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Big Society Capital backs UK housing innovation competition

U.K. National Housing Federation, a nonprofit that advocates for better neighborhood housing, is looking for new ideas for how low-cost public and private housing associations can better respond to community challenges. The competition is backed with £15 million ($20 million) from Big Society Capital. Other impact investors are supporting efforts to improve the U.K.’s low-income housing

Credit Suisse launches impact investing division

The Swiss bank, an early mover in supporting other impact investment firms, is opening its own impact investing division, called Impact Advisory and Finance. It will be headed by Marisa Drew, who has served as co-head of Europe, Middle East and Africa investment banking and capital markets for the bank. Leading the new division, Drew will report

Denmark launches fund to mobilize $5 billion for the Global Goals

The $1 billion SDG Investment Fund aims to attract $5 billion from private investors over the next four years to tackle the U.N.’s 2030 agenda in low- and middle-income countries. “I hope pension funds will join in, but we’re not there yet,” the Danish minister for Development Cooperation said in an interview (paywall). Still $5

Taking the long view in Provence

A week ago only, I walked across a two-thousand-year-old bridge in the town of Vaison-la-Romaine in the South of France, in search of memories from an increasingly distant youth. The bridge was built by the Romans in the first century BC to support trade activity around the river. Today it’s used by cars and pedestrians alike,

Nesta’s Arts Impact Fund backs creative companies and art entrepreneurs

The arts and creative community has largely been ignored by impact investors. Nesta launched the Arts Impact Fund in 2015 to meet demand for loans among the arts community. The U.K. foundation has loaned £2.4 million ($3.1 million) to eight organizations from its £7 million Arts Impact Fund, doubling its portfolio. The new crop of

Another European pension fund launches SDG and green bond funds

Luxembourg’s €17.1 billion ($20 billion) public pension fund is the latest to join the trend among European pension funds and institutional investors to align investments with the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals. Luxembourg’s Fonds de Compensation is developing a €50 to €100 million equity fund aligned with the SDGs and a green bond fund of the

Peterborough social impact bond becomes a proof point

By Dennis Price and David Bank Fewer prisoners are returning to prison in Peterborough, England. That represents a success for the city, the ex-offenders, and the investors who backed the world’s first social impact bond, which financed a comprehensive post-release program. Social impact bonds have so far generated more breathless expectation than actual capital. The success