East Africa: Impact Investing Hot Spot, Dominated by Development Banks

Entrepreneurship was top of President Obama’s agenda during his recent trip to East Africa. But as he noted in his keynote address at the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi, “This is still a neglected market, and accessing capital for entrepreneurs here is still too hard.” One group trying to change that: impact investors. A new report

VilCap Investments: New $13.2M Fund Doubles Down on Peer-Selected Investments

Village Capital has relied on peer selection to build one of the most productive accelerator programs in the impact investing marketplace. In six years, “Vilcap” has launched more than 35 accelerator programs on five continents, investing $2 million in 55 early-stage companies. Entrepreneurs chose every investment. Now Ross Baird, Village Capital’s executive director, is taking

eMoneyPool: Bringing #Fintech to a Centuries-Old Savings Tool

A cundina in Mexico. A chit fund in India. A sou sou in West African and Caribbean nations. Informal savings pools, around for centuries, are still the preferred savings tool of billions of low-income people around the world. Savings circles are common in another country with a large unbanked population as well — the United States. Phoenix-based

Behind the Impact Benchmark: Q & A with GIIN and Cambridge Associates

Impact investors are a tough crowd. For years, proponents have called for more data on impact fund performance and comparable returns to give investors better visibility into the real results of investments intended to generate social and environmental as well as financial benefits. But no sooner had the Global Impact Investing Network and Cambridge Associates released

Lending for African Farming: Financing the Other 90 Percent of Smallholder Agriculture

Social lenders such as Root Capital have pioneered financing for smallholder producers of export crops like coffee, cocoa, and tea. Now, Root is seeking to help build agricultural businesses that serve local staple crop markets as well — a financing market that may be 10 times as big. Root, together with Germany’s KfW Development Bank and agriculture

New Impact Benchmark from Cambridge Associates: Market-Rate Returns (Almost)

Down goes another obstacle to the growth of impact investing. The new Impact Investing Benchmark, from Cambridge Associates and the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), showed that a group of more than 50 impact investing funds delivered returns nearly as strong as a set of comparable funds with no measured social impact. Some subsets even

DBL Partners, Investor in Tesla and Solar City, Closes 3rd Fund at $400 Million

Want to spot the next Tesla? Watch DBL Partners. The “double bottom line” venture capital firm has closed DBL Partners III, its third fund, with $400 million in capital. The portfolios of DBL’s previous funds include some of the most successful social ventures to date, including Tesla Motors, Solar City, Revolution Foods and Ecologic. “The size