Sustainable agriculture in Africa is key to meeting Zero Hunger goal by 2030

Close to two-thirds of sub-Saharan Africa’s one billion people and 90 percent of the continent’s extreme poor make their living from agriculture, according to the latest Global Hunger Index. To fight hunger and help those most vulnerable, “stakeholders at all levels must continue to find ways to improve agricultural productivity, along with dietary diversity and

NSF seeds Couragion to boost STEM career education

The National Science Foundation is seeking to increase the pipeline of science, technology, engineering and math talent with investments in edtech startups that make such careers accessible — and cool — to underserved kids. Couragion, a Denver, Colo.-based startup is building an application to make learning about STEM careers fun and accessible through videos, games, and self-reflection quizzes. The

Small farmers are the future of food security

By Tanner Methvin, Partner in Impact Amplifier and Earth Capital Smallholder farmers have become the most important piece of the global agricultural system. Small farmers feed close to 80 percent of the total population in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa and support the livelihoods of nearly 2 billion people worldwide. This community of farmers sit at a

Two more startups raise seed capital to tackle food waste

Full Harvest, in San Francisco, has raised $2 million to support online sales of “ugly” produce — the goods grocers consider unfit for supermarket sales. The funding round was led by Wireframe Ventures and backed by BBG Ventures, Early Impact Ventures, Impact Engine, VC Radicle, and several angel investors. Founder Christine Mosley, formerly with fresh juice company

Minnesota foundations invest $17 million in affordable housing and small business bond

Minnesota foundations have invested $17 million in an affordable housing and small business bond. The McKnight and Bush foundations and the Otto Bremer Trust, along with other Minnesota foundations, are collaborating to back the Access Capital Community Investment Fund, a fixed-income bond fund managed by RBC Global Asset Management. The fund invests in mortgage-backed and municipal

Vermont Works has raises $50 million for state economic and job growth

Vermont Works has raised $50 million for the state’s economic and job growth. Vermont Works is targeting the state’s growth-stage companies. “When companies are out for growth-stage capital, that’s when the availability of capital in Vermont tends to stumble,” Robert Zulkoski, a co-founder of thefund, said in an interview. The new fund has made four investments,

S-Ray aims machine learning and big data at the sustainability of big businesses

Arabesque’s new S-Ray aims machine learning and big data at the sustainability of big businesses. The new tool will “capture vast amounts of sustainability information that now exists on companies,” and make it relevant to investors, says Georg Kell, a vice chair at Arabesque. The asset management firm’s S-Ray service, with free and paid versions,