Etsy: Will ‘B-Corp’ Status Survive the IPO?

The planned initial public offering of shares in Etsy, the online handicrafts marketplace, will set up an intriguing test of mainstream investor appetite for companies that voluntarily submit their social and environment performance to scrutiny in order to become certified “B-Corps.” It will also shine a light on new state legal structures intended to enshrine

Morgan Stanley: Women, Millennials Driving Sustainable Investing

Wake up, old men! It’s fast becoming conventional wisdom in the investment industry that female and younger investors are leading their older male counterparts in valuing social and environmental impact. New research (and a cool infographic) from Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing suggests 40 percent of female investors consider the impact of their investment,

Foundations Slow to Deploy Program-Related Investments

Philanthropic foundations have an under-utilized source of capital to make loans, loan guarantees and equity investments in social ventures. Since 1969, foundations have had the ability to use “program-related investments,” or PRIs, to invest in organizations that advance their “charitable purpose,” while earning a real financial return. The investments even count toward foundations’ legal requirement

After Building SunEdison, Jigar Shah Eyes $1 Trillion Opportunities

A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real solutions to climate change. “Impact to me means $1 trillion,” says Jigar Shah, president and co-founder of Generate Capital, a new specialty finance company that works with project developers and technology manufacturers to finance what he calls “the resource revolution.” Shah knows

Acquisition Gives Investors’ Circle Big Exit

Concerned about the shortage of exit opportunities for impact investments? Here’s one: Early-stage impact investing network Investors’ Circle announced an exit from its portfolio this week, as Boston Heart Diagnostics, a US-based health services firm with a proprietary blood test was acquired by Luxembourg-based Eurofins Scientific for  $140 million. “We were compelled by the social

Worker-Owned Co-ops Gain Traction

Madison, Wisconsin will invest $5 million in worker-owned cooperatives in 2015, more than four times the $1.2 million that New York City mayor Bill de Blasio committed last year to the growing movement of worker-owner businesses. Worker cooperatives are increasingly part of the conversation around ways to reduce income inequality. There are roughly 30,000 cooperatives in

Wind + Solar = 53% of New US Electricity

Solar and wind made up more than half of all new US electricity capacity in 2014. Adding other renewable sources (such as hydro, geothermal, waste heat, and biomass), nearly 56 percent of new energy came from renewables last year, according to new estimates from CleanTechnica. Natural gas was the single largest source of new electricity,