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Adobe Capital: “Missing Middle” Investments in Mexico

Mexico faces a shortage of 7 million homes for families at the bottom of the income scale. Barely 2 percent of Mexican students have access to college loans. Rodrigo Villar sees these as opportunities as much as problems. Villar has just closed on the first $15 million (of a $20 million goal) for the launch

E+Co Avoids Liquidation — Barely — and Emerges Persistent

Millions of dollars in bad loans have driven E+Co, one of the pioneers of impact investing, effectively out of business, offering a cautionary tale for those seeking to provide financing for large numbers of small and growing businesses as a strategy to accelerate sustainable development in low-income countries. After months of difficult negotiations with its

Letter from Nairobi: Vanity Capital and Vanity Companies

NAIROBI – Here at ground zero for the new era of African innovation, investors are learning what an impact investing “bubble” looks like. Too much money, too few investment-ready companies. Lots of hype, uncertain impact. The city’s start-up scene has been hyped by international media celebrations of catchy and simplistic narratives: women programmers helping farmers,

SevaMob: Convertible Loan to Replicate Health Care Model

Shelley Saxena used capital and intellectual property from his Atlanta-based tech startup to bootstrap the launch of SevaMob, which is building a distribution system for low-cost preventive health services in Lucknow, the Uttar Pradesh district where he was born. Now the Cornell MBA has taken his first outside investment, a $50,000 convertible note from Village

$1.5 million for mobile app to boost African farm incomes

Virtual City, a mobile-technology company based in Nairobi, is redesigning its agricultural supply-chain system to help small farmers raise their incomes, through $1.5 million in convertible debt financing from Acumen Fund. The deal, announced last week, is an example of how financing from impact investors can help ventures in the developing world re-focus their existing

Entrepreneurs in Africa 1 of XX

The Kauffman Foundation is bullish on entrepreneurship in Africa and will push it at the African Innovation Summit at the end of the week: Governments in the region seem to be valuing bottom-up movements for entrepreneurship in their efforts to set in motion a long-term economic growth strategy. According to the 2012 Doing Business report