Agora Partnerships stocks the pipeline of Latin American social business startups

The incoming class for Agora Partnerships’ accelerator program includes 31 companies from 12 countries in Latin America and Caribbean, including one from Haiti. Major themes include urban innovation, health access, ethical fashion, water and sanitation, clean tech, education for all and sustainable food and agriculture. This year Agora is adding training around the UN Sustainable Development

Billion-dollar firms tap talent

San Francisco-based Impact Community Capital, a $1 billion investment firm backed by leading insurers including Allstate, MetLife and State Farm made interim chief Jeff Brenner its permanent chief executive. ICC finances housing, community healthcare facilities and childcare centers in low-income communities across the U.S. Global impact investor Oikocredit, the Dutch lender to microfinance institutions worldwide with

Direct cash transfers show promise as anti-poverty tool

The evidence base is growing for the effectiveness of giving cash directly to the poor. A new report from Britain’s Independent Commission on Aid Impact (ICAI) found the U.K.’s cash transfer programs delivered “increasing incomes and consumption levels for the poorest households, with modest but positive effects on savings, asset accumulation and debt reduction.” In East

Will the next 20 years be defined by ‘islands,’ ‘orbits’ or ‘communities’?

Looking back from about 2030, the National Intelligence Council sketched our collective choices in its unclassified global trends report earlier this year. The report’s three scenerios lead to widely disparate outcomes. Will the next 20 years be defined by ‘islands,’ ‘orbits’ or ‘communities’? Islands. An economist looking back from 2028, two decades after the 2008

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

Move over microfinance. Mobile money is touted as the new magic bullet

Nearly four in every 10 dollars from impact funds targeting emerging markets in 2015 went to microfinance, but access to small amounts of credit hasn’t been the panacea for poverty that was promised. Fuller access to a variety of financial services enabled through mobile phones, is the future, says Kusi Hornberger, a vice president at

A picture emerges of widening income inequality in the U.S.

“Average income” can be misleading when the midpoint looks like a liveable wage, but the stretch between the lowest and highest salaries is growing. An interactive graphic shows how income spreads have grown. In 1960, income levels in particular sectors tended to cluster; today, levels are spread across a wider pay spectrum, particularly for higher skill jobs.