Aavishkar to launch $150 million Africa fund

The India-based impact investor will focus on low-income customers for products and services in agriculture, finance, education, energy and healthcare. Aavishkar will make investments of $500,000 to $5 million in major East and West African markets. Fundraising will begin mid-2017. Photo Credit: Engineers Without Borders Canada

Can robo-advisors identify social and environmental investments?

Automated financial tools can help everyday earners to manage their savings and retirement funds on the cheap. A new wave of bots are now screening for positive environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors as well. Falcons Rock Investment Counsel’s new Prophecy Impact Investments “combines socially responsible investing and online automation.” Others with ESG apps: San

Impact investing is going mainstream, really

Impact investing is going mainstream. So says The Economist. As evidence, the publication cites big-name investment firms that have launched “impact” divisions (BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital, TPG) or appeared at impact events (TIAA, PGGM, AXA). Not coincidentally, the magazine is sponsoring its own impact investing event next month. Still, impact investing represents only about

Ellen Pao to lead tech diversity effort at Kapor

Fresh from her lawsuit against her old firm, Kleiner Perkins, Pao will take a more forward-looking position with Kapor Capital’s Center for Social Impact. The venture capitalist will lead an effort to drive more women and minorities into tech, and into VC, where women make up 45 percent of the sector but only 11 percent

German social impact investor backs Ghanaian small business lender with $2 million

The loan is part of Invest in Visions’ microfinance group’s $5 million commitment to Ghana’s Beige Capital Savings and Loans, which offers banking, pension, insurance and investment services to small and mid-size businesses. Photo credit: Beige Capital

Plouffe jumps from Uber to Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

David Plouffe, who managed President Obama’s historic 2008 campaign, is leaving Uber to lead CZI’s policy and advocacy work. The $45 billion organization, founded by Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, is looking to shift government healthcare research spending. Plouffe will work alongside Ken Mehlman, former head of the Republican National Committee,

Why Small Businesses, Not Big Companies, May Be the Future of Employment

President-elect Trump has claimed some high-profile job wins with big companies. But the future of employment is in small businesses. Carrier, Fiat, Ford and others have all recently pledged to create or keep jobs in the U.S. “I think a lot of industries are going to be coming back,” Trump declared at his press conference.