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Teaching social business goes mainstream

Nearly half of the top 50 business schools worldwide now have programs focused on social impact, according to Bridgespan Group. Socially conscious millennials, combined with an increasing body of evidence that social responsibility doesn’t hurt (and may even help) long-term profitability, means more business schools are adding impact to their curriculum. “I am a big

Young, Local and Social: A Latin American Formula for Inclusive Growth

An entrepreneurial culture, a youthful population and, paradoxically, still-high social inequality, are driving business opportunities throughout Latin America. Such local businesses may make the region more resilient in the face of increasingly protectionist policies that may be coming from Washington. Rodrigo Villar, founding director of New Ventures Mexico, says the apparent hostility towards Mexico from

EXEO raises $100 million to fill Africa food investment gap

Rapid urbanization, buy-local opportunities and increased precision on African farms are creating private-equity investment opportunities. The Pan-African firm EXEO Capital raised more than $100 million in the first close of Agri-Vie Fund II. The new fund continues the same investment thesis as EXEO’s first fund, which has committed $100 million to a dozen food processing

South African pilots social impact bond for low-interest student loans

South Africa is piloting a social impact in an attempt to make education more affordable after student protests over tuition hikes that most middle-income families can’t afford. The government has raised 200 million rand ($15 million) to begin piloting its Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme for 2,000 students in 2018. The program will offer low-interest loans to

More than a half-million apprenticeships bridge the skills gap

The 130,000 apprenticeships that have been registered in the past two years bring the U.S. total to 505,000. Once common in skilled trades and manufacturing before these sectors went into decline, apprenticeships in the U.S. are making a comeback, fueled by $265 million in federal funding last year. Amazon last week said it would train 10,000 U.S.

Aqua-Spark investors Love the Wild seafood meal kits

The Dutch sustainable aquaculture fund Aqua-Spark invested $2.5 million in LoveTheWild, a Boulder, Colo., startup that sells six (mostly) sustainably-farmed fish and sauce combinations in cook-at-home kits. LovetheWild plans to grow its distribution to 6000 stores (up from 600 now) and move to sourcing 100 percent of its farmed fish sustainably. It’s the first consumer

Agtech deals were up but total funding fell in 2016

Farms are being “teched up” to make feeding the world (9.7 billion people by 2050!) more sustainable and profitable. The number of venture investments in agriculture technology, or agtech, was up 10 percent last year versus a 24 percent drop in global VC deal activity, according to AgFunder’s 2016 report. Total agtech funding, however, fell