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E+Co Avoids Liquidation — Barely — and Emerges Persistent

Millions of dollars in bad loans have driven E+Co, one of the pioneers of impact investing, effectively out of business, offering a cautionary tale for those seeking to provide financing for large numbers of small and growing businesses as a strategy to accelerate sustainable development in low-income countries. After months of difficult negotiations with its

New Database of 50 Impact Fund Managers

You want to make some impact investments – who are you going to call? Impact Assets, a nonprofit financial services firm, has released the ImpactAssets 50, a compendium of fund managers with a demonstrated commitment to delivering social and environmental impacts along with financial returns. Fund managers must meet multiple criteria, have at least $5

Letter from Nairobi: Vanity Capital and Vanity Companies

NAIROBI – Here at ground zero for the new era of African innovation, investors are learning what an impact investing “bubble” looks like. Too much money, too few investment-ready companies. Lots of hype, uncertain impact. The city’s start-up scene has been hyped by international media celebrations of catchy and simplistic narratives: women programmers helping farmers,

Acumen Fund’s Transparent Experiment

Can impact investing survive the disclosure of impact investment performance? Few impact funds publicly report the operating results of their portfolio companies — even on an aggregated, anonymized basis. To be sure, accurate valuations of social enterprises can be hard to pin down. But there’s also fear that showcasing the real numbers might snuff the

Global Health Investment Fund Lifts Cap on Returns

Impact investors may not always get to have their cake and eat it, too, but they at least want to keep open that possibility. The Global Health Investment Fund I, a novel initiative to raise low-cost capital to develop drugs and vaccines for neglected diseases, is closing in on its interim fundraising goal of $50

Impact Investors Are Different

With 60 new impact investment funds created last year (up from 44 in 2010 and 20 in 2009), there’s an emerging body of knowledge about what works for limited partners, fund managers and investment advisors, not to mention the investees who actually deliver the impact. Nearly three dozen fund practitioners shared their insights with Cathy
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