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Grassroots Business Fund eyes regional fund strategies

Inclusive Economy The international impact investment firm is developing two funds for Africa and Latin America PC: Grassroots Business Fund Grassroots Business Fund is developing two funds for Africa and Latin America based on lessons learned from its first $49 million fund. The global impact investment firm invests — mostly through mezzanine debt — in businesses generating income and cost savings for

‘Labor-lens investors’ are disrupting exploitative supply chains

Working to end forced labor and poor conditions in global supply chains in not new. What’s new are the growing number of “labor-lens” investors betting on strategies for ending exploitative working practices. Disrupting the $51 billion in profits reaped from goods made with forced labor, including about 25 million people in modern slavery conditions and

Shalaka Joshi: The case for embedding gender in business decisions (video)

Shalaka Joshi is the South Asia “gender lead” of the International Finance Corp., the private-finance arm of the World Bank. So she can tick off the impact of the IFC’s Banking on Women initiative, which has mobilized more than $1.3 billion to help get 50 banks in 34 countries lending to women-owned small businesses. With a

From mandates to metrics: Making a gender lens investment strategy real

The ripple effects of the #MeToo movement are spilling over into investors’ portfolios. Are investors prepared to turn public awareness of gender bias into proactive investment strategies? In the past month, sexual harassment allegations against Steve Wynn and Paul Marciano led to nearly 20% declines in stock prices of the companies they founded. Private companies

Gun money roundup

(Editor’s note: Add all updates in comments or in a note to TheBrief@impactalpha.com and I’ll add them in — db) Guns are the new carbon…or cigarettes…or South Africa. The $70 billion State of Michigan Retirement System sold its holdings in Olin Corp., maker of Winchester ammunition. New Jersey legislators will vote on a bill to ban guns from

Bridges takes majority stake in healthy school-meal provider Innovate Services

Bridges Fund Management has taken a majority stake in healthy school-meal provider Innovate Services. Innovate caters healthy meals to 90,000 primary and secondary school students in 120 schools across England. Bridges, a London-based impact investor, says the school-meals sector can improve education and health outcomes; studies tie nutritious meals to positive behavior and school performance. “Promoting

Cephus raises $51 million for high-growth Ethiopian businesses

The new private-equity fund will back small and growing Ethiopian businesses with a focus on manufacturing, agro-processing and services. Growth-stage companies have the potential to create millions of jobs in Ethiopia, Africa’s second-largest country by population, according to the World Bank. The Cephus fund is not impact-focused, but it aims to address the funding gap for