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The Week’s Agent of Impact
Cathy Clark, Duke's Fuqua School of Business. Before she began teaching 20 years ago, Clark helped her father run a summer program in Philadelphia that gave low-income, mostly immigrant high school students a taste of college. Her father had been a union negotiator and civil rights activist before becoming a community college English teacher. “Only a decade later did I realize he was, in fact, a social entrepreneur,” Clark says. “My social consciousness comes from him.” Her father paid it forward in Clark, who as faculty director of the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Fuqua, estimates she has influenced the careers of more than 100,000 learners. Clark and CASE’s Impact Investing Initiative, or i3, have been key field builders, pushing out hundreds of partnerships, fellows, case studies and reports. When COVID hit last year, Clark stepped up quickly with Covid Cap, a database to help entrepreneurs, nonprofits and businesses find grants, loans and cash help to weather the pandemic. Most recently, Clark, with the U.N. Development Programme, created a free online training to help enterprises and investors measure and manage their progress toward the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Clark will preview the course in a special workshop on ImpactAlpha’s Agents of Impact Call No. 31 on Tuesday, Sept. 28 (RSVP).
The Week’s Big 6
1. Commitments, tools and deals from Climate Week NYC. The annual event coinciding with the UN General Assembly was meant to spur action from world leaders ahead of the COP26 global climate summit in Glasgow in November. Highlights from ImpactAlpha’s coverage from New York:
The Week’s Dealflow
Spotlight: Workforce tech. The pandemic has “given a boost to the digitization of recruitment and training processes,” says Madhav Krishna of India-based Vahan, which raised capital this week. India is a hotbed of workforce tech innovation, with as many as 450 million gig- and blue-collar workers and labor shortages in key fields. Apna and BetterPlace, which connect workers to available work opportunities, also scored significant funding. In Egypt, digital bank Dopay raised $18 million to recruit businesses to its platform – and sign up their workers for personal accounts and debit cards.
The Week’s Talent
ImpactAssets has promoted Sandra Osborne Kartt to managing director of investments, Nick Peters to director of investments, and Deb Parsons to managing director of business development… Hannah Schiff, ex- of Nuveen, joins Developing World Markets as director of impact… Josh Adeoye, ex- of University Teaching Hospital in Kano, Nigeria, joins Adjuvant Capital as an associate.
The Week’s Jobs
Cisco is hiring a (remote) climate impact portfolio manager... Rally Assets seeks an impact data analyst in Toronto… Local Enterprise Assistance Fund is recruiting a loan officer and a loan associate in Boston… Social Finance is looking for a director of advisory… Project Drawdown is looking for a (remote) climate finance senior research fellow… Blue Earth Capital seeks a head of funds and co-investments in London… The Bezos Earth Fund is hiring for a number of positions.
“It’s a great time for new entrants, but for those of us who’ve been doing this for a while it is equally urgent to raise our game right and to not get complacent,” said Margot Brandenburg of the Ford Foundation.