Entrepreneurial Spark accelerates $188 million in follow-on funding

The 1,700 businesses that have been through Entrepreneurial Spark’s free programs at a dozen hubs in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have attracted £151 million ($188 million) in additional investment and created 3,152 new jobs, according to the firm’s annual impact report. NatWest, KPMG Enterprise, Dell Technologies and Pinsent Masons support Entrepreneurial Spark to help

Can Europe go coal-free?

By 2030, solar and wind power will be the cheapest source of new electricity in most parts of the world, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. But wide adoption of renewables for new generation won’t be enough. To keep temperature from rising more than 2-degrees Celsius — the goal of global climate accord reached in Paris — Europe needs

Italy moves to catch up to France in green bonds

Climate Finance A recent study of how to spur private investment in environmental and climate change initiatives recommended Italy establish a national green bond development committee. Green bonds hit a record high in 2016, rising to $81 billion, and France just issued its first green bond — the largest ever, owing to strong investor interest. “Strengthening the

Development banks back affordable mortgages in Serbia

Fewer than seven percent of adults in emerging economies have access to housing finance, according to the International Finance Corporation. The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) has extended a €20 million ($21.4 million) line of credit to UniCredit Bank to drive mortgage lending in Serbia. EFSE is backed by German development bank KfW and a

Armenia to open bids for its first solar power plant

Climate Finance Armenia is building out its renewable energy capacity. Construction on the South Caucasus country’s first ever solar plant is expected to begin in 2017 and be completed by 2020. The 40 to 50-megawatt plant in the east-central part of the country is part of a $58 million program to improve the country’s capacity for

EXEO raises $100 million to fill Africa food investment gap

Rapid urbanization, buy-local opportunities and increased precision on African farms are creating private-equity investment opportunities. The Pan-African firm EXEO Capital raised more than $100 million in the first close of Agri-Vie Fund II. The new fund continues the same investment thesis as EXEO’s first fund, which has committed $100 million to a dozen food processing

Fossil-fuel divestment is not just prudent asset-management. It’s the law.

Climate Finance The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund could soon be required to divest from fossil fuels. The Irish Parliament voted 90 to 53 to pass a bill requiring its public investment fund to divest its €8 billion ($8.6 billion) in coal, oil and gas investments over the next five years. The bill is likely to become