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

Does for-profit edtech serve the students that need it most?

Does for-profit edtech serve the students that need it most? Venture capitalists have poured $2.3 billion into education technology startups since 2010. But most of the companies focus on already advantaged students. Shannon Farley of Fast Forward takes edtech investors to task for neglecting low-resource students. “The majority of paid products cannot reach the communities ripe for

Rwanda’s Kigali Farms secures AgDevCo loan to support mushroom farmers.

Rwanda’s Kigali Farms has secured a loan from AgDevCo to support mushroom farmers. The agribusiness sells mushroom growing kits to more than 1,700 smallholder farmers and buys back some of the harvest at a guaranteed price. The $450,000 loan from the UK-government-backed AgDevCo will help the company meet strong mushroom demand from retailers, hotels and

Steve Case wants to revolution-ize entrepreneurship in middle America

To reimagine agriculture, go where the farmers are. According to AOL founder Steve Case, many of the answers to how we eat, get around, consume energy and water and stay healthy will be found in the middle of the country. Case’s investment firm, Revolution LLC, has invested $840 million between the coasts and far from Silicon Valley. “Nearly

Elevar and Accion double down on CreditMantri to help Indian borrowers

The Chennai-based online credit management venture CreditMantri is close to closing a $7.6 million Series B round from its existing investors. Accion’s investment is through its Frontier Inclusion Fund, reflecting CreditMantri’s graduation from Accion’s Venture Lab, which helped seed the company’s $2.5 million raise in 2015. Elevar Equity, IDG Ventures India and Newid Capital also participated.

Bloomberg recruits Republicans to stake out a different immigration policy

Media mogul and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg has recruited Republicans as well as Democrats to help highlight the contributions of immigrants in all 435 congressional districts. The more than 100 roundtables and other events during this week’s congressional recess comes as the Trump administration rolls out plans to speed up deportation of undocumented immigrants. Immigrants

M-Pesa has a new competitor, and a 10-year head start

The Kenya Bankers Association is trying to catch up to M-Pesa’s runaway success with its own mobile money service, PesaLink. The consortium of big name banks participating may give the brand some clout, but M-Pesa could be a tough to dislodge. Launched in 2007 by Safaricom, Kenya’s biggest telecom, M-Pesa has over 25 million users