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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
and corporate social responsibility.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Impact Investing

This category includes articles about people, firms and foundations that invest in social good by investing in social entrepreneurs, social impact or pay-for-success bonds, etc.

More Capital Flows in Africa and Latin America as Two New Impact Fund Managers Join the Capria Network

Managers to be headquartered in Kenya and Chile to benefit from investment, advisory services, and access to Capria’s growing global network.

News Summary:

  • Two fund managers investing in Africa and Latin America have partnered with Capria and recently joined the Capria Network
  • The Capria Network now consists of 11 fund managers and is at the forefront of the growing global movement of impact investing across 5 continents. Capria is granting free access to Quantum, the first fund manager assessment tool designed to produce actionable insights, to all fund managers that apply to its 5th investment cycle which is now open, with the next deadline set for November 27th

Press Release – Seattle, Washington. November 14, 2017. Capria, a global investment firm advancing the next generation of local impact fund managers in emerging markets, has signed agreements to invest in two fund managers, operating in Latin America and Africa, who have joined Capria Network.

Since launching in 2015, Capria has reviewed more than 425 fund proposals and selected 11 fund managers who form the Capria Network. Capria’s two new fund managers are enabling significant impact in Africa and Latin America.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, Lateral Capital is advancing patient capital into tech-enabled businesses that are profitably solving pain points across financial services, healthcare, education, renewable energy and housing through their US $50M Lateral Africa Opportunities Fund. They will make debt and equity investments from $250,000 – $5M. The other fund manager joining the Capria Network is from Latin America, creating a $21M fund will focus on early-stage tech-enabled companies in Chile with high impact potential and international expansion strategies. The initial ticket sizes will be $100,000 – $400,000 and the fund intends to make upwards of 20 investments by 2021.

“We’re excited to welcome Lateral Capital and another fund manager from Latin America into the global Capria Network,” said Will Poole, co-founder and managing partner of Capria. “In our highly-selective partnering process, we look for fund managers who bring local knowledge and best practices not only to their own investing operations, but also to the entire network. Every Capria Network member we add makes the entire network smarter and stronger.”

“In less than two years, Capria has utilised its decades of global investing experience in successfully bringing together 5 partner funds across the continent, to come together to contribute to Africa’s growth in a sustainable way. We are excited to be part of driving this change,” said Steven Grin, Managing Partner, Lateral Capital.

A Growing Movement Filling the Missing Middle: Capria Network Members Complete Initial Deals

The 11 funds in the Capria Network will be deploying capital across 15 countries primarily targeting investments in sectors such as essential services, healthcare, education, energy and financial services. Collectively, over time the funds being raised will result in more than US $400M being deployed to entrepreneurs building businesses that provide strong financial returns and measurable benefits to local communities. The Capria Network currently consists of four fund managers with previously-raised assets under management and seven first-time fund managers.

“In 2017, our partner funds have already completed 8 investments in their respective geographies with more than a dozen more expected in 2018. This is a testimony to Capria’s growing momentum in filling the “missing middle” in emerging markets by leveraging the collective power of our network to mobilize USD $400 million in local and global capital over the next 5 years,” said Dave Richards, co-founder and managing partner of Capria.

Fund managers in the Capria Network have completed investments using capital raised from Capria and other LPs. These fund managers and investments include:

  • Vakayi Capital: Invested in Homelux, an affordable, quality housing provider– Zimbabwe
  • Idacapital: Invested in Reengen, a cloud based energy management platform for capital light businesses — Turkey
  • Pomona Impact: Invested in Organic Gum LLC, a locally and sustainably harvested gum producer — Guatemala
  • Unitus Seed Fund: Invested in two healthcare companies, an education company, and two fintech startups — India

Capria anticipates existing Capria Network members to close additional deals in Brazil, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, South Africa, India, and Nigeria by Q1 2018.

Free Access to Capria Quantum

Applications for Capria’s 5th Investment Cycle are currently open. For the first time, every applicant will also get free access to Capria Quantum – a first-of-its-kind proprietary, comprehensive and holistic capabilities assessment tool. Fund managers can use this tool to assess themselves against 8 primary categories comprised of more than 75 different sub-elements that are critical for building a world-class investment firm. Capria Quantum was designed using insights and learnings from 12+ years of fund creation and management activities, Capria’s experience evaluating over 400 fund managers globally, and feedback from leading LPs. Over the course of its 5th investment, Capria seeks to invest in 3-5 additional fund managers from

Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia, though consideration will be given to all qualified fund managers from emerging markets around the world. .

About Capria Ventures

Capria Ventures is a global financial services innovator investing in the “missing middle” finance opportunity in emerging markets. Capria manages multiple investment funds and a global network of impact fund managers who deeply collaborate to achieve superior financial returns with scaled impact. In addition to providing fund managers with capital and access to its global network, Capria deeply partners with each fund manager to provide them with strategically tailored advisory services and hands on support. Capria’s goal is to unlock over USD $500 million in capital by 2021, delivering strong returns to investors and positively impacting the lives of millions. Capria has offices in Seattle and Bangalore. More at: http://capria.vc and http://usf.vc


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IIX and Korea Social Investment Foundation Join Forces to Advance Impact Investing in Asia

Press Release – SINGAPORE, 16 November, 2017 — Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) and the Korea Social Investment Foundation (KSIF, Impact Factory) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in the Republic of Korea on November 10th to advance impact investing in Asia and the Pacific. KSIF, a pioneer of impact finance in Korea, and IIX, a leader of impact investing, will leverage their combined networks and expertise to magnify social and environmental impact for sustainable development and empower marginalized people across the region.

“Collaboration is key to unlocking the potential of impact investing,” expressed Robert Kraybill, Managing Director of IIX. “IIX is thrilled to join forces with the Korea Social Investment Foundation and explore a range of joint projects which will support innovative financing for development and vitalize the impact investing ecosystem across Asia and the Pacific.”

Mr. Jongick LEE adds, “Through this MOU, we will actively conduct joint researches and projects with the IIX for the development of the impact investment between Korea and Singapore. I believe the activities will contribute to strengthening the impact investment ecosystem and network in Asia”

About IIX: Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) is a Singapore-based impact enterprise that builds pathways to connect backstreets of underserved communities to the Wall Streets of the world through impact investing. IIX investment platforms and innovative financial products enable impact enterprises to accelerate their business and scale their positive impact, while pushing the impact investing space from the margins to the mainstream. To date, the work of IIX has spanned 20 countries and continues to expand with the mission of unlocking US$1.7 billion of impact investment capital, impacting 100 million lives by 2022.

About Korea Social Investment Foundation (Impact Factory): Korea Social Investment Foundation is a Seoul-based non-profit organization which is a pioneer of impact finance in the Republic of Korea that has provided financial services and business consulting for impact enterprises and social projects at a size of USD 60 million. The organization supports impact finance strategies and fosters partnerships that promote sustainable development with a greater vision of forming a unified body to overcome current social challenges facing the country and surrounding nations.


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Financial Performance Data Show Profitability In Impact Investing, Enhancing Industry Transparency And Credibility

Press Release – NEW YORK, November 14, 2017 – A growing body of data sheds new light on the promising financial performance of impact investments. A new report, GIIN Perspectives: Evidence on the Financial Performance of Impact Investments, published today by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), provides investors with a comprehensive review of available research to date on the financial performance of impact investments. In addition to describing each study, the report synthesizes findings across available research by asset class and surfaces implications for the industry.

Key findings include:

  • Impact investors that target market-rate returns can achieve them. Across private market strategies – private equity, fixed income and real assets – the distribution of impact investing fund returns is similar to what is seen in analogous conventional markets. The impact themes pursued by these fund managers include financial inclusion, access to clean energy, sustainable timber, and low-income housing.
  • As in conventional markets, performance varies greatly from one fund to the next, indicating that fund manager selection is key to achieving strong returns.
  • Not all impact investments seek to achieve market rates of return. Some impact investors intentionally target below-market returns given the nature of their strategies. Concessionary impact investments can be a sustainable funding source for impactful organizations historically reliant solely on grant funding.
  • Many impact investors take a portfolio approach to building an impact investment strategy across multiple asset classes in order to meet their overall risk/return preferences.

The report evaluates over a dozen studies on the financial performance of funds in three common asset classes in impact investing: private equity, private debt, and real assets, as well as individual investor portfolios allocated across asset classes. Insights were derived from studies produced by a wide range of organizations, including Cambridge Associates, McKinsey & Company, Wharton Social Impact Initiative, Boston Consulting Group, Symbiotics, EngagedX and Impact Investing Australia, as well as the GIIN, among others.

“Increased transparency around financial performance will enable current players to make more informed portfolio allocation decisions, allow new players to more confidently develop market entry strategies, and allow both to set well-informed performance expectations and more accurately evaluate performance,” said GIIN Research Director Abhilash Mudaliar. “To continue to advance and exponentially scale the industry, active impact investors and other field-builders need to embrace an openness to sharing data on the financial and impact performance of their investments, either directly with the public or by contributing to third-party research.”

The report also identifies gaps in current financial performance research and suggests that future analyses should include: target financial returns across strategies and investors’ abilities to meet them; the performance and role of below-market capital across asset classes; fund and investment performance across asset classes at a more granular geographic and sector level; and the relationship between impact objectives, impact measurement and management practice, and financial returns.


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Second Chance Youth Garden wins grand prize of $10,000 in Mission Edge’s San Diego Accelerator + Impact Lab

Press Release – November 6, 2017 – SAN DIEGO, CAMission Edge has announced the winning social enterprise for the San Diego Accelerator and Impact Lab (SAIL) Pitch Night, which took place on October 24th at 5:30 PM in the Irwin M. Jacobs Hall at Qualcomm. Sponsored by The San Diego Foundation, Union Bank, Qualcomm Incorporated, and Cox Communications, the SAIL Pitch Night highlighted the social enterprise ideas of seven nonprofit organizations, all of whom created cutting-edge, sustainable, revenue-based business models in alignment with their social missions. The Second Chance Youth Garden received the Qualcomm-sponsored audience choice award of $10,000.

The Second Chance Youth Garden is a six-week job training program for young people ages 14-21. The social enterprise program combines classroom and experiential learning to increase youth awareness of urban agriculture and food justice, and help move them towards successful high school graduation or employment. Their revenue model includes the sales of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes, offering an easy way for people to buy fresh and local produce directly from the Youth Gardens while supporting low-income, at-risk or justice-involved youth in the community. The cost for 10 weekly boxes of fresh produce is $300, which allows Second Chance to provide stipends to youth in the program. More information about signing up for the CSA program can be found on Second Chance’s website.

“The Mission Edge SAIL Program provided us with the opportunity to rethink how we create and develop programs that align with our mission,” shared Kristin Kvernland. “Through this process, we were able to assess the percentage of our programmatic income that is garnered from our social enterprise, and build a model that will support Second Chance operations while also furthering our mission to disrupt the cycles of incarceration and poverty in San Diego.”

Each social enterprise who presented in the Pitch Night participated in the SAIL program, a robust ten-week accelerator led by Mission Edge and Impact Without Borders. SAIL’s curriculum and coaching focused on articulating, piloting, validating, planning, and pitching revenue-generating business models. SAIL participants worked closely with mentors and investors, while engaging in interactive workshops and benefitting from Mission Edge’s expert advisory services.

“We are really impressed with the caliber of the participants and innovative business models in the SAIL program. Mission Edge is honored to pioneer this exciting initiative and will continue to empower the burgeoning San Diego social enterprise community,” said Ken Davenport, Mission Edge CEO.

Participating organizations included:

“The San Diego Foundation collaborates with the region’s nonprofit community to pursue innovative strategies that help improve the quality of life for all San Diegans,” noted Kathlyn Mead, President & CEO of The San Diego Foundation. “The social enterprise ideas presented by these seven organizations show how non-traditional business models can yield dividends in community impact and nonprofit financial sustainability.”

The San Diego business community is also embracing the program’s impact and efforts to create a more innovative and sustainable social sector.

“Innovation isn’t just happening in the business world. It’s also happening in the community,” said Chanelle Hawken, Vice President of Public Affairs for Cox Communications. “As a company founded on innovative ideas, Cox Communications is proud to support the innovative efforts by nonprofit organizations working hard to make San Diego a better place.”

“Innovation and community impact are important for us,” commented SAIL sponsor Qualcomm. “Working with Mission Edge to champion social enterprise innovation is an important example of our commitment to foster the advancement of the San Diego community. The SAIL program is a natural extension of our collaboration, which includes helping myriad nonprofit organizations through our employee-led skills-based volunteer projects and community engagement initiatives.”

To learn more about SAIL, please contact Mission Edge at sail@missionedge.org and connect with us on social media by using #SAILwithMissionEdge.


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Responsible Investing Grows Even As Opinions Remain Divided, RBC Global Asset Management Survey Finds

In second annual survey of institutional investors and consultants, differences on key responsible investing issues remain

Survey reveals a marked contrast in perceived value of ESG between US and European investors

Press Release – MINNEAPOLIS, November 1, 2017 — Two-thirds of institutional investors use environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations as part of their investment approach, and 25% expect to increase their allocation to managers with ESG-based investment strategies within one year, according to a global survey by RBC Global Asset Management (RBC GAM). While these results suggest that responsible investing has moved into the mainstream, the survey also reveals how investors’ perceptions differ starkly by region; when it comes to ESG investing, investors in the United States are far less accepting than their European counterparts.

RBC GAM’s survey reveals sharp differences among institutional investors as to whether ESG analysis can mitigate risk and drive alpha in a portfolio. Some institutions plan to increase their exposure to ESG strategies in the near term while others are holding back, unconvinced of its value and unimpressed with available data about corporate performance on ESG. The survey also uncovered broad disagreement over the proper role of shareholders, industry groups and regulators when it comes to improving corporate reporting and driving change on issues such as gender diversity among directors.

“Globally, we are seeing a clear trend toward greater awareness, interest and adoption of ESG analysis and responsible investing,” said Judy Cotte, vice president and head of Corporate Governance and Responsible Investment at RBC Global Asset Management. “This survey reveals that many institutional investors are actively discussing these issues within their organizations and with consultants and stakeholders. And while some institutions are moving at a cautious pace, others are moving rapidly to adopt an ESG-based investment approach.”

Global Highlights

Responsible Investing: The Evolution of Ownership is the second annual survey of institutional attitudes and perceptions of responsible investing conducted by RBC GAM. This year, RBC GAM queried 434 institutional asset owners and investment consultants in the United States, Europe and Canada. The key findings from the global survey include:

  • ESG is a global phenomenon – A full 67% of global respondents use ESG principles as part of their investment approach. By region, more investors in Europe (85%) than in Canada (73%) and the US (49%) incorporate ESG analysis.
  • Mandates (or lack of them) are key – The main reason (51%) given by institutional investors who do not incorporate ESG analysis is the lack of requirements to do so from their boards of directors. The other most commonly cited reasons are an unclear value proposition, and their strict preference for financial analysis. Interestingly, the inverse of these reasons was given by those who have adopted ESG – they do it for the clear value proposition, their preference for multiple analytical factors in the investment process, and to comply with a clear board-level mandate or investment guidelines.
  • ESG analysis as an investment tool – Thirty-two percent of global respondents said they do not consider the use of ESG factors to be a way to mitigate risk in their portfolios, while 20% are unsure. Forty-six percent do not consider ESG factors to be an alpha source and 30% are unsure. This uncertainty opens up an opportunity for investment managers who utilize ESG analysis as they compete to create value for their clients.
  • Poor information quality – For institutional investors who employ ESG criteria, a majority across all regions of the survey are not satisfied with the disclosure of ESG metrics provided by corporations. US and Canadian investors prefer to allow shareholder proposals to do the work of improving disclosure. European investors prefer that government regulators require it.
  • Gender diversity – A large majority of institutional investors in every region polled said gender diversity on corporate boards is important to them – 71% in the US, 80% in Canada and 68% in Europe. As with disclosure of ESG metrics, European investors prefer that government regulators require gender diversity; investors in the US strongly prefer market forces to regulation; Canadian investors’ preference is split between shareholder initiatives and market forces.
  • Changing Corporate Behavior – Within the context of the Fossil Fuel Free movement, only 6% of global respondents said that divestment was more effective than engagement. In the US and Canada, engagement is viewed as more effective than divestment. One-third of Europeans agree, but the same number view divestment and engagement to be equally effective. On the topic of exclusions more broadly, 48% of European respondents view negative screens as applicable across investor types; less than a third of US and Canadian respondents agreed.

“ESG investing has gone from being a tangential topic for investors, to an increasingly important consideration in the investment decision making process,” said Habib Subjally, Senior Portfolio Manager and Head of Global Equities, RBC Global Asset Management UK Ltd. “There is a growing level of interest among investors to gain a better understanding on the implications of ESG integration. We believe that ESG should not be perceived as the latest investment trend and that when applied in a thoughtful way, considering these factors will enable investors to approach decisions with a broader, more complete set of information.”

More US Investors Remain Unconvinced

Adoption of ESG investing is increasing in the US, and fully 25% of survey respondents plan to increase their allocation to ESG investment strategies within the next year. However, US adoption is far behind Europe, where that figure is 49%.

Even where US institutions are adopting ESG strategies, they appear to be doing so more cautiously than their European counterparts.

When asked to what extent ESG principles are used as part of their investment approach, only 12% of US respondents said “significantly used” versus 45% in Europe, while 37% in the US said “somewhat used.” What do significantly and somewhat mean? In the US, 50% of respondents who use ESG factor it in less than 20% of their portfolios; 43% of Europeans factor it in more than 80% of their portfolios.

Other data points suggest why this gap exists. Across nearly every question posed by the survey, asset owners in the US appear more skeptical of the value of ESG than their counterparts in other regions:

  • Twenty-eight percent of US respondents think ESG mitigates risk. Fifty percent do not and 23% are not sure. Seventy-seven percent of Europeans and 68% of Canadians see ESG as mitigating risk.
  • Seventeen percent of US respondents think ESG is a source of alpha. Fifty-nine percent do not and 23% are not sure. Fifty-one percent of Europeans see it this way as do 21% of Canadians.
  • Only 5% of US respondents expect ESG investments to perform better than non-ESG investments; 26% percent expect them to perform worse; 69% expect them to have no influence, performing “as well.” To compare, 40% of Europeans and 24% of Canadians expect ESG investments to perform better than non-ESG investments.
  • Lastly, while 56% of US respondents said they expect companies with high-quality ESG practices to have more sustainable long-term returns, fewer than 10% expect ESG practices to result in a lower cost of capital, earnings growth and/or higher returns to shareholders.

About the Survey

The data for RBC GAM’s report, Responsible Investing: The Evolution of Ownership, was gathered via a survey conducted in July and August 2017. The survey collected the opinions of 434 institutional asset owners and investment consultants in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. For a full copy of the survey results and analysis visit RBC GAM’s Corporate Governance and Responsible Investing website .

About RBC Global Asset Management

RBC Global Asset Management (RBC GAM) is the asset management division of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and includes institutional money managers BlueBay Asset Management and Phillips, Hager & North Investment Management. RBC GAM is a provider of global investment management services and solutions to institutional, high-net-worth and individual investors through separate accounts, pooled funds, mutual funds, hedge funds, exchange-traded funds and specialty investment strategies. The RBC GAM group of companies manages approximately $400 billion in assets and has approximately 1,400 employees located across Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia.


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More Financial And Technical Support Needed For MSMEsin ASEAN, A Key Recommendation From Report Launched At ASEAN Inclusive Business Summit

Key recommendations from 12-month study jointly presented by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, Oxfam, ASEAN CSR Network and AVPN

Press Release – Manila, 6 Sept 2017 – A comprehensive report, titled “Towards Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in the ASEAN Economic Community”, and key recommendations based on this research, were presented to ASEAN leaders today on 6 Sept 2017. The focus of the report and the recommendations was on how ASEAN could build up the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector, with greater financial and technical support to ensure their growth and prosperity.

The report covering 10 ASEAN Member States is a result of a 12-month study which began in September 2016. It comprised primary and secondary research which included interviews and stakeholder consultations with investors, foundations, farmer groups, business associations, women entrepreneur networks, ASEAN bodies, incubators/accelerators, government agencies and others.

The aim of the study is to comprehensively assess the opportunities and challenges faced by MSMEs in ASEAN – particularly those with inclusive and responsible business practices such as Social Enterprises (SEs)– with regards to access to finance, technical support, and an enabling environment for their sustainability and growth.

This press release is in two parts – a summary on the findings of the study and the key recommendations made.

The findings of the report showed that MSMEs in this region faced some key challenges, particularly with regards to access to finance. There exists a ‘missing middle’ phenomenon, where MSMEs in early- to growth-stage remain underserved by financiers. MSME’s entrepreneurs typically exceed upper thresholds for smaller loans such as microfinance, and yet are perceived by financial institutions to be risky and costly customers.

The uptake of available financing options by MSMEs has generally been low, with loan applications typically facing rejection due to incomplete financial records, small sized enterprises, non-participation in production networks and lack of sound business plans. Women entrepreneurs tend to face more formidable financial hurdles than their male counterparts. Challenges frequently cited by women when obtaining bank loans include lower levels of financial literacy, lack of a support network and cumbersome land titling process which affect their ability to use land as collateral. Various surveys indicate that for MSMEs, including women entrepreneurs, own savings and funds from family and friends remain the dominant source of finance.

The study also found that while alternative finance and inclusive financing mechanisms are growing in the region, there continues to be a lack of patient capital available for early-stage inclusive business models (such as SEs). This includes financing mechanisms such as financial technology (fin-tech) and impact investment.

“MSMEs are critical to the economic development and growth of the ASEAN region and comprise 95-99% of all business establishments, generating between 51% and 97% of employment. It is great to see ASEAN’s commitment to strengthen this sector in the ASEAN 2025 Blueprint. Oxfam and its partners are happy to play a role in supporting the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in its initiative”, says Oskar Haq, Oxfam Global Advisor, Enterprise and Economic Empowerment.

Key recommendations from the report:

  1. Strengthen responsible and inclusive conduct among businesses, including to encourage larger corporations with the capacity to support MSMEs through their value chain
  2. Deepen technical support for MSMEs to improve access to finance, including training on hard business skills and strengthening entrepreneurial networks for peer support
  3. Promote alternative finance with an emphasis on inclusive financing options
  4. Provide targeted support to improve women’s access to finance
  5. Promote responsible finance – i.e. factor Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria into lending decisions

Further action needed:

Based on the study’s findings and the recommendations, the project partners are keen to share information and enable financial support for MSMEs.

ASEAN CSR Network (ACN)’s CEO, Mr Thomas Thomas, reaffirmed this, saying “We will work on implementing these recommendations among key stakeholders in ASEAN, including face-to-face meetings and technical consultations with ASEAN bodies, national governments and businesses.”

ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) has been working closely with private business partners in pushing for MSME empowerment and Inclusive Business. Its (Acting) Executive Director, Mr Gil Gonzales says: “We are encouraged that ASEAN Leaders fully recognise the importance of developing MSMEs as the new engine of growth in the region, working hand in hand with big business and corporates who promote inclusive business. Otherwise, AEC will never achieve inclusive growth as set out in the AEC 2025 Blueprint. Our true aspiration is not just prosperity for a few, but prosperity for all.”

AVPN, a network of 380 Asian Social Investors, plans to use the report findings to promote the expansion of responsible and inclusive finance amongst their membership. “There is a spectrum of social investment tools that can be used to support responsible and inclusive enterprises in ASEAN – from grants to soft loans or convertible debt and equity,” says Managing Director, AVPN Knowledge Centre, Kevin Teo. “We are working to increase awareness of these different tools and encourage more funders to address this ‘missing middle’.”

The report also includes a 160-page Directory of SME Financing and Technical Support Options which will serve as a valuable resource for MSMEs in the region.

The study was jointly conducted by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), Oxfam, ASEAN CSR Network (ACN) and AVPN, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Government of Sweden.

The full report was launched at 12 noon on 6 September 2017 at the Marriott Hotel, Manila.

[1] from as low as USD5,000 to up to USD2 million

[2] Patient capital is another name for long term capital. With patient capital, the investor is willing to make a financial investment in a business with no expectation of turning a quick profit. Instead, the investor is willing to forgo an immediate return in anticipation of more substantial returns down the road.

[3] E.g. financial projection and operational management


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West African Leader In Off-Grid Solar Completes US$13.5 Million Fundraise

Delivering solar to 500,000 underserved off-grid consumers in West Africa

Press Release – PEG Africa, the leading off-grid solar company in West Africa, is pleased to announce it has successfully raised US$13.5 million through a combination of debt and a Series B equity financing. The proceeds will be used to accelerate growth in Ghana and Ivory Coast, where PEG is already a sector leader, to reach 500,000 people.

PEG provides loans for solar home systems and other useful assets to off-grid households in West Africa. PEG is able to offer loans to off-grid customers earning $5-$10 per day, who are often rural and considered risky by banks and microfinance, using ‘pay-as-you-go’ technology. This technology allows PEG to control assets remotely in the field while they are being repaid by customers. Importantly, by allowing customers to pay over time in small increments, PEG is able to reach many customers who would not otherwise be able to afford such life-changing products.

Hugh Whalan, CEO of PEG Africa, commented: “With this funding, PEG Africa will be able to reach a major milestone of extending energy and financing to half a million people. We are excited that we can now accelerate our growth plans in key West African markets. It is testament to the quality of the opportunity that all previous investors have participated in the Series B equity financing.”

PEG raises industry-first syndicated multi-currency loan in West Africa

PEG worked with SunFunder on a large multi-currency syndicated loan – an industry first – with participation from six lenders, including SunFunder, ResponsAbility, Oikocredit, Global Partnerships and Palladium Impact Investments. The transaction was advised by Nixon Peabody LLP.

Audrey Desiderato, COO of SunFunder, commented: “We have seen PEG Africa achieve major milestones in the last few years. By structuring and arranging this syndication on PEG’s behalf, we have provided scalable financing so they can focus on their core business.”

PEG raises Series B financing, bringing total funding raised to over $21M USD

PEG’s Series B was led by Blue Haven Initiative, with participation from EAV, Investisseurs & Partenaires (via IPAE 1 fund), ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies, Acumen and PCG Investments.

Lauren Cochran, Managing Director at Blue Haven Initiative, commented: “We are big believers in the potential for consumer finance and off-grid energy across Sub Saharan Africa. PEG are the team to back in West Africa and we are thrilled to be a part of their growing company.”

About PEG Africa

PEG Africa is the leading company in West Africa providing asset-based financing for solar and other useful assets to consumers who lack both access to reliable electricity and formal banking services. PEG’s anchor product, a basic solar home system that includes three lights, a phone charger, and a radio, allows consumers living on $5-10 per day to access clean light for working and studying after hours, avoid harmful air pollution from kerosene based lighting solutions, and also build credit for additional products and services over time. PEG has 300 full time staff, and reaches close to 200,000 people at present. www.pegafrica.com


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Capacity Building Is An Important Value Add For Impact Investing

Press Release – NEW YORK, October 12, 2017 – A majority of impact investors provide capacity-building support (or technical assistance) to investees, yet the vital role of capacity building in impact investing has not been adequately explored, according to the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN). Beyond Investment: The Power of Capacity-Building Support, a report published today by the GIIN, focuses specifically on capacity building in the impact investing industry, highlighting common, effective practices and opportunities to enhance future practices.

Drawing on findings from interviews with practitioners from 31 organizations, the report offers key insights into the reasons that impact investors, service providers, and funders choose to provide capacity-building support. These include improving an investor’s level of competitiveness for impact investment transactions, enhancing financial performance, and improving or expanding the investees’ impact.

GIIN research has found that 73% of impact investors provide this kind of assistance to their portfolio companies. Capacity-building practices used by impact investors often resemble forms of nonfinancial support historically leveraged by conventional investors to strengthen an investees’ strategy or operations. But impact investors offer deeper engagement with their investees and frequently use capacity-building support to enhance and extend their impact. Impact investors reported helping investee companies better understand their social and environmental impact and refine and articulate their impact strategies and objectives, among others.

Capacity-building is a versatile, widely-applicable tool that offers multiple direct benefits to both investors and investees. The structure and delivery of capacity-building support is often highly customized to meet the needs and requirements of specific recipients. Despite the bespoke nature of the support, the report finds that there is benefit to investors in sharing lessons learned openly with others, in order to accelerate the growth of the market. Collaboration among the different stakeholders, including investors, portfolio companies, service providers, and funders, could facilitate wider and more efficient use of capacity-building support across the industry.

“Capacity-building support is one critical tool to accelerate and deepen the change investors seek,” said GIIN Research Director Abhilash Mudaliar. “Through capacity-building support, investors, service providers, and funders can strengthen the impact of impact investing, grow vibrant markets with thriving communities, conserve and enhance our environment, and improve the lives of the people who need it most.”

This project was funded in part by generous support from the DOEN Foundation.


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Change Finance Launches CHGX, Impact Investing ETF

First truly fossil fuel-free ETF utilizes diversified impact screens

Press Release – New York, NY, October 10th, 2017 — Change Finance, a majority women-run asset manager, today announced the launch of its first ETF. The Change Finance Diversified Impact U.S. Large Cap Fossil Fuel Free ETF (CHGX) is the only ETF that uses diversified impact screens to look beyond excluding fossil fuels, taking a comprehensive approach to socially responsible investing.

CHGX’s methodology is informed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These internationally agreed-upon standards seek to eradicate poverty, protect planetary life support, and achieve lasting peace and dignity for humanity. Change Finance, devoted to providing impact-focused, performance-oriented investments, uses the SDGs to craft investment options for customers who care about impact and income.

“CHGX is a new chapter in investing,” said Donna Morton, Change Finance CEO. “Our investors want alignment with what they care about, without sacrificing performance. Fossil fuel-free is essential, but CHGX then goes further, divesting not only from companies who dig up, refine, burn and service fossil fuels, but also from companies that are serious polluters, that have significant human or labor rights violations, and that fail to meet a variety of other social and environmental standards. No other ETF does this.”

CHGX goes beyond fossil fuel-free screens as well. “We reject companies that produce pesticides or military weapons, engage in corrupt business practices or have exploitative relationships with labor and Indigenous people,” Andrew Rodriguez, Change Finance President, added. “We move money from harm to healing—harnessing our collective experience in social change. The result is an ETF that invests in companies built for the 21st century. This sort of smart investing can solve some of the worst social and environmental issues, and we believe it could serve as a core holding in any investor’s portfolio. Think of us as inspired by the values of “Occupy,” but powered by the acumen of Wall St.”

A growing body of academic research suggests that ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) factors can also be predictive of outperformance. “We see ‘investing to turn a profit’ versus ‘investing with your personal values’ as a false trade-off,” said Dorrit Lowsen, Change Finance COO. “You don’t have to choose between the two. There’s ample evidence that doing good for people and planet is actually just plain good business.”

CHGX’s index begins with the 1,000 largest U.S.-listed companies and applies a series of ESG screens to exclude companies that are deemed to be “bad actors,” whether they operate in the oil, gas, coal, or tobacco industries among others, or have engaged in any sort of business malpractice. The fund has an expense ratio of 0.75%, and intends to spur changes in companies through shareholder advocacy. CHGX will track the performance of the Change Finance Diversified Impact U.S. Large Cap Fossil Fuel Free Index.

“After applying these screens, what you’re left with are good global corporate citizens—large cap, U.S.-based companies representing a range of sectors,” said Hunter Lovins, Change Finance Executive Vice President of Impact, “We believe these are some of the best companies with long-term business models. They are conscientious regarding their impact on employees, supply chains, people, and planet. They do what they can to reduce their carbon footprint, implement inclusive employment practices, harness the wisdom of women, and seek to do good in the communities where they do business. They are what I want to own.”

About Change Finance

Change Finance is committed to transforming the financial landscape by providing impact investing products that are good for people, planet, and investors. The firm is the only majority woman-owned and managed financial company offering ETFs that are truly fossil free, clean, and responsible. Change Finance’s approach to investing emphasizes investing in service to life, which it implements through a “divest from harm, invest in healing” methodology, grounded in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

We believe finance is the mother of all human systems. Where capital flows, momentum follows. As investors make statements with which funds they choose to invest in, corporations are primed to listen and respond. In this way, Change Finance’s suite of funds enables investors to drive impact, creating an economy in service to life through financial activism. For more information, please visit changefinanceETF.com.

The fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses must be carefully before investing. The prospectus contains this and other important information about the investment company. It may obtained by calling 1-303-339-0524 or emailing info@change-finance.com. Read it carefully before investing.

Investing involves risk. Principal loss is possible. Investments in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) involve additional risks such as declines in the value of real estate and increased susceptibility to adverse economic or regulatory developments. The social, governance, and/or environmental policy of the Fund could cause it to make or avoid investment that could result in the portfolio underperforming similar funds that do not have such policies. The Fund is a recently organized, diversified management investment company with no operating history. As a result, prospective investors have no track record on which to base their investment decisions. The Fund may trade at a premium or discount to NAV. Shares of any ETF are bought and sold at market price (not at NAV) and are not individual redeemed from the Fund. Brokerage commissions will reduce returns. The performance of the funds may diverge from that of the index. Because the funds may employ a representative sampling strategy and may also invest in securities that are not included in the index, the funds may experience tracking error to a greater extent than funds that seek to replicate an index. The funds are not actively managed and may be affected by a general decline in market segments related to the index.

The Change Finance Diversified Impact U.S. Large Cap Fossil Fuel Free ETF is distributed by Quasar Distributors, LLC.


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SolarNow Receives $6 Million Syndicated Off-Grid Solar Financing Facility

Leading off-grid solar company SolarNow and investors SunFunder, Oikocredit and responsAbility Investments announce a new syndicated receivables financing facility amounting to $6 million. Structured as a bankruptcy-remote special purpose vehicle, the facility will enable SolarNow to deploy solar home systems to a broad section of Uganda’s off-grid population by offering credit to end users.

Press Release – The $6 million facility is SolarNow’s second structured asset finance instrument, known a s SAFI, arranged by SunFunder. SAFI is a bankruptcy-remote special purpose vehicle designed for solar companies deploying systems through pay-as-you-go and solar leasing models in developing countries. It enables them to expand their offerings and reach more people living without access to energy.

The syndication was led by SunFunder, with each lender providing $2 million to the facility. While it is SolarNow’s second SAFI transaction, it represents the first syndicated SAFI in the market. SunFunder, acting as the Arranger, Lender and Facility Agent, arranged the $6 million facility with social investor Oikocredit and an energy fund focusing on energy access and managed by responsAbility Investments as co-investors.

SolarNow and SunFunder have now completed five transactions together, tracking the growth of the sector itself from humble origins to larger and increasingly sophisticated deployments.

Willem Nolens, SolarNow CEO, says, “We are thrilled to continue building our fruitful relationship with SunFunder. So far, it has allowed us to focus entirely on our growth and profitability reaching more than 25,000 clients. This new step of our partnership will enable us to continue tackling the massive unmet market opportunity in East Africa of providing affordable energy to millions of off-grid households, and to reach 70% of Uganda’s off-grid population with solar home systems.”

Ryan Levinson, SunFunder CEO, says, “Our customers need more scalable, less time-consuming financing options so they can focus on their core business delivering solar energy. By leading syndications, SunFunder offers solar companies larger ticket size loans with less hassle. We are delighted to build on our long-standing relationship with SolarNow and bring in additional investors.”

Speaking on behalf of responsability, Stefan Issler, Head Direct Investments, Energy Debt Financing, underlines: “Access to energy is a core topic when it comes to developing economies. By channeling financing to companies like SolarNow, we actively develop markets and infrastructure, thereby addressing the basic needs of broad sections of the population.”

Maite Pina, Investment Officer at Oikocredit, says, “With this securitization Oiko credit demonstrates its commitment to supporting SolarNow and off-grid solar in the long-term. We see SolarNow as a company that prioritises its customers in order to meet their needs with the right solar products and services. It is also important to us that SolarNow aims to contribute towards Uganda’s development and economy.”


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