Beats | April 7, 2017

The Brief Quiz (No.9): Test your Impact IQ

The team at


This week a huge fleet of icebergs hit a North Atlantic shipping lane, and yours truly had a couple of strong mojitos. My memory’s foggy, how’s yours? Take the Brief Quiz #9.

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1. The Ford Foundation made a groundbreaking announcement this week. What was it?

a. It’s merging with the Tesla Foundation.
b. It’s relocating to the Netherlands to take advantage of a better tax regime.
c . It’s committing $1 billion from its endowment for mission-related investments, targeting affordable housing in the US and inclusive finance in emerging economies.
d. It is giving up on affordable housing, the markets have won.

2. Colombia launched the first social impact bond in the Global South. What’s the end game?

a. Skills training for vulnerable, poor and unemployed people.
b. Skills re-training for oil and gas workers whose jobs are threatened by low oil prices.
c. Honestly I’m not sure.
d. Finishing ahead of Argentina in the 2018 World Cup qualifying round (yes that’s football, or soccer).

3. New Forests just made an investment in Laos. What does New Forests invest in?

a. Err, new forests?
b. Err, old forests?
c. Err, Laos?
d. Errr, sustainable timber plantations, rural land and conservation investments related to ecosystem restoration and protection?

4. Some folks created a new, hot resource to learn about social finance. What is it?

a. Easy! ImpactAlpha.
b. Better! ImpactAlpha: The Brief.
c. Intriguing! A MOOC on social finance launched by the Social Finance Academy in Germany.
d. Smart business! A 12 day, 13 night round the world traveling tour of exciting social businesses that save the world. Retails for $58,895. Bring your own airplane.

5. Kenya issued a nifty infrastructure bond. What’s so special about it?

a. It’s the first sovereign RMB–denominated bond issue in Africa.
b. It’s not targeting domestic projects but betting on an upcoming US infrastructure boom, given all those political promises.
c. It tapped mobile money platforms to raise $1.5 million from retail investors.
d. Its coupon is linked to the revenues of a new toll system on the Nairobi – Addis Ababa highway.

6. Some finance wonks launched a fund called BlueOrange! Why?

a, It matched their curtains.
b. To mobilize $1 billion for small and mid-sized business lending in line with the 2030 global goals.
c. Founder Betrand Badré is a fan of Tintin and Paul Eluard.
d. They were staring at the sunset when inspiration struck.

7. Some in America are concerned about Trump’s repeal of Obama’s Clean Energy Plan. What risk do they foresee?

a. A cost of $100 billion to the economy, loss of employment opportunities, 40,000 premature deaths per year, by 2030.
b. Loss of strong geopolitical bargaining position, in particular with the BRICS.
c. Eventually Democrats will get in power again and retaliate, creating an uncertain long-term policy environment.
d. Failure to pass congress.

8. Some wise folks at Oxfam worry about the future of impact investing. Why?

a. They’re kind of neurotic.
b. It risks diverting the aid money on which Oxfam depends.
c. Investors targeting market-rate returns through impact investments risk overlooking the needs of the enterprises attempting to solve global poverty.
d. Investors failing to target market returns may not be able to create large-scale impact.

9. Wisely or not, this past Thursday, someone at ImpactAlpha, asked you, the reader, something. What was it?

a, Passwords to all your social media handles.
b. To pledge allegiance to a foreign power.
c. Cat videos.
d. Tell us your favorite impact investor!

That’s it. Feeling less foggy already. ‘Til next week, and do let us know about your favorite impact investor (in an email to [email protected])!

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Answers: 1c, 2a, 3d, 4c  (but don’t stop reading The Brief), 5c, 6b, 7a, 8c, 9d.