Publish What You Fund

A movement is afoot to liberate global-development investment data to provide not only accountability, but opportunity maps, market research and effectiveness indicators, providing new visibility into possibilities for collaboration and innovation. Though much of the current development data is public, from foreign-aid budgets, development agencies and public-sector sources, the effort provides something of a roadmap

Risk and Reward in Taking On Homelessness and Recidivism

Shifting the risk for delivering measureable social progress from government to private investors is supposed to be one of the key features of “social impact bonds,” a promising new way to finance programs tackling nitty-gritty challenges such as homelessness and prison recidivism (see “How Financial Innovation Can Save the World”). But investors have been wary

Sizing the Impact Investing Market

A new crop of private equity investors are seeking — and measuring — social impact in their portfolios without lowering their expectations for financial returns. Such “double bottom line” investors fueled the growth of private equity impact funds, to a total of $4 billion in assets under management, according to a new survey by PCV

Transparent Deal Data for Impact Investors

Everybody is in favor of open data, it seems, except when it comes to their own. So it is in impact investing, where many investors say limited information about financial results and social and environmental impacts is keeping significant capital on the sidelines. But that doesn’t mean they’ll disclose their own results or deal terms.

Hedging with Impact Investments?

I was intrigued by a line in the piece in the  Financial Times by Alex Friedman, the chief investment officer at UBS and Patty Stonesifer, the former head of the Gates Foundation that urged investment managers and banks to step up their impact investing activity: “In today’s low-yield investment climate, impact investing is becoming more

$1.5 million for mobile app to boost African farm incomes

Virtual City, a mobile-technology company based in Nairobi, is redesigning its agricultural supply-chain system to help small farmers raise their incomes, through $1.5 million in convertible debt financing from Acumen Fund. The deal, announced last week, is an example of how financing from impact investors can help ventures in the developing world re-focus their existing

Entrepreneurs in Africa 1 of XX

The Kauffman Foundation is bullish on entrepreneurship in Africa and will push it at the African Innovation Summit at the end of the week: Governments in the region seem to be valuing bottom-up movements for entrepreneurship in their efforts to set in motion a long-term economic growth strategy. According to the 2012 Doing Business report