. Certintell, based in Des Moines, Iowa, connects low-income Americans with care teams through text, pictures, and video. San Francisco-based LivWell Health provides platforms for post-acute and senior living providers. This spring,

Norfund, FMO and Rabobank pool African financial services investments

The Norwegian state-owned fund, Norfund and the two Dutch lenders, FMO and Rabobank, have created Arise, a new venture based in South Africa, which starts with $660 million in assets in over 10 countries and expects to grow to $1 billion in five years. New European banking regulations have made it more expensive to hold foreign

Which investors are bridging the gap in research funding?

Climate Finance The fate of climate and other public research may be in the hands of private investors and philanthropists as the EPA and other agencies face cutbacks under the Trump administration, reports FastCompany. Who’s stepping up? In January, Al Gore stepped in to revive a CDC climate and health conference in Atlanta. Bill Gates, Vinod

Will blood diamonds (and cell phone minerals) make a comeback?

Conflict minerals never fully went away, of course, but concerns rose when Michael Piwowar, the acting SEC chairman, said the agency’s rule that requires companies to disclose if minerals come from war-torn parts of Africa, is misguided and onerous for mining companies. Markets may trump U.S. regulations, however. Companies say they have their own reasons

Surdna Foundation maps the journey to its $100 million impact commitment

New York-based Surdna Foundation, which has an endowment of $1 billion, put $5 million into DBL Partners III, the third fund from Nancy Pfund’s team, who were early Tesla and SolarCity investors. Surdna released an internal report to share its decision-making since its 2014 commitment to make $100 million in loans, equity and investments for