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Bringing microfinance back, CZI and Gates Foundation team up, rural economics in the West

#Featured: Recap “Impact” is back at the center of the impact investing discussion. This week’s big deal, the $190 million financing of EverFi, brought to the surface questions about the industry’s commitment to “inclusive edtech” (and also about the highly touted impact metrics of the deal’s lead investor, TPG Growth’s new Rise Fund). The real

What did Ikea do? And other questions from The Brief Quiz #12

This week felt a lot like last week. Or did it? Escape the time-warp, take the Brief Quiz. Get The Brief, ImpactAlpha’s daily newsletter. Complete the sentence: OPIC ____ the federal deficit ____ nearly $4 billion in the past decade. a. Has increased — by b. Has decreased — by c. Has decreased — to d. ‘s deficit has exceeded — by 2. What percentage

The business case for shareholder activism

And they’re under threat. The Trump administration and legislators are pushing a proposal to make it harder for shareholders to get a vote on issues of concern, including corporate responsibility and sustainability. The legislation would require shareholders to own one percent of a company’s shares for three years in order to propose resolutions, a sharp

Building resilient cities

Cities will house 70 percent of the world’s population by 2050 and require urban infrastructure investment of at least $3.7 trillion per year. The only way to meet the challenges of soaring population growth and climate change is to build infrastructure that meets both social and environmental needs. “We must design and implement strategies that

Artscape raises $21.4 million to build art entrepreneurship hub in Toronto

The “creative economy” gets little recognition from investors, including the impact sector. A recent report from the Calvert Foundation and Upstart Co-Lab suggests the creative sector needs $1.5 billion in investment over the next five years in the U.S. alone. Here comes Canada. A hub under construction in Toronto’s East Bayfront area is intended to provide artists

MarcoPolo Learning attracts $8.5 million for early-education apps

MarcoPolo Learning has raised $8.5 million for its early-education apps. The New York startup launched in 2012 with a vision of universal access to early childhood education. MarcoPolo offers five mobile apps for teaching kids about the natural world through games. Last year, it introduced a series of short science videos for three- to seven-year-olds

GeNNex will train Kenyan slum residents to build solar lamps

The London-based company plans to open a manufacturing plant in Kenya and a training program in Kibera, Nairobi’s largest slum. The goal: train workers to build and maintain the company’s lamps and chargers. GeNNex hopes to expand to Eldoret, Narok, and Nakuru as well. The company is moving to deepen its social impact beyond product