A cundina in Mexico. A chit fund in India. A sou sou in West African and Caribbean nations. Informal savings pools, around for centuries, are still the preferred savings tool of billions of low-income people around the world. Savings circles are common in another country with a large unbanked population as well — the United States. Phoenix-based
Equilibrium Capital isn’t just an investor in sustainable real assets. It’s an operator as well, growing blueberries and citrus, operating agricultural bio-digesters and generating energy efficiency. Dave Chen, Equilibrium’s CEO, has built a $1 billion asset management platform that combines on-the-ground experience with the financial discipline required by institutional investors. A former venture capitalist and tech executive,
The February ribbon cutting for Gigawatt Global’s new $24 million solar field in Rwanda was an impact investment showcase. More than 28,000 solar panels, arranged in the shape of the African continent, added six percent to the entire country’s electricity production. Gigawatt Global, an American-owned Dutch company, completed the project in less than a year
Root Capital, a nonprofit lender to farmer associations and agricultural businesses in Africa and Latin America, seeks borrowers that will both repay their loans and strengthen their communities. That’s why, increasingly, it lends to women. The Nahuala coffee cooperative in the highlands of Guatemala is the kind of growing rural agricultural business Root seeks out.
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
The global financial crisis didn’t dent the demand for loans from small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs around the world. But it sure whacked the supply of capital available to lend to them. MicroVest, a for-profit asset management firm owned by three non-profit organizations, treated the challenge as an opportunity to re-engineer its financial offering so it
Will Poole, a top Microsoft executive-turned seed-stage investor, is tapping American and Indian tech entrepreneurs to back some not very non-techy startups in India. Late last year, he closed his $20 million Unitus Seed Fund with a limited-partners list that included an array of startup founders, including the original success story:Bill Gates. Unitus has taken