Hi there, Agents of Impact! Welcome to this week’s ImpactAlpha Open, your weekly guide to the impact economy.
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In this week’s newsletter:
- Banking impact;
- Gender + climate;
- Regenerative economy; and
- Amplifying diverse voices in Hollywood.
Let’s get to it. – Dennis Price
Must-reads on ImpactAlpha
- Banking impact. If Silicon Valley Bank’s failure exposed systemic risks in the banking system, the weekend’s mobilization also highlighted the resourcefulness of a distributed network of lenders, fund managers and advocates, report ImpactAlpha’s David Bank, Amy Cortese and Jessica Pothering.
- Gender + climate. Suzanne Biegel(here) and Sana Kapadia (here) of 2X Global infuse a gender + climate thesis in their report on the climate solutions to be found in frontline communities in both rich and poor countries.
- Journalist Bill Spindle kicks off his climate coverage for ImpactAlpha with a report on the just energy transition in India even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi makes climate financing a major initiative for the G-20.
- Aspen Digital’s Elizabeth Vivirito and Hazami Barmada argue that gender+tech can be harnessed to recoup the $1 trillion that has been shaved from the GDP of low- and middle-income countries in the last decade by women’s exclusion from digital opportunities.
- Shaking up the gatekeepers. At the Sorenson Impact Summit, Impact Engine’s Priya Parrish, Elevar Equity’s Amie Patel, Corbin Capital’s Courtney Birnbaum and RPCK’s Chintan Panchal shared eight ways to transform asset management for impact with David Bank.
- Stakeholder governance. Purpose trusts and other structures can help make real progress on corporate environmental and social performance, advocates Jasper van Brakel of RSF Social Finance.
- Catalytic capital. A systems approach to leveraging catalytic capital is core to building business ecosystems that are lifting livelihoods in Africa, Small Foundation’s Karina Wong writes as part of our Sustaining Impact series with the Catalytic Capital Consortium.
Sponsored by CalCEF Innovations
Seeking proposals for a China climate ETF or mutual fund
California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF) Innovations, a nonprofit public benefit corporation, is seeking proposals from sustainable financial advisors and fund management companies that specialize in the development of climate-aligned exchange-traded funds and mutual funds, as well as the marketing of those investment products to U.S.-based retail and institutional investors.
- The purpose of the request for proposals is to expand China-focused, climate-aligned investment product offerings for the U.S. market through the development of a climate-friendly fund product – in the form of an ETF, index fund or mutual fund, which tracks a designated climate index. The RFP will offer a sponsorship of up to $300,000 to deliver the fund. All work required for regulatory approval must be concluded by October 31, 2023.
- How to apply. All proposals must be submitted by Friday, March 31.
Agents of Impact
🌱 Laura Ortiz Montemayor, Regenera Ventures and SVX Mexico: Stewarding capital for Mexico’s regenerative economy
Laura Ortiz Montemayor is not on board with decarbonization. “Carbon is key to life. It’s a cycle that we need to balance,” she says. “That’s very different from decarbonizing.” At the impact advisory firm SVX Mexico, Ortiz and her team have helped direct $45 million into strategies and projects in Mexico’s “regenerative economy.” With the launch of Regenera Ventures, she’s looking to raise $25 million to make equity investments to support 18,000 smallholder farmers working more than 65,000 acres of land across Mexico.
- Keep reading, “Laura Ortiz Montemayor: Stewarding capital for Mexico’s regenerative economy,” by Jessica Pothering and share the story on Instagram.
🏃🏿♀️ On the move
- US SIF names Maria Lettini as its chief executive officer. Lettini, currently executive director of FAIRR Initiative, will succeed Lisa Woll starting May 15.
- Kieron Boyle, ex- of Guy’s & St. Thomas’ Foundation, was named chief executive officer of the Impact Investing Institute.
- 2150 promoted Rahul Parekh to partner and Margarita Skarkou to principal.
🎧 On the podcast
Impact Engine’s Priya Parrish joins David Bank to explain how purpose-built asset management firms deliver better impact outcomes than merely purpose-driven ones. Host Brian Walsh has the headlines.
- Listen to the latest episode, and follow all of ImpactAlpha’s podcasts on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen.
💸 Charles King’s Macro raises $90 million to amplify diverse voices in Hollywood
Hollywood super agent turned entrepreneur and investor Charles King created Macro in 2015 to put voices and perspectives of persons of color in front of mass audiences (see, “Agent of Impact: Charles King”). The film and production company has delivered, with a slate of critical and financial successes that includes Blue Bayou, Judas and the Black Messiah, Mudbound, Just Mercy and Fences.
- BlackRock’s Impact Opportunities Fund led the latest funding round, which included funds managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Harbourview Equity Partners, as well as returning investors Emerson Collective and Essence Ventures.
- Check it out.
🌱 Agtech’s climate bump. Agrifoodtech categories with a climate angle, including bioenergy and biomaterials, ag biotech, farming systems and management software, saw an increase in funding year-over-year, even as funding in agrifood tech overall fell 44% to $29.6 billion. (AgFunderNews)
🌊 Reversing biodiversity loss. More than 190 countries have reached a deal to protect biodiversity of the world’s oceans, agreeing on a common framework for establishing new protected areas in international waters. (Washington Post)
✔️ Sustainability responsibilities. ESG reporting, overseeing sustainability projects and managing stakeholder relationships are among eight responsibilities of chief sustainability officers. (Harvard Business Review)
👩🏽🦱👨🏾 Young, Black and disruptive. While Black investors at the partner-level align with the industry trend of Ivy League representation, there is greater diversity in university pedigree among junior- and mid-level Black talent. (BLCK VC)
🎥 #Antihaul TikTok. “Deinfluencers,” who use social media to share things they believe people should stop buying, are sparking a conversation around climate change, consumption and equality. (Buzzfeed)
🚂 Pro- rail safety. The train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio has made odd bedfellows of Ohio Senators JD Vance and Sherrod Brown. (Washington Post)
Get in the Game
💼 Step up
- Low Carbon is recruiting an investments manager in San Francisco.
- New Story is hiring an impact investment director in Mexico City.
- LGT is looking for 20 or more global impact fellows.
Browse the full list of this week’s impact jobs on ImpactAlpha.com.
🎬 Take action
- Green Leadership Trust is looking for a researcher to produce a study on Black, Indigenous, and people of color, or BIPOC, leaders joining environmental and climate finance boards.
- The African Development Bank’s Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility launched a call for proposals for digital financial solutions fostering access, quality, and usage of financial services.
- Recast Capital launches Recast Accelerate with backing from Melinda Gates’ Pivotal Ventures to provide working capital to early-stage women-led venture funds.
🤝 Meet up
- Mar. 19: Sankalp Dhaka Summit 2023 (Dhaka, Bangladesh)
- Mar. 22-23: African Social Impact Changemakers Summit 2023 (Johannesburg, hybrid)
- Mar. 23: Natural Capital Investment (London)
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‘Til next Tuesday!