Small farmers, big impact; measuring forest sustainability; IKEA goes social, Apple goes recycled

#Featured: Open Mic Small farmers are the future of global food security. Smallholder farmers have become the most important piece of the global agricultural system. Small farmers feed close to 80 percent of the total population in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa and support the livelihoods of nearly 2 billion people worldwide. Now, larger buyers of agricultural

Small farmers are the future of food security

By Tanner Methvin, Partner in Impact Amplifier and Earth Capital Smallholder farmers have become the most important piece of the global agricultural system. Small farmers feed close to 80 percent of the total population in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa and support the livelihoods of nearly 2 billion people worldwide. This community of farmers sit at a

Agora Partnerships facilitates variable-payment loans in Nicaragua

Agora Partnerships, a Latin America social-venture accelerator, is facilitating “variable payment obligations,” or VPOs, that tie loan repayment to free cash flow. VPOs help small businesses without fixed assets or loan guarantors get much-needed funds. For the Nicaragua effort, Agora, backed by USAID and the Argidius Foundation, has joined forces with a local bank, Banco

Earth finance, Water.org’s third fund, Juiciero’s food for thought, The Brief Quiz No. 11

#Featured: ImpactAlpha Original Earth Finance: Bridging the private capital gap in conservation finance. For your Earth Day consideration: The $400 billion in private capital that is needed annually for large-scale conservation is eight times even generous estimates of total conservation financing. A gathering of conservation practitioners and investment experts at Credit Suisse’s New York headquarters

Cool Planet raises $19.3 million for its pivot to biochar

Bioengineering venture Cool Planet raised $100 million in 2014 to build its biofuels business. But as falling gas prices made biofuels less competitive, the Greenwood Village, Colo., shifted its focus to soil enrichment biochar. Its Cool Terra product sequesters carbon and enriches soil, boosting crop yields by nearly 15 percent, the company says. Cool Planet is

RSF’s Don Shaffer: Here’s How to Take the First Steps Toward Impact Investing

The movement toward investing in what’s good instead of just screening out what’s bad is growing, spurred by a new generation of investors. Millennials are questioning conventional systems and approaches across the board, from food to education to finance. That’s leading many to start aligning personal and family investments with their values. A recent Morgan

Tending the Ocean, Not Just the Seafood: Valuing Ecosystem Services in New Zealand

The Māori are the indigenous people of Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud, also known as New Zealand. The Māori also are the owners of Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd., one of the country’s largest seafood companies and a major supplier of  pāua, or abalone. That makes Aotearoa Fisheries an excellent candidate for a new