Meeting the needs of emerging middle-class consumers in the developing world will spawn some very large businesses. D.light design, for one, has an ambitious goal: Reach 100 million people by 2020 with its inexpensive solar-powered lanterns. That could be dismissed as just another marketing claim if the company weren’t already more than one-quarter
Successful impact investors see around corners, bank on long-term trends and shrewdly assess risk. Oh, and it also helps to know Elon Musk. DBL Investors, a $225 million impact investment firm in San Francisco, had all of those factors going for its investment in SolarCity, now the largest solar installer in the country, worth nearly
The Media Development Loan Fund began making equity investments more than 15 years ago. Last year, it finally changed its name to Media Development Investment Fund. The new name also better reflects the broader approach of the “media bank.” It takes more than financing to create strong, independent media companies in chaotic political and social environments.
Kristin Richmond and Kirsten Tobey faced a fundamental design constraint when they launched Revolution Foods on the site of a former McDonald’s near Oakland, Calif.: About $3 for each lunch served. The UC Berkeley Haas Business School graduates were designing a line of healthy, nutritionally balanced meals for California’s primary and secondary school students, and
Little did you know but that pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream you polished off last night helped create jobs for people who face barriers to employment in a struggling section of Yonkers, outside New York City. Ben & Jerry’s sources its brownies from Greyston Bakery in Yonkers, which turns out
Shazi Visram and Jessica Rolph launched Happy Family on Mothers’ Day in 2006 with the mission of making organic, nutrient-rich baby food widely available and affordable. Now mothers themselves, Visram and Rolph gave a Mothers’ Day present to investors last year: the announcement that Happy Family was being acquired by French food giant Danone, reportedly,
Unfinished health care clinics and schools being completed across India. Widows of deceased migrant workers receiving their due compensation. Farmers accessing information to increase productivity. Fishermen sharing weather information. India’s poor are finding a voice—or more accurately, a social media platform to share it—on Mobile Vaani, the largest voice-based social media platform in the world. Mobile