Packard Foundation: $15M in Debt Capital to Scale Solar ‘Beyond the Grid’

Equity gets the glory, but sometimes it’s debt that gets the job done. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation this week committed $15 million to Simpa Networks, SunFunder, and Off-Grid Electric, which each finance access to clean energy “beyond the grid” in east Africa, India and other emerging markets. The so-called program-related investments will be

Blending Public, Private and Philanthropic Capital for ‘Deep Impact’

Collaboration is in the air. Public, philanthropic, and private investors are coming together to finance new inventions, the early stages of a social enterprise, the new set of global development goals and much more. How best to blend capital to meet the needs of social startups and new markets is a hot topic at the annual Social Capital

IRS Gives Green Light to Foundation Investments for Impact

The Obama administration has removed an obstacle that had blocked some private foundations seeking to use their full range of capital to pursue their missions. The new guidance from the Internal Revenue Service could help unlock for so-called “mission-related investments” some of the $650 billion in assets warehoused in the endowments of U.S.-based private foundations. “This guidance is not about

Uneasy Blend of Investor Expectations: Five Ways to Build Better Capital Stacks

I recently sat around a table of investors charged with finalizing the structure of a global impact fund. I couldn’t help but hear the contradictions that laced the discussion. One public investor had a mandate to “catalyze private capital” but was unable to accept any terms considered subordinate to other investors. Another investor wouldn’t be able

Financing the Sustainable Development Goals with ‘Blended Capital’

Here’s the latest trillion dollar question: How to finance the new Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations on Friday? The new set of 17 goals for 2030, known as the SDGs, build on the Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, that were adopted in 2000 and ran through this year. The 169 specific targets

Small Foundations Are Embracing Impact Investing

Paperwork and bureaucracy aren’t just pains in the backside of everyone working at every small business or smaller nonprofit. They’re also barriers to entry — for new people, new ideas and even new sources of capital. Crowdfunding might help level the playing field, but even that has a new set of challenges and limitations. When

VilCap Investments: New $13.2M Fund Doubles Down on Peer-Selected Investments

Village Capital has relied on peer selection to build one of the most productive accelerator programs in the impact investing marketplace. In six years, “Vilcap” has launched more than 35 accelerator programs on five continents, investing $2 million in 55 early-stage companies. Entrepreneurs chose every investment. Now Ross Baird, Village Capital’s executive director, is taking