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Accion Venture Lab backs Lidya to bridge capital gap for small businesses in Nigeria

Accion Venture Lab has backed Lidya to bridge the capital gap for small businesses in Nigeria. The International Finance Corp. estimates a $2 trillion global gap in small business financing in emerging markets, where small businesses contribute one-third of GDP. With technology and new sources of data, fintech startups like Lidya can “help entrepreneurs obtain the necessary

Chinese-backed developer invests in Australian startup to improve student work experience

Women Rising Getting that first job can be tough. Aqualand Capital backed 1Scope, an education startup in Australia to improve the school-to-work pipeline. The A$1 million (US$760,000) investment will help 1Scope launch in August to help students search, apply and evaluate work opportunities and help organizations manage their work experience programs. “Today’s students are clever and

Bipartisan legislation to bring private investment to America’s “emerging markets”

More than three-quarters of all venture capital investment went to California, New York and Massachusetts last year. A new bipartisan bill, the “Investing in Opportunity Act,” aims to spread the wealth by tapping the $2 trillion in unrealized capital gains in stocks and mutual funds. The bill would set up “Opportunity Funds” in underserved “Opportunity Zones.” Investors

Hong Kong’s RS Group charts a path to a 100% impact portfolio

Women Rising Annie Chen founded RS Group in 2008 as a family office for her personal wealth. A deep dive from Asian Venture Philanthropy Network shows how RS moved its full portfolio into sustainable, mission-aligned investments. The first step, over 18 months starting in 2010, was to transfer 50 percent of assets into sustainable and

Architecture 2030 seeks to make buildings part of the solution, not the problem

2030 Buildings consume nearly half of all the energy produced in the United States and are responsible for half of its carbon emission. Ed Mazria launched Architecture 2030 in 2002 to transform the man-made surroundings where people live and work — “the built environment” — from a major contributor to the climate crisis to a central part of the

And a Skoll Award goes to…Babban Gona, for boosting incomes of Nigerian farmers

And a Skoll Award goes to…Kola Masha of Babban Gona, for boosting incomes of Nigerian farmers. The six-year-old agriculture startup is the first for-profit company to receive a Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, which were announced ahead of next week’s Skoll World Forum in Oxford, England. Based in Lagos, Babban Gona has helped more than 13,000 smallholder

Circularity Capital reaches first close on new fund for, yes, the circular economy

Circularity Capital has reached the first close its new fund for, yes, the circular economy. The Edinburgh-based private equity firm is looking for transformers — companies reusing old materials and reducing waste — as well as enablers — firms that support the circular practices in other companies. Its new Circularity European Growth Fund will invest between $1.2 million and $6.2 million in