ImpactAlpha Open | October 17, 2023

ImpactAlpha Open: Child-lens investing + State of the Field

Dennis Price

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ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

Hi there, Agents of Impact! 

Welcome to ImpactAlpha Open, our free weekly roundup of top news and opportunities in impact investing and sustainable finance. ImpactAlpha’s Cesar Chávez and I are in Medellín this week for Pro Mujer’s GLI Latam Forum. Amy Cortese will be at Phenix Capital’s Impact Summit America in New York. Say hi!

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In this week’s Open:

  • Child-lens investing
  • Bridging water gaps
  • Repricing risk in muni markets
  • State of the Field

Ok, let’s jump in. – Dennis Price

Must-reads on ImpactAlpha

  • Boosting women’s access to capital. On ImpactAlpha, WhiteLabel Impact’s Christina Campbell-Zausner and Emily Brearley argued for systemic changes to increase funding for women-led enterprises in emerging markets. Go deeper.
  • Child-lens investing. Unicef is pushing for business and investment to adopt a “child lens” to better identify and account for impact on children. Learn all about it.
  • Bridging water gaps. In the US, philanthropic and private investors are moving to build community capacity in Black, Brown and Native communities to bridge “water gaps” exacerbated by climate change, as Andrea Riquier reports. Read the story.
  • Repricing risk in muni markets. Research led by Erika Smull of Breckinridge Capital Advisors documents the mispricing of climate and race-related risks in municipal bond markets that makes it costlier for Black communities to finance resilience upgrades. Get smart quickly.
  • Transcending wealth supremacy. From baby bonds to public banks, Marjorie Kelly lays out multiple pathways to “ensure capital would no longer be in control of, but in service to, life.” Get Marjorie’s take.

Agents of Impact

🏃🏾‍♀️ People on the move

  • Kapor Capital promotes Batul Joffrey to principal.
  • Kelsey Jarrett, ex- of ESG and impact consulting firm Malk Partners, joins SJF Ventures as director of impact.
  • Opportunity Finance Network promots Dafina Williams to chief external affairs officer.

Impact Briefing

🎧 On the podcast

Unicef USA’s Cristina Shapiro joins David Bank to introduce child-lens investing, a framework for considering investment harms and benefits to children, who have too often been left out of investment decision-making. Host Brian Walsh has the headlines.

The Call

🎙️ On the Call

State of the Field: Unprecedented opportunity tempered by sober realism (video). Last week’s Agents of Impact Call continued a tradition, started a decade ago by Fran Seegull of the US Impact Investing Alliance, and now joined by Cathy Clark of Duke University and Monique Aiken of The Investment Integration Project (and an ImpactAlpha contributing editor), to round up the state of the impact investing field and assess where impact investing goes from here. “I’m actually an optimist,” Aiken said. “Because on the other side of risk-identification is clarity about the things we need to do and the work we need to collectively prioritize.”

Short Signals: What We’re Reading

📈 What private impact investors want. Nearly three in five wealthy private impact investors make some “catalytic” investments within their portfolio. Three-quarters perceive impact investments as being no riskier than traditional investments, according to a survey from the T100 Project at Toniic. Roughly two-thirds expect impact investments to generate commercial returns. (Toniic)

🛒 Is Ozempic bad for business? There’s anecdotal evidence that food consumption is down since the release of Ozempic, a diabetes drug that also suppresses addictive eating behavior. What does that mean for “universal owners,” institutions so broadly invested that they effectively “own the market”? (see, “Universal Owners”). “It would be a crowning achievement of postmodern capitalism if the corporate world, in aggregate, was able to make more money by charging people for not consuming stuff than it does by selling them stuff,” writes Bloomberg’s Matt Levine. (Bloomberg)

♀ Boosting women’s economic power. The Indian government’s investment of $15 billion in affordable credit for women has catalyzed over $90 billion from domestic financial institutions. Some of Africa’s largest economies are now experimenting with similar ideas. (Gates Foundation)

🤷 Republican climate confusion. Red states in the US are benefitting the most from clean energy investment stemming from the Biden administration’s landmark Inflation Reduction Act. But a new analysis finds that in the year since its passing, Republicans have voted 25 times to repeal provisions of the law, including 11 votes on the House floor and 14 votes in committees and subcommittees. (Climate Power)

⚡💸 Europe dominates environmental funds. Investors allocated roughly $32 billion to US climate funds as of the end of June, compared with $447 billion in Europe and $44 billion in China. The US currently represents just 6% of climate-fund assets. (Bloomberg)

🇹🇿 Climate finance in Tanzania. African nations are vying to increase their share of climate finance. Proceeds from 10-year bond of one trillion Tanzanian shillings ($400 million) from Tanzania’s NMB Bank kicked will finance projects in renewable energy, green transport and waste-water treatment. (Zawya)

Get in the Game

💼 Step up

  • Mission Driven Finance seeks a remote vice president of investment management.
  • Prime Coalition seeks a senior manager of impact in Boston.
  • In Singapore, Nuveen seeks an impact investing associate; Top Tier Impact is looking for a community operations intern.

NEW! Visit ImpactAlpha’s Career Hub for more impact investing jobs. Contact us for job postings.

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