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HCAP exits Vertical Management Systems

California private equity firm HCAP Partners, an advocate for employee development and financial security, sold its stake in the technology innovation company to NewSpring Holdings. HCAP took a stake in VMS in 2011 to develop its Retirement Revolution platform, which simplies 401(k)s, cuts transactions costs for retirees, and helps small businesses. Last week HCAP announced

Micro-Franchises Offer Global Entrepreneurs a Proven Business-in-a-Box

Developing-world entrepreneurs are creating their own jobs without having to start their own companies. Instead, they are adopting proven models in education, health care and renewable energy and building badly needed distribution channels as franchisees. Micro-franchising is emerging as a resilient and more reality-based alternative to standalone startups as a way to create jobs and

Pakistani emigrants back entrepreneurs back home

Pakistani emigrants back entrepreneurs back home As one of the “best hidden” frontier markets, Pakistan’s homegrown startups are starved for capital. Sarmayacar, based in London, is tapping Pakistani expatriates in Singapore, New York and other finance capitals as well. The investor network’s seed fund syndicate has raised more than $3 million and made its first deal, a

Employee-owned businesses drive good jobs and fair wages

Co-operatives hold promise for a “human economy,” says Enrich Sahan, head of Oxfam’s private sector team. The report generated headlines for its finding that the world’s eight wealthiest men hold as much wealth as the bottom half of the global population. Employee-owned businesses are a way to reverse such concentration, Sahan argues, and need greater

New Nigerian development bank aims to fill small-business credit gap

Nigeria, with the largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa, is launching its own development bank. The Development Bank of Nigeria, conceived in 2014, is now capitalized with $1.3 billion from the World Bank, KfW, the African Development Bank and the Agence Française de Development. The bank aims to lower borrowing rates and lengthen loan tenures for

Funding Circle raises $100 million for business-loan matchmaking

Funding Circle, which has facilitated $3 billion in loans for small-and medium-businesses, raised another $100 million to build out its own platform. The San Francisco-based matchmaker says the 60,000 investors on the site lent more than $1.4 billion to small businesses in 2016, and $485 million in the fourth quarter alone, which it called “a

Social crowdfunding platform raises £50 million — from 10,000 investors

Ethex, set up in 2013 to make social investing accessible to average earners, has invested in 55 projects. It channels the funds into charities and social enterprises involved in initiatives such as small-scale renewable energy, microfinance, and affordable housing. Photo Credit: Petras Gagilas