Colombia launches social impact bond to jumpstart employment The Colombian and Swiss governments are backing a 2.2 billion peso ($765,000) program to offer skills training to 514 vulnerable, poor, and unemployed people in the cities of Bogotá, Cali, and Pereira. Colombia is grappling with nine percent unemployment; the rate is higher among low-skilled and vulnerable people,
New Forests has acquired a majority stake in a Laos plantation to boost sustainable timber in the region. The Australia-based fund bought 85 percent of Mekong Timber Plantations and will develop the 54,000-acre property as a high-quality sustainable hardwood plantation to serve regional markets. New Forests, which specializes in sustainable land and infrastructure, made the investment through
Aspada, a venture firm with a record in food-system investments, put $2.7 million into Chennai-based Waycool, a fresh-produce distributor that connects smallholder farmers to markets in and around Chennai. Inefficiencies in the market between farms and customers depress farmer incomes and lead to as much as 30 percent of produce being wasted, says Aspada’s CFO Kushal Agrawal.
Convergence launches investor network to ease SDG investing Canadian nonprofit Convergence launched its long-awaited Investment Network this morning, promising to link private, public, and philanthropic investors with blended-finance opportunities in emerging markets. Making blended-finance deals happen isn’t easy, says Peter Stoute-King, the investment network’s managing director, but such deals are key to closing the $2.5 trillion
Investments in affordable housing are generally pretty dry, or even boring. A recent wave of celebrity investors in affordable housing may help raise the profile of impact-focused, real-estate investing. Singer Jon Bon Jovi is the anchor investor (via his foundation) of a UBS-run fund trying to rebuild housing in parts of his home state of New
Arts and culture are ready for investors. According to a new report, the creative economy is more than $704 billion in the U.S. alone — more than four percent of national GDP. But the share of “creative” impact capital registers as zero. It isn’t because impact investors aren’t committing to creative endeavors; rather, most of the investments are
Remember how shopping malls were the watering holes for teenage entertainment and social life? Brick-and-mortar stores may again make a resurgence because of their entertainment value. A new report from Synchrony Financial anticipates that the stores in 2030 will be outfitted with drive-thru windows staffed by robot assistants, interactive dressing-room mirrors, and 3D printers that build