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RSF’s New Funds for Soil Health, Biodynamic Ag, Fair Trade and Women-Led Businesses

Philanthropic funders are working to close the funding gap for social startups with a new mix of flexible investment tools. RSF Social Finance, for example, plans to launch four new funds focused on fair trade, biodynamics, soil health, and women. The new funds are modeled after RSF’s Local Initiatives Fund, which was launched in 2012 to

Chia Ting Ting: The Business Force Behind Malaysia’s Digital News Leader

Chia Ting Ting, the top advertising executive at Malaysia’s largest online news portal, appreciates something that many press advocates overlook: independent journalism requires financial independence as well. When Malaysiakini does a story on modern day slavery in Malaysia, for example, its newsroom is rightfully praised. Rarely acknowledged, however, are the behind-the-scenes staff that create the

Mabel Cáceres: Giving Peruvians a Voice with Independent Journalism and Media

Mabel Cáceres was through with Peru’s president interfering with her reporting. So she launched her news business. Seeking to hold onto and extend his power, President Alberto Fujimori’s administration was dedicated to manipulating the press. A broad government campaign – including death threats, abductions and libel suits – intimidated many in the media into self-censorship and

Natasa Tesanovic: Building a TV Business to Help Rebuild Bosnia and Herzegovina

For the last two decades Natasa Tesanovic’s TV station has challenged a nation to face its violent past and reconcile issues that would otherwise tear it apart. Her independent media outfit has succeeded in a patriarchal society, accustomed to partisan news, for two main reasons: a well-run business and courageous, professional journalists—most of whom happen to

The Women Effect in Independent Media: Tough Entrepreneurs in Tough Environments

Editor’s note: The Women Effect in Independent Media series highlights women in media building commercially viable, independent, news businesses in environments hostile to the press. Released in recognition of World Press Freedom Day, ImpactAlpha and the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) presented the series in three parts. Part I: Natasa Tesanovic’s TV business is helping to rebuild

This Woman May be the Most Successful Impact Angel Investor You’ve Never Heard Of

The February ribbon cutting for Gigawatt Global’s new $24 million solar field in Rwanda was an impact investment showcase. More than 28,000 solar panels, arranged in the shape of the African continent, added six percent to the entire country’s electricity production. Gigawatt Global, an American-owned Dutch company, completed the project in less than a year

Root Capital: Women-Led Businesses Boost Farmer Incomes and Social Outcomes

Root Capital, a nonprofit lender to farmer associations and agricultural businesses in Africa and Latin America, seeks borrowers that will both repay their loans and strengthen their communities. That’s why, increasingly, it lends to women. The Nahuala coffee cooperative in the highlands of Guatemala is the kind of growing rural agricultural business Root seeks out.