At Davos, a Convergence of Investors to Blend Finance for Development

The government officials, business leaders and private investors gathered at Davos this week can continue their deal-making after the elite event ends on Convergence, a new online match-making platform to facilitate “blended” financing for developing countries. Officially launched at this week’s World Economic Forum, Convergence aims to expand investor networks, reduce search costs and streamline

Social impact incentives aim to tilt businesses toward the needs of the poor

Companies often get fined for poor behavior. Now, some will get rewarded for behavior that serves the poor. A pilot program funded by the Swiss government will pay bonuses to Latin American businesses that can prove that they are improving the quality of life of their poor customers. The enhanced revenues should make such high-impact businesses

The $1 Trillion Challenge: Can Clean Energy Investors Fulfill Global Climate Deal?

Bill Gates is raising the stakes at this week’s global climate conference in Paris, with an expected announcement of a multi-billion dollar fund for clean energy research and development. According to ClimateWire, Gates and other billionaires will make the pledge as part of an effort to secure a commitment from India to carbon-reduction goals. That is a

Lowered Risks Means Higher Returns for Agriculture Investors in Frontier Markets

There is an old Portuguese saying that you cannot expect the sun to shine on the threshing floor while it rains in the turnip fields. Some would apply the saying to impact investing to argue investments can’t simultaneously deliver market-rate returns and measurable social impact. The harder investors pursue social goals in sectors where commercial

Gates Foundation Gears Up to Blend Capital for Global Development

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is adding talent to create innovative financing structures for what it calls a “critical juncture” for international development. Nick O’Donohoe, most recently the head of Big Society Capital in the UK, will join the world’s largest private foundation in January as senior adviser for blended finance. The new UN-backed sustainable development goals, aimed at ending poverty

On the Road to COP21, New Funds Shift the Risks of Climate Investing

As the risks of failing to invest in responses to climate change become clear, pension funds and other big private investors are taking advantage of innovative financing mechanisms to move forward with hundreds of millions of dollars to fund climate solutions. As next month’s pivotal climate conference in Paris approaches, the commitments to the new “climate funds” represent

Convergence Seeks to Blend Public and Private Investment for Global Development

The world is awash in money for sustainable development. Not the relatively few billions in public-sector foreign aid or philanthropy — the $218 trillion private capital market.  A new matchmaking platform aims to help leverage the former to get at the latter by facilitating so-called “blended” capital structures to increase the flow of development capital to developing countries. The