Democracy and Peace | December 16, 2017

The Brief’s Big Ten: 2030 Finance, tax-cut casualties, investing in Detroit, Colorado and Virginia

The team at


Good Friday evening, ImpactAlpha readers!

#Featured: The Brief’s Big Ten

1. Introducing 2030 Finance, where ImpactAlpha tracks the global shift of capital. The tagline for our new sub-site, 2030 Finance: “Investors meet the global goals.” That’s both a description, as more investors find the Sustainable Development Goals and the global climate agreement to be powerful drivers of opportunities and solutions. And a prediction, for the headline we hope to write in a dozen years or so, declaring in huge, bold type: Investors Meet the Global Goals! See why we’re all over the 2030 beat. And follow us at

Introducing 2030 Finance: Investors, meet the global goals

2. Capital continued to shift toward climate solutions, albeit slowly, at the One Planet summit in Paris. The World Bank said it would stop financing oil and gas projects starting in 2019. Sixteen countries, including Brazil and Norway, promised to become “carbon-neutral” by 2050. Some 225 institutional investors managing more than $26 trillion signed the Climate Action 100+ pledge to pressure companies to be more aggressively climate-friendly. Will the speed of the shift match the urgency of the challenge?

We’ll always have Paris, but is that enough to avert climate catastrophe?

3. Coal takes its lumps. In Paris, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg expects most of the world’s 1,600 coal-related projects will never be finished. But coal isn’t dead yet. Poland, Europe’s largest coal producer, will have a large role in next year’s big climate gathering, COP24, which is set for the Polish city of Katowice. Coal may be around longer than climate activists would like.

Last Gasps: Coal is taking its lumps but isn’t dead yet

4. Small investments in startups solving big problems can yield impact and exits. Sky Lance of SustainVC, writing on ImpactAlpha, shares some hard-won lessons after a decade of backing 32 early-stage U.S. companies with solutions to climate and sustainability, equality and empowerment, and health and education. №10 on Lance’s list: “You made the investment — now the work begins.” Learn from do-ers.

SustainVC: Ten lessons from ten years of early-stage impact investing

5. The U.S. tax bill could gut financing for community development and affordable housing. The Kresge Foundation’s Kimberlee Cornett, in a three-minute video, breaks down four areas in which the tax bill would do real damage. The House version of the tax bill, for example, would end the New Markets Tax Credits, a crucial source of financing for community development. Four ways the tax bill will hurt low-income Americans.

Four ways the tax bill would hurt low-income Americans

6. Minority entrepreneurs are moving ahead in Detroit. Only one of the 40+ loans from the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund to minority small-business owners has defaulted. The fund supports founders before and after lending, and avoids standard measures of creditworthiness, like FICO scores. More investors are joining the Motor City fund; JPMorgan Chase, one of fund’s founders, wants to replicate the effort in other cities. Read what’s working.

Detroit-based Entrepreneurs of Color Fund nearly triples to $18 million

7. While a Colorado land trust raised $24 million for affordable-housing. Foundations and investors led by Gary Community Investments formed the Elevation Community Land Trust to create 700 affordable units. More than 250 community land trusts in the U.S. help low- and low-middle income families buy homes through land leases, in which the house is sold but the trust retains ownership of the land beneath it. Learn more.

Gary Community Investments leads affordable-housing initiative in Colorado

8. And Virginia looks to streamline access to capital for local entrepreneurs. Village Capital worked with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Sen. Mark Warner and other champions of local entrepreneurship to build a one-stop investment platform for Virginia’s startups. Virginia joins a roster of states and cities testing new ways to finance local entrepreneurship. Read why ‘Virginia is for Entrepreneurs.’

‘Virginia is for Entrepreneurs’ aims to streamline funding for local startups

9. Measuring and managing for impact pays off for investors. The Global Impact Investing Network reports that more than 60 percent of impact investors measure impact for its business value. The report suggests impact investors are ahead of the curve in using impact data to identify and validate business opportunities. Impact measurement is (surprise!) a hot topic.

Why measure impact? Because of its business value.

10. And finally, TPG Growth’s Rise Fund made its first investment in Latin America, and sixth altogether. Omidyar Network and Endeavor Catalyst invested alongside Rise Fund and existing investors in education company Digital House. The Buenos Aires-based startup teaches career skills like web development and data science to about 2,500 Latin American students. Keep track of the $2 billion Rise Fund.

TPG’s Rise Fund invests $20 million in Latin American education venture

That’s a wrap. Have a great weekend! Please send news and comments to [email protected].