ImpactAlpha Open | April 23, 2024

ImpactAlpha Open: Participant’s impact on film finance + investing in HBCU brilliance

Dennis Price

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ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

Greetings, Agents of Impact! 

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In this week’s Open:

  • Participant’s impact on film investing
  • Modernizing development finance at the World Bank
  • Investing in HBCU brilliance
  • Colorado’s employee-ownership boom

Ok, let’s get to it. – Dennis Price

Must-reads on ImpactAlpha

  • Participant’s impact on film investing. Billionaire Jeff Skoll has shuttered Participant, his social impact production house. Over two decades, the company’s films, documentaries and social and political activism campaigns have demonstrated the power of film and culture in driving impact at scale. Other impact investors have grabbed the baton. Lights, camera, action.
  • Investing in HBCU brilliance. Historically Black colleges and universities that are preparing the next generation of Black talent represent fertile ground for impact investors, argues Kresge Foundation’s Erika BriceRead more.
  • Good news on the economy is good news for impact investors. Strong growth. Plentiful jobs. Rising wages. In the final installment of his Macro Impact series, contributing editor Robert Brown sees a “green rebound” as the ESG backlash subsides and impact companies enjoy “a more constructive investment environment for the longer term.” Hear him out.
  • Green shoots for development finance. At the annual Spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC, even bank critics are seeing signs of progress on financial system reforms, sovereign debt distress and development finance impact transparency, reports Jessica PotheringDig in.
  • Policy for the ownership economy. The state of Colorado is seizing the retirement wave among small business owners to build the infrastructure for broader-based employee ownership; it hopes to be a model for other states, writes Roodgally Senatus. See how.
  • Navigating uncertainty with purpose. CEOs of Seventh Generation, Vital Farms and other purpose-driven companies who gathered at Big Path Capital’s annual MO Summit in Austin said they have weathered economic disruptions – by building solutions that do right by people and planet. Read my takeaways.

Agents of Impact

🏃🏾‍♀️ People on the move

  • Marlene Hormes, formerly of Annycent Capital, joins WaterEquity as chief investment officer.
  • Woochong Um of the Asian Development Bank becomes the new CEO of the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet. 
  • Christina Shih, previously with the News Revenue Hub, joins Press Forward as associate director.

The Week’s Podcast

🎧 On the podcast

Host Brian Walsh and ImpactAlpha editor David Bank take up the good news on the good economy, Participant’s lasting legacy, and the signs of change at the World Bank. Plus: meet the musicians behind the electrifying single the electrifying single, “I’m Your Heat Pump.”

Short Signals: What We’re Reading

🇪🇺 EU’s impact manifesto. Ahead of June’s European parliamentary elections, Impact Europe (formerly the European Venture Philanthropy Association) and impact investing networks in Belgium, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands launched a manifesto calling on European policymakers to unlock private capital for impact. Among the planks: enable retail investing for impact. (Impact Europe)

🤖 Responsible AI. With explosive growth, comes great responsibility. Efforts to benchmark AI models on features such as privacy, transparency and fairness are surging. TruthfulQA assesses the truthfulness of large language models, or LLMs, in their responses. RealToxicityPrompts and ToxiGen track the extent of harmful output produced by LLMs. (Stanford’s AI Index)

🔎 Failure to disclose.How much of the $566 billion managed by the 50 wealthiest colleges and universities is managed by diverse-owned firms? We still don’t know. After two years of prodding to get schools to disclose their diversity data, only 18 of the top 50 colleges and universities responded to Knight Foundation requests. (Knight Foundation)

🌎 Climate regs. Among the newest “Climate Change Laws of the World” are the EU’s Directive on Empowering Consumers for the Green Transition, Egypt’s sustainable finance regulations for banks, and Brazil’s National Environmental Policy for its judiciary branch. (LSE Grantham Research Institute

🇨🇦 Indexing impact in Canada. Toronto-based SVX launched the SVX Impact Index on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The index tracks over 200 private debt and equity impact offerings available to Canadian investors, including the Thrive Impact Fund, the Ilu Women’s Empowerment Fund and the Keewaywin Private Credit Fund. (SVX)

Get in the Game

💼 Step up

  • The purpose-driven investment firm 16 Fund is seeking an investment analyst in Berlin, Germany.
  • M&T Bank is looking for a head of sustainable investment near Philadelphia.
  • Spearmint Energy is hiring an associate for their project finance team in Miami. 

Visit ImpactAlpha’s Career Hub for more impact investing jobs. Contact us for job posting rates.

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