Freeformers raises £1.2 million to support workforce development

Freeformers, a London-based startup, offers training and coaching to help job seekers “increase their chances of being employable, successful and productive in a digital world.” The £1.2 million ($1.7 million) investment was made by impact investment firm Impact Ventures UK. Freeformers partners with large companies like Barclays and Tesco, a supermarket chain. It offers free training

Pension funds demand climate risk disclosure, a New Orleans revival, Mark Cuban’s student debt…

Greetings, ImpactAlpha readers! #Featured: ImpactAlpha Original No Excuses: Pension funds tell companies to account for, disclose, and reduce carbon risk. It’s been easy for some corporations to reach for reasons not to act on climate change, or at least not to tell anybody what they’re doing. Not anymore. The “Investor Agenda” presented at the biannual

SANAD makes $10 million loan for Egypt’s small businesses

Inclusive Economy The fund has issued about $350 million in loans since 2011 Sanad Fincluders Startup Challenge Amman 2017 | PC: EU Neighbours SANAD, a microfinance investor, issued the loan to Egypt’s sixth largest bank, Banque du Cirque, to increase lending to small businesses. In Egypt, more than 2.5 million small businesses are responsible for more

Grameen America closes first microfinance impact fund

The U.S. affiliate of Muhammad Yunus’ Grameen Bank has raised $11 million for its Social Business Fund. The fund will expand lending to financially underserved women entrepreneurs across the bank’s 20 U.S. branches. Grameen America launched in 2008 and has disbursed more than $820 million in small, short-term loans, starting as small as $1,500. Repayment

Moeda brings blockchain to small-business lending in rural Brazil

Moeda launched last year out of a UN hackathon with the idea of using blockchain to improve efficiency in small business lending. It lends to enterprises contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including energy access, financial inclusion, sustainable agriculture and food security. Moeda has allocated $1.5 million to invest in rural Brazilian businesses through a

Margaret Bradley: Turning Philadelphia institutions into impact investors

New Revivalists is a series from ImpactAlpha and Village Capital profiling the people, places and policies reviving entrepreneurship — and the American Dream. New Revivalist: Margaret Bradley is director of investment partnership, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, a state-backed economic development investor that manages ImpactPHL VenturesPlace: PhiladelphiaMission: ImpactPHL Ventures raised $15 million from seven universities, health insurers, pension funds