ImpactAlpha Open | August 15, 2023

ImpactAlpha Open: Africa’s solar standouts + Hiro Mizuno’s next act

Dennis Price

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ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

impactalpha open logo aug. 15

Hi there, Agents of Impact! Welcome to the latest ImpactAlpha Open, your weekly dose of top news and opportunities in impact investing.

Two quick to-dos: one invitation and one quick request.

👋 Join The Call: Indigenizing catalytic capital. On next week’s call, Kate Finn of First Peoples Worldwide, Navajo Power’s Brett Isaac, Siċaŋġu Co’s Clay Colombe and other Agents of Impact will dive into the challenges of and opportunities for investing in Native communities, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm London. RSVP today (we’ve made this subscriber-only event open to all thanks to support from the Catalytic Capital Consortium).

🤝 Let’s meet up. The fall conference season is around the corner and ImpactAlpha is on the beat. Let us know which events you’re attending and we’ll keep you in the loop on our subscriber-only events. Quick survey.

In this week’s Open:

  • Africa’s solar standouts
  • Lending on character, not credit
  • Hiro Mizuno’s next act
  • Employee ownership edge

Let’s get to it.  – Dennis Price

Top impact investing news on ImpactAlpha

  • Africa’s solar standouts. Makers, distributors and financiers of small-scale solar products raised nearly $550 million in the first seven months of the year. San Francisco-based d.light’s new debt facility of up to $125 million move outstanding customer loans off of its balance sheet, freeing up capital to finance new customers, reports Jessica Pothering.

    • Healthcare innovation in Africa. Healthcare providers in the US and UK are recruiting health professionals from Africa. “The continent needs to severely invest in the training and retention of the healthcare workforce,” writes Ayotunde Aladejana of Founders Factory Africa, which this week secured $114 million in funding.
  • Character over credit. “Character-based lending promotes a new, community-informed understanding of who is considered investable by empowering lenders around evaluation and decision-making,” Ana Ramos and Eric Horvath write in a report on Common Future’s pilot lending program.
  • Pakistan mangrove revival. The South Asian country is defying the record of failure in many mangrove restoration projects with Delta Blue Carbon, which aims to rehabilitate nearly 900,000 acres of mangrove forests, Marcello Rossi reports for ImpactAlpha.
  • Amazon alliance. Eight South American countries agreed to a common agenda for protecting the vast Amazon forest they share, details Amy Cortese.

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Agents of Impact

Samuel Yeboah agent of impact image

🌍 Samuel Yeboah, Mirepa Investment Advisors: Helping Africans invest in Africa

‘Impact fund manager’ was an unexpected career trajectory for the chemical engineer, who spent his early career in the US working for biotech companies Merck and Amgen. With Mirepa Investment Advisors, Samuel Yeboah is mobilizing local pension funds, insurance companies and other investors to invest in Ghana’s undercapitalized small businesses. 

🏃🏿‍♀️ On the move

  • Hiro Mizuno, former chief investment officer of Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, was named special advisor to the CEO of MSCI.
  • Damien Wilson, ex- of WD Advisors, joined Reinvestment Fund as a senior director for the HBCU Brilliance Fund.
  • Christian Rosenholm, formerly an ESG advisor for the Export and Investment Fund of Denmark, joins the GIIN as director of institutional engagement.

Six Short Signals: What We’re Reading

💚 Youthful climate plaintiffs. A Montana judge’s landmark ruling found that young people have a constitutional right to a healthy environment and that the state must consider potential climate damage when approving projects. (The New York Times)

🏞️ Indigenous stewardship. How Indigenous Peoples care for land plays an outsize role in biodiversity protection, climate-change mitigation and other ecosystem services. Access to capital is key to their ability to protect their land from industrial development. (The Nature Conservancy)

👩🏽‍🦱🧑🏼‍🦱👨🏾‍🦲👩🏻‍ Diversity in private equity. Chief investment officers of institutional investors told researchers they would allocate twice as much capital to more gender diverse (and otherwise equal) private equity firms. They would allocate 2.6x more capital to more racially diverse teams. (McKinsey)

💰 Employee ownership edge. When Simon & Schuster’s chief executive explained to staff why KKR had won the $1.6 billion auction for the publisher, he touted the private equity firm’s pledge to let employees “participate in the benefits of ownership.” (Financial Times)

📈 Simpler impact metrics. Novata’s data platform has integrated GIIN’s IRIS+ impact metrics to help fund managers select metrics, understand their impact and communicate it to investors. (GIIN)

👑 First-time, women of color fund managers. “We strongly believe in the transformative leadership of women of color,” writes Leticia Corona of Candide Group’s Olamina Fund in the first part of an interview of NDN Fund’s Kim Pate and Olamina’s Leslie Lindo. (Candide Group)

Get in the Game

💼 Step up

  • Opportunity Finance Network is hiring a senior investment officer in Washington, DC for its climate and green lending programs.
  • Founders First Capital Partners is hiring a chief credit officer in San Diego.
  • Quantified Ventures seeks an associate director of water and climate finance.

Scan through dozens of more impact jobs curated on

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