The Brief | July 11, 2018

Impact opportunity in Brazil, water loans for El Salvador, refugee impact at the Vatican, artificial intelligence for the global goals

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Featured: Impact Voices

Local leaders in Brazil look for investments in social impact. A nationwide trucker strike protesting diesel price increases had ended only days earlier. Recession and austerity policies were pressuring Brazil’s middle class. President Michel Temer’s government is under fire, much like his predecessors’. That was the context for last months gathering of more than a thousand representatives from government, business, and civil society for the third “Forum de Finanças Sociais e Negócios de Impacto.”

“In São Paulo and increasingly across Brazil, local leaders believe that social finance can fuel an entrepreneurial revolution to reduce historical inequality, preserve of the country’s natural resources, and enable sustainable development,” writes Social Ventures Partners’ Julia Wilkinson, president of the board for Finance for Good Brazil. In a dispatch for ImpactAlpha, Wilkinson notes signs of progress:

Read, “Local leaders in Brazil look for investments in social impact,” by Julia Wilkinson on ImpactAlpha.

Dealflow: Follow the Money

Catholic Relief Services targets loans for clean, reliable water in El Salvador. The humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community worked with the Inter-American Development Bank to create Azure Source Capital to finance improvements in water delivery in El Salvador’s growing urban areas. The partners launched the fund with $10 million in equity and debt and expect to raise $25 million and to expand efforts around Central America. Total Impact Capital will manage the fund, one of Catholic Relief Services’ first investment vehicles. In recent weeks, protesters have demonstrated in San Salvador against the “privatization” of public water utilities. Read on.

3B Ventures launches artificial intelligence-driven SDG fund. The Danish venture capital firm invests in startups addressing the Sustainable Development Goals with blockchain, smart sensors and virtual and augmented reality. The firm has secured $12 million towards its $60 million target for Frontier Fund II, 3B Ventures James Digby told DealStreet Asia. Previous investments include drone-based agtech startup Agrieye and 5th Element, an early-stage company. More on the new fund.

Signals: Ahead of the Curve

At the Vatican, investors target the unfortunate growth market in refugees and migrants. At the Third Vatican Conference on Impact Investing in Rome this week, refugees and migrants were top of mind both on the panels and in the halls. Catholic teachings and the words of Pope Francis were intertwined with talk of investment vehicles and risk and return metrics.  “We’re seeing the emergence of a new sector, one with high moral clarity,” said the Miller Center’s Thane Kreiner. Kois Invest is closing a social impact bond for job and entrepreneurial support for Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. Kiva’s World Refugee Fund which has raised $7 million, is aiming for $30 million by 2020. The track record of early entrants “allows commercial investors to enter the market,” says investor John Kluge, a founder of the Refugee Investor Network. “That’s what we’re going to see more of.” Carol Clouse reports from Rome.

Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent

Michael Bloomberg will host business and political leaders at the Global Business Forum during the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly on September 26Opportunity Finance Network is seeking community finance leaders for its board of directors… The Kresge and Rockefeller foundations are accepting letters of inquiry for Opportunity Zone funding through Monday, July 16.

July 11, 2018.