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Soros stakes up to $50 million on Humanity Ventures

The hedge fund billionaire is seeking to galvanize private sector finance and innovation as an alternative to humanitarian aid for vulnerable, transient populations. The education and healthcare-focused partnership with Mastercard, called Humanity Ventures, is part of Soros’ $500 million pledge to reshape the global response to refugees, whose numbers are expected to swell under the

HTC to invest $10 million in VR-for-good startups

Virtual reality “for good” has been having its moment ever since several 360-degree films stirred empathy for Syrian refugees. The Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC launched a $10 million impact fund to invest in virtual reality startups with storytelling projects around the Global Goals for sustainable development. Photo credit: Dan Mason / Flickr

“Global goals hotspots” represent a $12 trillion annual opportunity

A new report, “Better Business, Better World,” identifies 60 specific opportunities, including low-income food markets, public transport in urban areas, energy storage and telehealth, that could account for 10 percent of global GDP and create 380 million new jobs by 2030. Affordable housing alone could account for 20 percent of the total. Altogether, four sectors central

New Nigerian development bank aims to fill small-business credit gap

Nigeria, with the largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa, is launching its own development bank. The Development Bank of Nigeria, conceived in 2014, is now capitalized with $1.3 billion from the World Bank, KfW, the African Development Bank and the Agence Française de Development. The bank aims to lower borrowing rates and lengthen loan tenures for

Want social mobility? Go to a state university

Cal State Los Angeles and SUNY Stonybrook had the highest “mobility rate” in a new study by the Equality of Opportunity Project. The study of 30 million college students tracked the likelihood that a student from a lower-income family ends up in a higher-income family. Pace University in New York was the rare private school

Tropical Landscapes financing in Indonesia gets boost from Convergence

ADM Capital, based in Hong Kong, will get an undisclosed amount from the investment matchmaking platform Convergence to develop its plans to boost investment in smallholder farmer livelihood, rural electricity and greenhouse gas reduction in Indonesia. Cash-generating projects in the Tropical Landscapes Financing Facility will be packaged into a Tropical Landscapes Bond in order to

UBS to invest $5 billion to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals

The big Swiss bank UBS is looking for ways to put its clients’ wealth to work on some of the 17 Global Goals, including hunger, health, education, infrastructure, clean energy and climate action (UBS said peace, justice and strong institutions are less investable). Something like $5 trillion a year is needed to meet the goals.