The Brief | May 23, 2018

Migrant-finance ecosystem, better farmer finance, crowdfunding health costs in India, workplace-safety in Mexico

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Greetings, ImpactAlpha readers!

Featured: ImpactAlpha Original

Entrepreneurs and investors mobilize to tackle challenges of refugees, migrants and modern-day slaves. An emerging ecosystem is beginning to move capital for people on the move. Where some see refugees and other migrants as liabilities, a growing group of investors and entrepreneurs see assets: customers, talent and next-gen leaders. Stocking the pipeline of ventures targeting “the migration market” with solution-oriented approaches is the Social Entrepreneurship at the Margins accelerator at the Miller Center at Santa Clara University. Humanity United, the Omidyar Group organization, has done at least two deals from its $23 million pot of capital for solutions to forced labor and modern slavery. And capital has begun to flow from billionaire George Soros’s $500 million commitment to drive business solutions to refugee challenges.

To help pull that financing ecosystem together, a group of funders and investors are forming the Refugee Investor Network to connect investors with investable opportunities that benefit refugees. The network, developed by Alight Fund’s John Kluge and Andrew Stern at the Global Development Incubator, aims to help bridge the gap between private investors and non-governmental organizations and advocates. “There still is a disconnect between investors and deal opportunities,” Kluge told ImpactAlpha. “We want to fix that and make it easier for private investors to put their capital to work supporting both displaced people and the communities hosting them.”

Read, “Entrepreneurs and investors mobilize to tackle challenges of refugees, migrants and modern-day slaves,” by Dennis Price on ImpactAlpha.

Featured: Impact Voices

Market Access: Helping smallholder farmers in Africa move up the food value chain. Already this year, Gaita Kariuki has visited more than 200 small farms that are among the 3,000 that have signed up with Selina Wamucii, the mobile sourcing platform for fresh produce he co-founded. “I’ve seen first-hand the progress that has been made in smallholder farmers’ productivity and the positive impact this increase in yield has on the farmers’ lives, families, and communities,” Kariuki writes in a guest post on ImpactAlpha. Now, he says, their number one worry is, “I have this bumper harvest. Where will I sell it?”

Kariuki argues that strengthening ties between smallholder farmers and small- and medium-sized food processors is the key to boosting both livelihoods and food security. “Since we pay all our farmers promptly, working capital is a limiting factor,” he says. Retailers and others take up to 30 days to pay for fresh produce deliveries, limiting how many orders the company can accept. “If you consider the entire regional economy, with its millions of small farmers and thousands of businesses in the food value chain,” Kariuki writes, “huge social and financial opportunities emerge for impact investors.”

Read, “Market Access: Helping smallholder farmers in Africa move up the food value chain,” by Gaita Kariuki, co-founder of Selina Wamucii, on ImpactAlpha.

Dealflow: Follow the Money

Indian hospital chain backs ImpactGuru to boost crowdfunding for health costs. ImpactGuru helps organizations and individuals launch funding campaigns for health, education, women’s empowerment and other causes. Learn more.

Workplace-safety venture gets corporate venture funding from Cemex.Mexican startup PRYSMEX provides employers with workplace and wearable sensors to prevent accidents. Get the details.

OPIC loan helps Dimagi expand health-care management. The company helps development and health organizations manage health services in low-resource communities. Dig in.

May 23, 2018.