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

Nonprofit crowdfunding course

Devin D. Thorpe


Social Entrepreneurship

This category includes articles about social entrepreneurs, typically about businesses with a for-profit model with a social mission embedded into the fabric of the business.

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IIX works with ATEC Biodigesters to raise Series-A investment, bringing Australian and French investors together into the Impact Investment market in Asia

Press Release – August 18th, 2017 — ATEC Biodigesters (ATEC), an Australian-Cambodian Social Enterprise has raised US$700,000 in a Series-A equity round to expand its operations in Cambodia as well as to explore other international opportunities in the household waste-to-energy market. The investment was made by a consortium of investors, led by Small Giants (Australia) and consisting of Fondation Ensemble (France), ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies (France) and one other private Australian investor. The investment round has then been matched with a further €250,000 in results-based-financing by EEP Mekong, a Government of Finland initiative.

“Clean energy solutions that utilise natural systems principles to unlock the inherent energy in our waste streams have the potential to transform the way we power homes across the world”, says Dan Fitzgerald, Chief Investment Officer for Small Giants, an Australian family office devoted to investing 100% of their resources for impact. “The world needs innovative, replicable technologies in the clean energy sector, and we believe ATEC is at the leading edge both in Cambodia and internationally.”

ATEC’s unique household biodigester technology was founded and developed through a partnership of two Australian non-profits working in Cambodia, Engineers Without Borders Australia and Live and Learn Environmental Education, for specific application in seasonally-flooded countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar and Indonesia. By installing a biodigester system, families in rural Cambodia utilize gas as a source of reliable and free energy, replacing traditional wood-burning cook stoves with a cleaner, healthier, and eco-friendly alternative. The system also produces a high-quality organic fertilizer that increases crop yield and can also be used as a substitute for chemical fertilizer. Combining these benefits, an average rural Cambodian family can save $260 per year, a short video on ATEC’s technology can be seen here.

“Three years ago we pitched our concept to our seed funders Google & SNV, who were willing to take a risk with us to see if we could make this technology viable,” says Ben Jeffreys, CEO of ATEC, “to now have the technology validated with over 250 units in the ground and this fantastic investor group on-board, it’s an amazing step forward in bringing this high-impact technology to those who needs it most”.

ATEC raised investment with support from Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) through the award-winning ACTS (Acceleration for Capacity-building and Technical Services) program sponsored by USAID. The program supports Impact Enterprises from across the region with technical assistance and an impact assessment, along with support throughout the capital raise process.

“ATEC Biodigesters is an innovative company with the potential to create immense impact through the dissemination of its technology. IIX was honored to support ATEC through the IIX ACTS program and we are incredibly excited to see investors come together from Australia and France,” said Robert Kraybill, Managing Director at IIX.

About IIX: IIX is a Singapore-based impact enterprise that bridges the gap between finance and development, carving out a third space for social and environmental solutions by unlocking investment capital. As a pioneer of impact investing, IIX builds pathways to connect the Wall Streets of the world with the backstreets of underserved communities. IIX 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. IIX operates Impact Partners, a private platform that connects Impact Investors with a select group of pre-screened Impact Enterprises seeking investment capital. To date, the work of IIX has spanned 20 countries and continues to expand with the mission of unlocking US$1billion of impact investment capital, impacting 100 million lives by 2025.

About ATEC: ATEC* Biodigesters is a new social enterprise that produces, sells and distributes a custom-manufactured 3.25m3 biodigester design manufactured in Phnom Penh. The ATEC Biodigester is a rotor-moulded unit designed for the challenging environments of rural farmers. To date over 300 units have been sold within Cambodia within Cambodia, providing renewable gas for cooking, 20 tons of organic fertilizer per year, and saving the average rural family US$5,850 over the product lifetime.

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Henkel Joins The New Plastics Economy: A Collaboration Platform Promoting Innovation In Packaging And Recycling

Transforming the future – together

Press Release – Henkel is joining forces with partners from across industries to spark a wave of innovation in the design, production and recycling of packaging materials. As a participant in the New Plastics Economy initiative, the company will share its leading expertise to drive progress toward efficient, safe and environmentally sustainable packaging.

The New Plastics Economy (NPEC) is a three-year initiative aiming to build momentum toward a plastics system based on the “circular economy” principle. The central idea of the circular economy is to gather materials after they have been used and process them so they can be reintegrated into another production process – over and over again. This saves resources and reduces the environmental impact. The NPEC is bringing key stakeholders together to rethink and redesign the future of plastics, starting with packaging. It is targeting a shift away from incremental improvements and fragmented initiatives, and moving toward a shared direction that delivers positive outcomes along the plastics value chain. The initiative is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

“Henkel is delighted to be part of the New Plastics Economy, and we’re looking forward to working with partners to drive innovations that make a big impact,” says Dr. Thorsten Leopold, Head of International Packaging Development for Home Care products. “Our company is in a strong position to make a valuable contribution to the NPEC because of its unique business model: On the one hand, Henkel can contribute as a manufacturer of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), like laundry detergent, shampoo or glue sticks. However, the company is also a global leader in adhesives and other advanced technologies that are used for packaging applications: These range from glues that seal boxes or secure product labels, through to functional and protective coatings for plastic packaging, and adhesives that hold the different layers of flexible packaging together. Taken together, this means we’re able to offer expertise from both perspectives, as an FMCG manufacturer and a supplier of adhesives and other technologies: Which gives our teams a uniquely broad understanding of the challenges and possible solutions related to packaging.”

Throughout its 140-year history, Henkel has leveraged its innovative power to drive leadership in sustainability. Commitment to leadership in sustainability is anchored firmly in Henkel’s corporate values. In line with this commitment, Henkel’s teams of packaging developers continually create innovative, intelligent and resource-efficient packaging solutions, by focusing on three principles: prevent, reduce, and reuse. This means producing less packaging and waste, developing better packaging and enabling a circular economy.

Henkel’s innovations in sustainable packaging include the bottles for its premium brand Perwoll Wolle & Feines in Germany, which were manufactured with 15 percent recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from post-consumer sources during a recent pilot project. Henkel’s packaging experts were able to retain the luminous pink color of the Perwoll bottle without making any compromises on the performance or fragrance of the product. The company also collaborated with Ball Corporation, a manufacturer of metal packaging including cans, to develop a technology enabling the use of up to 25 percent recycled aluminum in cans for the deodorant sprays from Henkel’s Fa, Souplesse and Neutromed brands. The buckets for Henkel’s Metylan wallpaper paste are another example: They are made of 50 percent recycled material and 50 percent waste from industrial production that is fed back into the process for manufacturing new buckets.

Participating in the NPEC forms part of Henkel’s comprehensive strategy for sustainable packaging. This is built around a set of key targets for the year 2020:

  • Reduce the weight of packaging measured against net sales to 20 percent (base year 2010).
  • Increase the proportion of recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) in bottles to 33 percent in Europe, and the proportion of recycled aluminum in cans to 9 percent.
  • Reach more than 300 million consumers through more targeted information on recycling.

These targets pay into Henkel’s overall sustainability strategy, which aims to triple the value it creates for the footprint made by its operations, products and services by the year 2030 (base year 2010). It calls this ambition to become three times more efficient “Factor 3”.

More information on Henkel’s approach to packaging can be found at

More information on Henkel’s overall approach to sustainability can be found at

About Henkel

Henkel operates globally with a well-balanced and diversified portfolio. The company holds leading positions with its three business units in both industrial and consumer businesses thanks to strong brands, innovations and technologies. Henkel Adhesive Technologies is the global leader in the adhesives market – across all industry segments worldwide. In its Laundry & Home Care and Beauty Care businesses, Henkel holds leading positions in many markets and categories around the world. Founded in 1876, Henkel looks back on more than 140 years of success. In 2016, Henkel reported sales of 18.7 billion euros and adjusted operating profit of 3.2 billion euros. Combined sales of the respective top brands of the three business units – Loctite, Schwarzkopf and Persil – amounted to more than 6 billion euros. Henkel employs more than 50,000 people globally – a passionate and highly diverse team, united by a strong company culture, a common purpose to create sustainable value, and shared values. As a recognized leader in sustainability, Henkel holds top positions in many international indices and rankings. Henkel’s preferred shares are listed in the German stock index DAX. For more information, please visit

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Electrolux Partners With Sustainability Festival The Stockholm Act

Press Release – Electrolux is proud to be a contributing partner of the inaugural The Stockholm Act; a festival beginning August 21 to raise awareness for sustainable development towards 2030. Hosting a wide range of events in Stockholm during one week, Electrolux will work with partners to showcase initiatives related to sustainable cooking, reducing food waste and caring for clothes.

The Stockholm Act brings together people from politics, business, science and art to explore steps to build a more sustainable world – with action needed toward the ‘Agenda 2030’ to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals signed by all United Nations (UN) members in 2015.

Sustainability is a core part of the Electrolux business strategy and supports the company’s purpose to ‘Shape living for the better’. Electrolux sustainability framework comprises nine promises in three key areas, addressing many of the UN Sustainability Goals. With the events organized during The Stockholm Act, Electrolux will highlight and raise awareness mainly about goals 2 (Zero Hunger) and 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production).

Electrolux Head of Sustainability Affairs Henrik Sundström said: “Partnering with The Stockholm Act is a great opportunity to jointly raise awareness of the UN goals and build a more sustainable future. Through showcasing our own sustainability initiatives, we hope to contribute to learnings that help drive sustainable development towards 2030 at both a local and global level.”

Events by or with Electrolux during The Stockholm Act include:

  • A taste-along with Tasteology, a mini-documentary series deconstructing the concept of taste from a fresh perspective. More info.
  • A Transformation Talk on Electrolux journey to work more with partners in the area of social enagement. Electrolux representatives discuss this together with partners Worldchefs, AIESEC and Stockholm City Mission. More info.
  • Waste Tasting – a unique dinner experience aiming to inspire and educate around food waste to make a change for the better. The dinner also includes a short panel discussion with spokespeople from Stockholm’s food waste scene and will be the premiere for a mini-documentary around food waste. More info.
  • A Care & Repair Station together with Houdini, aiming to educating around sustainability and how to better care for your clothes. More info.
  • The Zero Waste Market in collaboration with the Stockholm City Mission, shedding light on sustainable consumption patterns. Smoothies made by vegan chef Sebastian Schauermann using rescued fruits and vegetables and other sample treats made of donated surplus food will be served for free. More info.
  • A smoothie pop-up bar installed by Electrolux on the topic of how to reduce food waste. The smoothies will be served by Eat Easier, a startup run by three high school students. Food will be provided by Sopköket, a startup offering gourmet catering and school meals made out of rescued food and providing jobs for youths and long-term employees. More info.

Electrolux shapes living for the better by reinventing taste, care and wellbeing experiences, making life more enjoyable and sustainable for millions of people. As a leading global appliance company, we place the consumer at the heart of everything we do. Through our brands, including Electrolux, AEG, Anova, Frigidaire, Westinghouse and Zanussi, we sell more than 60 million household and professional products in more than 150 markets every year. In 2016 Electrolux had sales of SEK 121 billion and employed 55,000 people around the world. For more information go to


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Sustainability Thought Leaders and Innovators to Come Together at Yale University

Preeminent event provides unprecedented access for participants with industry experts

Press Release – NEW HAVEN, Conn., Aug. 07 /CSRwire/ – Sustainability professionals from around the world will gather at Yale University this September 12-15 for four days of thought-provoking lectures and interactive discussions at the Yale Sustainability Leadership Forum.

The Forum’s small class size fosters an environment of idea sharing and gives participants and speakers an opportunity to interact one-on-one. Speakers are distinguished thought leaders and innovators drawn from Yale’s renowned Law School, School of Management, and School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, as well as leading practitioners in government and industry. They collectively offer an essential set of strategies and sustainability principles to guide our institutions, governments, businesses, and society.

The Director of the Forum, Professor Daniel C. Esty, brings decades of groundbreaking thinking on environmental law, policy, sustainability innovation, and public-private partnerships to the Forum.

Video: Professor Esty discusses the Forum’s agenda, speakers, benefits for participants, and why you can’t miss this incredible educational experience:

Yale Faculty returning to teach again this fall are standouts in the field of sustainability. Professors William Nordhaus, Marian Chertow, Gary Brudvig, E. Donald Elliott, and Bradford Gentry specialize respectively in carbon pricing, industrial ecology, molecular biophysics and biochemistry, environmental law, and land conservation. Each of their modules will examine current trends in their disciplines, along with sustainability principles and strategies for innovation.

New speakers joining the Forum bring an equally rich set of insights to share. The U.S. State Department’s former top climate change lawyer and a key architect of the Paris Climate Agreement, Susan Biniaz, will teach a module on climate change negotiations. David Lubin, a world leader in the field of corporate performance management will teach a module on sustainable investing. Other speakers include Kenneth Gillingham, Julie Zimmerman, Anthony Leiserowitz, and Andrew Winston, who will teach respectively on the latest innovations in energy and environmental economics, green design, climate change communications, and corporate sustainability management.

To view the agenda, click here. To view the speaker line-up, click here.

Participants of the 2016 inaugural Forum praised the depth and breadth of the candid discussions and felt confident that they left Yale inspired and armed with a myriad of innovative and practical takeaways. “The Forum was an excellent opportunity for me to receive a compact overview of the main trends and challenges in our quest to transition to sustainable societies. Listening to and engaging with some of the field’s brightest minds and leading scholars was both inspiring and an opportunity to calibrate some aspects of my work so that I can be more effective and successful,” said Tanja Srebotjnak, Hixon Professor of Sustainable Environmental Design at Harvey Mudd College.

Jonathan Steinberg, State Representative at the Connecticut General Assembly, echoed that sentiment, saying, “If sustainability is truly the defining framework for this century, this forum is an invaluable medium for grasping the critical issues and opportunities which will determine our planet’s continuing viability.”

YSLF is designed to advance sustainability thought leadership and to inspire sustainability action. To learn from leaders in the field and other sustainability professionals, apply for the 2017 program here. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis and space is limited.

For more information on the Forum and to apply, please visit

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ScoutComms Receives Official B Corp Recertification for 2017-2019

Fast-growing veteran-focused communications and consulting firm increases overall B Impact Score

Press Release – FREDERICKSBURG, VA – ScoutComms announced today that B Lab, the B Corporation certification body, has recognized the company for its second two-year period as a certified B Corporation™. As a certified B Corp, ScoutComms has publicly committed to use the power of business to address the social challenges facing veterans and military families.

Not only did ScoutComms once again successfully complete the rigorous recertification process, it also increased its overall B Impact Score to 125 out, up from an already impressive 116 when it was named 2016 Best for the World B Corporation Honoree. To remain certified, a company needs a score of at least 80. ScoutComms’ updated B Corporation profile is now available online.

ScoutComms is a communications and consulting firm with unmatched knowledge and experience in the nation’s veteran and military communities. The firm supports a diverse array of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations that employ, empower and serve veterans, service members and their families.

The company was founded in 2010 by Army veteran Fred Wellman with the mission to empower veterans and military families through impactful initiatives and collaborative partnerships that lead to great awareness of veterans’ needs. ScoutComms’ efforts have led to the expansion of veterans’ access to resources that promote their economic, physical and mental well-being.

ScoutComms was the first certified B Corporation in the Fredericksburg area, and third in the world focused on veterans.

In addition to serving a wide range of paying clients, ScoutComms supports a number of small, deserving non-profits through a range of pro bono services that range from simple mentorship to comprehensive project support. ScoutComms believes that giving back to the community is a key to success and to making a difference. Each year, the company donates thousands of dollars in profits to non-profit and charitable causes and encourages all employees to pursue volunteer work during and outside of work hours.

“We are incredibly proud to be part of the growing B Corp movement and being recertified at an even higher score demonstrates how much our entire firm has embraced this way of doing business,” said ScoutComms CEO Fred Wellman, a West Point graduate and 22-year Army veteran. “We believe that being a business with a mission is why we have seen such incredible growth and part of why we are growing at a breakneck pace. Clients are coming to us because they know that we are here to make a difference and not just make a buck.”

ScoutComms was also recognized by B Labs for its impressive supplier relations, diversity and involvement in the local community, as well as for the growing number of benefits and incentives it offers employees, including generous health care plans and professional development training.

The firm’s work has resulted in a host of awards and recognitions, including being recently ranked as the nation’s sixth-fastest-growing PR firm by O’Dwyer’s PR News.

To learn more about ScoutComms, visit our website and B Corporation profile.

What is a B Corporation?

In order to be recognized as a Certified B Corporation, ScoutComms had to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance as well as dedication to greater transparency, ethics and employee care in its business practices. As of July 2017, there were 2,204 Certified B Corporations from 50+ countries and more than 130 industries, representing a diverse multi-billion dollar global marketplace. Unlike traditional corporations, Certified B Corporations are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their employees, suppliers, community, consumers and environment. To achieve certification, ScoutComms participated in an in-depth assessment process established by B Lab, the B Corporation certification body. The assessment included extensive disclosure of information relating to ScoutComms operations, business practices, hiring and promotion procedures, environmental management practices, and governance.

ScoutComms Account Executive Danielle Doss, who is a military child herself, successfully led the months-long recertification process for the company.


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IIX’s Women’s Livelihood Bond Officially Listed on the Singapore Exchange

Press Release – SINGAPORE, — August 16th, 2017 — The Women’s Livelihood Bond (WLB), structured by Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), has become listed and quoted on the Bonds Market of the Singapore Exchange (SGX) as of 9:00am today, making it the first listed bond in the impact investing space with a dual focus on financial returns and social impact. The US$8 million debt security will impact over 385,000 women in Cambodia, Vietnam, and the Philippines through enhanced access to credit, market linkages, and affordable goods and services that will build women’s resilience to socio-economic shocks and stresses.

The listing of the WLB ensures transparency and accountability for the bond’s investors who will receive rigorous disclosure of both financial performance and social impact, while also creating the potential for secondary liquidity in the impact investment market.

Ore Huiying | Bloomberg | Getty Images

“Since the WLB has been announced, we have witnessed a sharp growth of interest from global investors for financial structures like the WLB which has greatly strengthened our confidence that impact investing is the future of financial markets. Now, with the listing of the WLB, we have achieved the holy grail of potential liquidity in the impact investing market.” said IIX Founder, Durreen Shahnaz.

The four-year bond offers a coupon rate of 5.65% and includes a number of credit protection features, including $500,000 of first-loss capital provided by IIX as well as a 50% guarantee of the principal amount of the underlying loan portfolio, provided by USAID. Over 60% of the WLB’s investment capital was provided by Asian investors, mostly private banking clients. The WLB is the first in a series of IIX Social Sustainability Bonds™ which IIX plans to structure and list over the coming years.

About IIX Social Sustainability Bonds™

IIX Social Sustainability Bonds™ are uniquely structured fixed-income financial instruments which pool together a group of high-impact enterprises and issues a collective bond. These bonds differ from traditional Social Impact Bonds as they mobilize private sector capital to generate positive social impact worldwide, offer financial returns independent of social outcomes, and are able to be listed on both social and traditional stock exchanges.

About IIX

IIX is a Singapore-based impact enterprise that bridges the gap between finance and development, carving out a third space for social and environmental solutions by unlocking investment capital. As a pioneer of impact investing, IIX builds pathways to connect the Wall Streets of the world with the backstreets of underserved communities. IIX 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$1billion of impact investment capital, impacting 100 million lives by 2025.

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Sunwealth™ Announces First Closing of Solar Impact Fund

Fund offers modern investing approach with quantifiable environmental and social impact

Press Release – (Boston, MA) August 15, 2017Sunwealth, an innovative clean energy investment firm bringing commercial solar to scale, today announced the first tranche closing of its Solar Impact Fund. The Fund offers investors two compelling ways to invest – via tax equity or a bond offering – in the vastly untapped commercial solar asset class.

Sunwealth seeks to create wider-reaching social and environmental impact – without sacrificing financial return – by combining commercial solar projects for credit-worthy businesses, municipalities, and non-profit organizations into a single investment vehicle.

The first tranche is comprised of six projects providing renewable solar energy to fire departments, schools, and businesses in New York and New England, including Sika Sarnafil’s U.S. headquarters in Canton, Massachusetts and the Montessori School of Northampton, Massachusetts. All six projects were recently placed in service, and to date the Solar Impact Fund has exceeded performance expectations.

The second tranche, with a bond offering of $1.5M and tax equity offering of $1M, will include nine additional projects to build on the Solar Impact Fund’s initial success.

“Commercial solar is built on proven technology, high technical potential, and is a driving force in the decentralization, de-carbonization, and democratization of our energy grid,” said Jonathan Abe, Chief Executive Officer at Sunwealth. “The Solar Impact Fund provides investors with a simple, transparent, and predictable investment. They know which projects they are funding and can track the measurable impact they are delivering.”

The Fund’s first two tranches will produce more than 1,691 metric tons of carbon offsets per annum, over $2,115,000 in energy savings for power purchasers, and generate more than 50 job years for sophisticated positions among locally-based solar firms.

Sunwealth invests alongside its investors by owning and operating each project within the Solar Impact Fund. The firm’s technology-driven insight paired with a proprietary underwriting process identifies high-performing projects that can generate meaningful financial returns. The standardized and pooled-project approach dramatically reduces transaction costs and gives investors access to a diverse set of projects that combat climate change and strengthen communities through job creation and access to clean energy.

To learn more about Sunwealth, the Solar Impact Fund, and investing in the future of energy, please visit

About Sunwealth

Sunwealth Power LLC is a pioneering clean energy firm aiming to unleash the power of commercial solar by delivering meaningful returns and tangible impact to its growing community of investors. Sunwealth’s proprietary methodology identifies high-performing, high-impact projects, and its Solar Impact Fund allows for rapid scaling of commercial solar investment, giving investors the unique opportunity to invest directly into a diversified pool of solar assets – generating returns and clean energy faster. Visit

Under no circumstances is the information contained herein to be considered an offer to sell or as a solicitation of an offer to buy any financial product. Investments are offered only via definitive transaction documents and any potential investor should read such documents carefully, including all the risk factors relating to the investment, before investing.

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Trucost Launches Global Carbon Pricing Tool

New tool helps companies understand the risks and opportunities of increasing carbon regulation in different countries

Press Release – LONDON, AUGUST 15, 2017: Trucost, part of S&P Dow Jones Indices, has launched the Corporate Carbon Pricing Tool for companies, to help them to assess exposure to evolving regional carbon pricing mechanisms. The insights are designed to help companies better understand the potential business case for greener products and business models, for example to prioritize regional investment in green technology, resource efficiency or different product strategies.

The tool combines a company’s greenhouse gas emissions and financial performance data with Trucost’s regional carbon pricing information to provide insights on carbon pricing risks out to 2030. Trucost has curated a global database of current carbon regulations, emissions trading schemes, fuel and other taxes, and potential future carbon pricing scenarios designed to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 2°C or less.

The tool models the progressive closure of the spread between carbon prices today and in the future, considering science-based scenarios and climate change commitments. It also comes preloaded with available competitor data, allowing companies to benchmark and compare financial risk exposures.

Libby Bernick, Global Head of Corporate Business, Trucost, part of S&P Dow Jones Indices, said: “Companies are trying to make sense of the pace at which legislators in different countries, states and cities are implementing carbon regulations. Because these regulations could drive up the cost of fossil-fuel-based energy and carbon-intensive raw materials, increasing operating costs and reducing profit margins, companies need robust data and analytics to help inform financial decisions over investments in energy efficiency, low-carbon innovation and renewable energy. Trucost’s Corporate Carbon Pricing Tool provides a solution for companies that want to get ahead of carbon regulation and continue to grow their businesses.”

For more information about Trucost’s Corporate Carbon Pricing Tool, please visit


Trucost is part of S&P Dow Jones Indices. A leader in carbon and environmental data and risk analysis, Trucost assesses risks relating to climate change, natural resource constraints, and broader environmental, social, and governance factors. Companies and financial institutions use Trucost intelligence to understand their ESG exposure to these factors, inform resilience and identify transformative solutions for a more sustainable global economy. S&P Global’s commitment to environmental analysis and product innovation allows us to deliver essential ESG investment-related information to the global marketplace. For more information, visit


S&P Dow Jones Indices is the largest global resource for essential index-based concepts, data and research, and home to iconic financial market indicators, such as the S&P 500® and the Dow Jones Industrial Average®. More assets are invested in products based on our indices than products based on indices from any other provider in the world. Since Charles Dow invented the first index in 1884, S&P DJI has become home to over 1,000,000 indices across the spectrum of asset classes that have helped define the way investors measure and trade the markets.

S&P Dow Jones Indices is a division of S&P Global (NYSE: SPGI), which provides essential intelligence for individuals, companies, and governments to make decisions with confidence. For more information, visit

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The Womanity Foundation Welcomes A New Generation of WomenChangeMakers Fellows in India and Brazil

  • The WomenChangeMakers Fellowship continues its work in social entrepreneurship across India and Brazil
  • The flagship program, which helps social entrepreneurs become a catalyst for large scale social change for women and girls, has selected four social enterprises to join the WomenChangeMakers (WCM) Fellowship in India and Brazil

Press Release – Following a high number of nominations from WCM program partners and a rigorous selection process, the Womanity Foundation is delighted to welcome four new social entrepreneurs to the WCM Fellowship. The WCM Fellowship aims to identify, support and connect leading social entrepreneurs, who are addressing women’s access to education, healthcare as well as economic and political participation.

In India, Armman and Swayam Shikshan Prayog were selected WCM Fellows.

Armman was founded in 2008 in Mumbai, India, by urogynecologist and pelvic floor reconstructive surgeon Dr Aparna Hegde. The social enterprise offers a range of technological and human interventions that plug the gaps in the public health system. It does this by forming a complete wellness circle around women and children, to reduce morbidity and mortality among India’s poorest populations. As part of the fellowship program, Aparna and Armman will be receiving support from the WCM program in developing their delivery model and strengthening their organizational effectiveness to better enable their scaling efforts. WCM will be working with them for the next three years.

Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) was founded in 1998 by Prema Gopalan as a grassroots learning and development organization, focused on empowering women in disadvantaged and underserved communities across India. Together with its beneficiaries, SSP is transforming communities by nurturing and helping develop rural female social entrepreneurs, who are working in clean energy, sanitation, basic health services, nutrition and safe agriculture. WCM will be working closely with Prema and SSP in creating a long-term growth strategy as well as conducting an assessment of their organizational needs, to enable a deeper and broader impact on women’s socio-economic empowerment.

In Brazil, the WCM program also welcomes two new Fellows – Denise Dora of Themis and Juliana de Faria of Think Olga/Think Eva.

Denise Dora, a lawyer and co-founder of Themis has been working for over 20 years to provide women with effective access to justice. Most recently, Themis showcased their innovative use of technology through the development of one app that connects victims of violence to emergency support services and community leaders. Behind the app there is a vast network of people from civil society and law. These types of developments have put the social enterprise at the forefront of the debate on the use of technology and other tools and methodologies to democratize access to the justice system. Themis intend to use their WCM fellowship to build on the capability they already have and maximize their impact.

Juliana de Faria was only 11 years old when she started experiencing harassment on the streets of Brazil. This is what prompted her activism and inspired the numerous publications in which she writes about those experiences. This is something that Brazilian women and girls have to live through on a daily basis. Juliana chose to use her stories to help raise awareness around the problem and provide women with the recognition of the violence being committed. With that in mind, she co-founded Think Olga and later Think Eva. Being part of the WCM Fellowship, will enable Juliana and her team to build a stronger strategy and organizational structure to deal with the fast growth they are experiencing.

On this year’s Fellows, RafiaQureshi, Executive Director of the Womanity Foundation stated:

‘This is an incredibly exciting time for female social entrepreneurship and we are delighted to be working with such innovative women, who have already had a significant impact within their communities and are looking to scale that impact. All of our Fellows have founded organizations that are going through significant growth and this is where the WomenChangeMakers program is at its best, when working with these social enterprises to strengthen their strategy and organizational capabilities to better support their growth.’

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Social Entrepreneurship Offers Answers To Gaps In Youth Employment Across Africa: Opinion

By Amma Sefa-Dedeh Lartey and Fiona Munezero Buchanan, Reach for Change

Young Africans hold immense untapped potential. This isn’t the first time it’s been said, and it surely won’t be the last. As the International Day of Youth was celebrated around the world once again last Saturday, we are compelled to examine the opportunities, the challenges and the changes that are needed for Africa’s most valuable resource: our youth.

Across Sub-Saharan Africa, young people aged 15 – 24 make up more than 20 per cent of our population, and represent more than 30 per cent of working-age population (in most developing countries), according to reports from the International Labour Organization. Yet the African Development Bank (AfDB) reports that 60 percent of the region’s unemployed population are youth. And nearly 70 percent of youth fall into the category of “working poor”: in other words, they make less than US $3.10 per day, due to underemployment, low pay, etc.

AfDB has warned that increasingly educated youth and stagnating job creation throughout the region is extremely risky and could lead to increased inequity and undermining Africa’s social fabric, citing unemployment among youth with secondary school education or higher at 3 times the rate of youth with no formal education. With well over 200 million youth in Africa – a population that is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years – addressing barriers to gainful youth employment must be a top priority for all sectors of society.

A number of initiatives have been introduced to address this predicament, most recently, the massive Jobs for Youth in Africa effort, led by AfDB that seeks to generate 25 million jobs for African youth over the next 10 years.

While major initiatives like this will undoubtedly make a substantial contribution towards youth employment, efforts will be required to fill gaps that will inevitably arise while responding to a challenge of such magnitude. Social entrepreneurship is an essential piece of the puzzle in this quest to improve job prospects for African youth, and also to reduce poverty, and promote economic growth at a critical time for our region.

Social entrepreneurship is a burgeoning sector that combines the ingenuity and innovation of start-ups with the business savvy of sustainable business, with the primary objective being to create social change. In Ghana alone, an 26,000 social enterprises are estimated to be operating in the country, a recent study from the British Council asserts. The study found that 60% of the social enterprises it surveyed focused on employment opportunities as a primary objective. This study, while not representative of the entire social entrepreneurship landscape across Africa, highlights a major opportunity in solving the youth employment challenges we face in Africa, if we play our cards right.

Tesfanesh Tadesse, an Ethiopian social entrepreneur supported by Reach for Change, provides an example of how local innovators can harness social enterprise to address job creation for youth. She runs a social enterprise, called Akinbalo Trading PLC, that focuses on creating jobs for a highly vulnerable population – young, single mothers – by providing them with training and supporting them to run businesses. Her work helps a subsection of youth who are often left out of societal discourse on youth employment and empowers them to provide for themselves and their families.

In Tanzania, Brenda-Deborah Shuma works to reduce the proportion of youth who are not in employment, education or training – one of the targets of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal no. 8 – with a special focus on disabled youth. She provides vocational and skills training to youth with autism and learning disabilities, including livestock keeping, gardening, cooking, tailoring, carpentry, handicrafts and more. This program takes into account the unique needs of disabled youth and helps to increase their chances of accessing employment.

James Kofi Annan runs a social enterprise that creates economic empowerment in impoverished Ghanaian fishing communities to help prevent child slavery. His organization, Challenging Heights has established a women’s economic empowerment program in coastal communities with a high risk of child trafficking. Many young women in the program receive training in fish smoking and storage, soapmaking, horticulture and are able to access micro-financing needed to start businesses and establish stable income, which reduces the risk that children will be trafficked. James’ organization also runs a youth empowerment program that offers IT and employability skills to young people, with the majority of graduates finding employment or setting up their own businesses.

In order to harness the impact that entrepreneurs like Tesfanesh, Brenda and James can make in the realm of youth employment, support for social entrepreneurs is essential. There is a need for more structured support programs like accelerators and incubators to provide social entrepreneurs the support they need to get started and to help them to grow and maximize their impact on society. There is also great need for more funding channels, particularly to establish a conducive environment in which African social enterprise can thrive. Finally, there is a need to build stronger social enterprise ecosystems in African countries – environments that foster social enterprise research, advocacy, learning & innovation and impact investment.

Social entrepreneurship by nature drives job creation. With every successful social enterprise that is established and begins to scale, a multitude of new jobs will become available. When social enterprises focus on solving youth unemployment and underemployment, as part of their core mission, they become powerful tools in dealing with youth unemployment in systematic and effective ways.

About Reach for Change Africa

Reach for Change Africa is a non-profit organization that invests in innovative, early-stage social entrepreneurs who are addressing problems faced by children, youth and women in seven countries across the continent; Ghana, Senegal, Chad, Ethiopia, DR Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania. Reach for Change runs innovation competitions and provides Accelerator and Incubator programs to exceptional social entrepreneurs who are supported to scale their innovations through funding, access to technical and organizational management expertise, and networking opportunities. Reach for Change Africa is a part of the global organization Reach for Change which operates in 18 countries worldwide.

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