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Inclusive Business and Impact Investing
The first and highest rated scoop.it blog on sustainable and inclusive business models that do well by doing good in emerging markets. The curations are mine.
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Can Goldman Sachs and Wall Street Compete on Improving Society, Not Just Wealth Accumulation?

Can Goldman Sachs and Wall Street Compete on Improving Society, Not Just Wealth Accumulation? | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

How do you pick a winner? Bet on both sides.

CEOs and companies donate generously to both political parties; more than 70 percent of the S&P 500 practice this approach. Traders of options craft strategies like "straddles" to cover both sides. And savvy investors like Goldman Sachs play both sides too: John Paulson's mortgage-market bets minted him a billionaire in the 2008 meltdown. But Goldman profited by both co-investing in this strategy while also selling the exact opposite trade to its clients. Playing both sides, for which Goldman is rightly assailed, results in conflicts of interest, and erosion of client trust.

This week's New York Times guest editorial by Greg Smith, formerly of Goldman Sachs' equity derivatives unit, continues to chip away at Goldman's formerly stellar brand and reputation, cracking the foundation built more than Marcus Goldman and Samuel Sachs back more than 140 years ago. This is not a surprise to most of us, but continues to reinforce how the culture of "money at any cost" is deeply embedded on Wall Street. Greg Smith's piercing quote sums it up: "People who care only about making money will not sustain this firm -- or the trust of its clients -- for very much longer."

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VIVAnews - Indonesia Has More of ASEAN's Top Companies

VIVAnews - Indonesia Has More of ASEAN's Top Companies | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

VIVAnews – A consulting firm, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), figures 50 companies in Southeast Asia will emerge as the new market leaders in the region. Indonesian and Malaysian companies are the major contributors with a total of 12 corporations.
In The Companies Piloting a Soaring Region report obtained by VIVAnews, BCG announced that the 50 companies were selected from an analysis of geographic and economic diversity.
BCG at least listed around 500 companies in Southeast Asia of which annual income reach at least US$500 million per year.

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What do International Remittances mean for Mobile Money? CGAP releases study on remittances

What do International Remittances mean for Mobile Money? CGAP releases study on remittances | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

CGAP and Dalberg Global Development Advisors recently conducted a landscaping study of international remittances through mobile money. Download the report to read details of the industry landscape in 2012, emerging success factors, challenges and innovations as well as seven case studies. This blog post is the first in a five part series examining international remittances and branchless banking. Andria Thomas is Project Manager at Dalberg.

Since remittances to developing countries were estimated at about $351 billion for 2011, capturing even a small share of this market could be a transformational opportunity for mobile money providers – right?

Perhaps, but it’s not as easy as one might think. Building on our landscaping study of international remittances through branchless banking conducted at the end of 2010, we set out to analyze the growing industry of international remittances through mobile money as it continues to evolve today. We paid particular attention to offerings that allow a customer to receive funds from abroad directly into a mobile wallet which can be converted to cash at a large agent network. We wanted to understand whether international remittances are helping build the mobile money business. Can international remittances be a tool to improve the value proposition for agents? Are they a hook for attracting new customers or driving more transactions? And, fundamentally, do they provide a more efficient path to build the mobile money ecosystem?

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Foreign Private Equity Firms Urged to Find Indonesian Partners | The Jakarta Globe

Foreign Private Equity Firms Urged to Find Indonesian Partners | The Jakarta Globe | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

ndonesian private equity funds advisors have told foreign peers to find local partners to identify ways to tap into the huge market in the archipelago.

Global private equity companies are looking for opportunities in the larger economies in Southeast Asia after a tightening of competition in other emerging countries like China and India.

“Indonesia offers many opportunities but operating here without having any networks at the micro- or macro-level is inherently dangerous,” Patrick Alexander, managing director of Batavia Investment Management, said on Tuesday.

Alexander said the biggest concerns for private equity companies doing business in Indonesia are uncertainties in the country’s legal system. Indonesia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) revealed last week that businesses in Indonesia must set aside up to 17.4 percent of their investment funds to pay legal fees, such as those needed to obtain official permits.

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Jordan News Agency (Petra) |Swedish Embassy to launch Innovation Against Poverty (IAP)

Jordan News Agency (Petra) |Swedish Embassy to launch Innovation Against Poverty (IAP) | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

Amamn, March (Petra)--The Embassy of Sweden in Amman and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) will launch next Sunday Innovation Against Poverty (IAP).

Innovations Against Poverty is a new Business for Development programme financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The programme will function as a risk sharing mechanism for sustainable business ventures (commercial companies or market oriented organisations), which have strong potential impact on poverty reduction.

The programme aims at mobilising resources and encourage companies to develop their core activities (i.e. develop services, products and processes) in a way that will contribute to better conditions for marginalised people. This support to "inclusive business models" can engage the poor as innovators, employees, suppliers, distributors or consumers.

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Are Walmart’s Global Responsibility Goals Too Ambitious?

Are Walmart’s Global Responsibility Goals Too Ambitious? | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

Walmart, once almost universally reviled by the social responsibility-conscious, has won back trust in recent years with a number of moves: promising to develop a Sustainability Index to rate all products on its shelves, increasing renewable energy use, dramatically increasing the amount of local produce found on store shelves, opening up stores in food deserts across the U.S., and more. According to a report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), it’s not enough--and, in fact, Walmart’s sustainability strategy has given the company a bigger environmental footprint.

The report, written by Stacy Mitchell (she has penned a number of anti-Walmart stories for Grist), contains a laundry list of allegations against Walmart. Among them:

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Unilever’s New Open Innovation Space Supports Sustainable Growth

Unilever’s New Open Innovation Space Supports Sustainable Growth | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

LONDON—Unilever’s Open Innovation launched a new online platform to has extended its collaborative approach with partners and to help it deliver a range of important innovation projects that support the company's sustainable growth strategy.

The details of a range of research projects have been published online to invite potential collaborators to work with Unilever's Research & Development team to design the innovation breakthroughs which will create a better future for its consumers, the environment, its business and its partners.

Each Open Innovation project at Unilever is defined by its "Want"—the technical solution the company is looking to work with external collaborators to develop. The "Wants" listed on the new platform span across Unilever's commitment to both reduce its environmental impact and increase its positive social impact.

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EMERGING MARKETS-Latin America stocks fall on China worries

EMERGING MARKETS-Latin America stocks fall on China worries | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

Brazil stocks fall on concerns over China slowdown

* Mexico's IPC trade suspended due to strong quake

* Commodity shares lead declines

By Guillermo Parra-Bernal

SAO PAULO, March 20 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks fell on Tuesday on worries China's demand for raw materials is losing steam while trading was suspended in Mexico late in the session after a strong earthquake forced evacuations across the capital.

The MSCI Latin American stock index shed 1.35 percent as Brazil's benchmark gauge edged further from an 11-month high hit last week.

An official at Mexico's stock exchange said trading was suspended since so many banks and brokerages in the capital evacuated after the quake, which hit around noon local time. No major damage has been reported

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Emerging Markets Private Equity Fundraising Increases by 64%--Highest Level in Three Years

Emerging Markets Private Equity Fundraising Increases by 64%--Highest Level in Three Years | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON, Mar 20, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- --Brazil raises record US$7 billion, five times the 2010 total.

--Emerging Asia and Latin America capture 82% of total EM PE investment.

Emerging markets funds continue to capture a larger slice of the global private equity (PE) fundraising pool, reaching 15% of new commitments globally in 2011, up from 11% in 2010. Led by China and Brazil, fundraising for emerging markets PE in 2011 grew by 64% year on year, reaching a 3-year high of US$38.6 billion, according to the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA). In the same year, 876 private equity and venture capital deals valued at US$26.9 billion were completed in the emerging markets, representing 11% of invested PE capital globally.

“The trend toward increased LP commitments to emerging market dedicated funds is consistent with how LPs view the market opportunity in these high growth economies,” said Sarah Alexander, EMPEA’s President and CEO.

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29 firms fail to file promised sustainability reports

29 firms fail to file promised sustainability reports | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

For the fifth year, a coalition of signatories to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) are pressuring companies to fulfill their stated commitments to corporate sustainability reporting.
The investors, from 12 countries and with more than $3 trillion in assets under management, have identified 29 companies that are members of the UN Global Compact (UNGC) but "have failed to produce the mandatory annual report that communicates their progress on corporate sustainability." The investors have written to the 29 companies, challenging them to produce the annual corporate responsibility report known as a Communication on Progress (COP) that is required of the more than 7,000 corporate members of UNGC.

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Empowering Poor Women at the Base of the Pyramid? - Business Fights Poverty

Empowering Poor Women at the Base of the Pyramid? - Business Fights Poverty | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

Base of the pyramid (BoP) approaches have been attracting a lot of attention in business and development circles lately. Although typically associated with highly publicised schemes such as Grameen’s “village phone ladies” and Hindustan Unilever’s “Project Shakti”, a number of BoP initiatives have sprung up across Africa and Asia to address a range of development concerns, from health and energy to gender empowerment and poverty reduction.

For the last few years my colleagues* and I at the Saïd Business School have researched the opportunities that BoP distribution systems provide for women to earn an income by selling consumer goods door-to-door in communities beyond the reach of mainstream retail. We’ve looked at one scheme in depth: CARE Bangladesh’s Rural Sales Programme (RSP), which aims to create employment opportunities for marginalized women and to improve the access of the rural poor to a range of consumer goods.

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A welcome piece of good economic news

A welcome piece of good economic news | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

Americans and Europeans will remember the last several years as a period of economic insecurity. But the economic history of our times will be recounted very differently in the rest of the world. As developed nations have struggled with financial instability and unsustainable debt, developing economies have raised hundreds of millions out of poverty. Our long economic winter is a pleasant summer in distant places.

According to the World Bank, extreme poverty — defined as living on less than $1.25 a day — has been declining in every developing region. The first Millennium Development Goal set by the United Nations — to cut the global rate of extreme poverty in half between 1990 and 2015 — was achieved in 2010, well ahead of schedule. Much of the good news has come in emerging markets such as Brazil, China and India. But on the African continent, the rate of extreme poverty has fallen below 50 percent for the first time since 1981.

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Nestlé Nespresso: Creating Shared Value through the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program

Nestlé Nespresso: Creating Shared Value through the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

he 2011 Nestlé Creating Shared Value report presents some of the achievements of the Nespresso sustainability commitments as part of its unique AAA Sustainable Quality™ coffee sourcing program.

At the end of 2011, Nespresso was sourcing over 60% of its coffee through its AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program, with purchased volumes higher than the previous year. The company is on track with its commitment to source 80% of its coffee from the AAA Program by the end of 2013.

 

Approaching its 10 years of existence, this unique coffee sourcing program focused on sustainable quality is going from strength to strength. “Our concrete approach to sustainable quality has led to stronger relationships between Nespresso and the farmers. As a result, we have seen an increased loyalty of AAA coffee producers towards our company,” says Guillaume Le Cunff, International Marketing and Strategy Director, in charge of sustainability, at Nestlé Nespresso SA.

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Inclusive Business: Opportunities for BoP, Stocknova

The inclusive business model effectively builds bridges between businesses and the low income population (also known as the Base of the Pyramid, or BoP) for mutual benefit in the supply chain, in the workplace and in the marketplace.

The Inclusive Business approach is about sustainability, inclusiveness and innovation, which makes it a unique approach compared to traditional business models. Inclusive business models are often highly creative solutions that buy from, or sell to, substantial numbers of low income people, generating a mutually beneficial outcome. Innovation is often achieved through engagement with non-traditional business partners such as producer associations or non-profits, enabling companies and other stakeholders to pool financial investment, skills, contacts and other resources.

It is estimated that by the end of 2011 the world population reached 7 billion, of which 55 per cent are currently part of the global BoP, with incomes of less than US$8 per day (that is, without a sustained income source, and with scarce opportunities for entering the goods, services or employment markets).

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Power From The Sun, Floating On Top Of Sewage

Power From The Sun, Floating On Top Of Sewage | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

Solar power has a problem. Despite shattering efficiency records and slashing prices, placing new solar farms can be expensive, and often comes into conflict with people who don’t want land taken up with huge solar arrays. With global solar capacity growing 40% to 27 GW in 2011, developers are looking for new sites to deploy their panels.

One area of unused real estate? Water. Not oceans or lakes, but bodies of water that most people probably don’t even know exist: the vast expanses of wastewater ponds, sewage treatment pools, dams, and reservoirs that sit unused around the world.

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World Bank: Poverty Levels in the Developing World – Journalist's Resource: Research for Reporting, from Harvard Shorenstein Center

World Bank: Poverty Levels in the Developing World – Journalist's Resource: Research for Reporting, from Harvard Shorenstein Center | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

In 2012, the World Bank updated its estimates of global poverty rates. The results for the latest years studied — 2005 to 2008 — indicated that the percentage of people living below the poverty line declined for all six regions studied. This was the first decline over a three-year period since 1981.

The 2005-2008 findings are based on 850 surveys compiled from 130 developing countries; the surveys included 1.23 million households and provided a statistical snapshot of some 90% of the population of the developing world. For the purposes of the estimates, those unable to spend $1.25 a day on consumption (after adjusting for inflation and exchange rates) were classified as poor.

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EY Global Private Equity Watch 2012: Striving for Growth, a Return to Entrepreneurship

Passion. Persistence. Opportunity. ... Value creation. Business transformation. A new paradigm of “entrepreneurship” seems to be emerging. And private equity (PE) firms are part of the force driving that change. Although entrepreneurs operate across a highly diverse range of sectors and regions of the world, we have found that they share a number of common behaviors and characteristics. Subsequent research conducted by Ernst & Young, which included a survey of 685 entrepreneurs and in-depth interviews with winners of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® program, has helped us formalize our view into a solid model of the makeup of the entrepreneur. Looking back at the PE industry over the last decade, we would argue that the firms thriving today are those that have embraced the entrepreneurial culture and have evolved to thrive in a new world order. It is the industry’s reputation for innovation and creativity that has propelled PE forward as it drives value creation and business transformation in the companies it owns. While the PE model has already demonstrated its resilience in the face of adversity, there is no doubt that success in today’s market will require firms to adapt even further. PE needs to identify and capture the most promising growth prospects. Capitalizing on opportunities in turbulent times requires agility and entrepreneurial management — the attributes that made PE so successful in the early years. And the most successful PE funds are demonstrating that they still have these in abundance as they find ways to thrive and expand.

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The 4 Factors That Make A Country Ideal For Innovation

The 4 Factors That Make A Country Ideal For Innovation | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

With 1.2 billion people, India is teeming with ideas--and places to try out new innovations in energy, water, banking, and health care. “India is an amazing microcosm,” says Navi Radjou, an innovation and leadership strategist and a Fellow at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. Radjou and two colleagues have written a book called Jugaad Innovation about the concept of jugaad, a Hindi word meaning an improvised solution born from ingenuity and cleverness.

There are four ingredients that make India a special spot to innovate, and any good innovator mixes aspects from the four components to create something new, says Radjou.

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Wind, Solar, Hydro Benefit from Inter-American Development Bank Policy Shift

Wind, Solar, Hydro Benefit from Inter-American Development Bank Policy Shift | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, March 20, 2012 (ENS) - The Inter-American Development Bank is ramping up its investments in private sector renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.
At the bank's annual meeting in Montevideo, which concluded Monday, bank officials said that for 2012, the bank expects to approve more than $700 million in long-term financing for private sector renewable energy projects, particularly wind, solar and hydropower plants.

"The Latin America and the Caribbean region is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas footprint," said Hans Schulz, head of the IDB's Structured and Corporate Finance Department, which is responsible for financing large-scale projects in the private sector.

Brazil's largest wind energy facility, the Alegria wind plant, on the Atlantic Ocean near Guamare, in Rio Grande do Norte, began operating in 2010. (Photo by Multiner SA)

"Several countries are beginning to develop their potential for wind, geothermal, bio energy production and solar energy, often through private sector leadership," Schulz said. "The IDB provides access to tailored long-term financing, not readily available in local capital markets for these types of projects."

Last year, the IDB approved $736 million in financing for private sector environmentally-friendly projects, compared with the $663 million invested by the bank between 2000 and 2010.

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@TidesCommunity The Future of Impact Investing #MomentumMag

@TidesCommunity The Future of Impact Investing  #MomentumMag | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

The year is 2017:

In New York City, a mother fleeing an abusive partner brings her children to a domestic violence agency. She is quickly provided a temporary shelter and linked to long-term affordable housing. The agency had been going bankrupt in 2012, but figured out a more effective way to serve families and tapped a loan fund to pay for its transition.
In Los Angeles, another mother stops by her local grocery store on the way home from work and buys tomatoes, kale and chicken for her family’s dinner. All the grocery stores had abandoned her poor neighborhood by 2012. But this store tapped loans, grants, and government assistance to set up shop in this former “food desert”.
In Chicago, a dance company concludes another sold-out performance. In 2012 it collaborated with a theater to take out a loan and purchase its space when neither could access enough donations to undertake this bold move alone.
These vignettes embody the more just and vibrant society we can build if impact investing takes off. But they are not inevitable. Too many impact investing conversations are ahistorical, and too many impact investors are attracted to simple answers and the notion they can go it alone. This limits many impact investors to focus on funding charismatic entrepreneurs delivering niche products rather than tackling fundamental challenges.

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Using Google Earth To Count The World’s Fish

Using Google Earth To Count The World’s Fish | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

Fisherman are known for telling tall tales. Fish farmers, it turns out, are also likely to exaggerate (at least in certain countries).

But researchers have pioneered a new technique to monitor the world’s artificial fisheries with satellite images from Google Earth. Examining the coastline of 16 Mediterranean countries for signs of the cages in which fish farmers raise their herds, the researchers estimated the 2006 production at 225,736 tons, a shade more (but not a statistically relevant amount more) than the 199,542 tons reported to the FAO by fishermen.

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The Evolution of Corporate Sustainability: EarthShare Connects the Dots - Forbes

There is a reason why businesses and nonprofits routinely partner on delivering solutions and targeting crises. While the former can offer resources and funding, the latter can provide the manpower, the passion, and often the granular knowledge needed to address social and environmental issues that are often complex and multifaceted.


But what core elements make such partnerships successful, besides the usual suspect, funding? With a single bottom line, short payback periods, and quarterly reports still dictating how corporations operate, are cross-sector partnerships reaching their full potential? What about the crucial but little talked about role of employees in the final fate of these projects and their eventual success?

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Rise of the Middle Class in Emerging Economies Poses Opportunities and Challenges in 2012 | greengopost.com

Rise of the Middle Class in Emerging Economies Poses Opportunities and Challenges in 2012 | greengopost.com | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

A generation ago the economies in Latin America, Africa, India and China were stagnant, left billions in poverty and provided few opportunities for the vast majority of their citizens to build a better life. Fast forward to this decade, and the global financial landscape has drastically changed. Brazil is a creditor nation; China is the world’s second largest economy; India is an enormous hub of technological innovation; and African nations are beginning to manage their rich depth of natural resources more wisely. The undeniable result is a rising middle class that at the same time will consume more, become more aware of their impact on the earth and will help spur economic recovery beyond the borders of the countries in which they live.
Arguments that these regions’ economic transformations are only benefitting a few elites and foreign companies ring hollow when you look at demographic, financial and anecdotal evidence. Brazil’s Bolsa Familia program is one reason why poverty in Brazil has been halved in the past decade while Latin America’s largest economy eclipsed the United Kingdom as the world’s largest economy. With China becoming the world’s workshop, the wealth generated has given millions of Chinese the means to take bus tours in Europe and weekend shopping trips to Seoul and Bankgok. Indian conglomerates have entrenched themselves in Europe and North America while the middle class in India grows at a faster pace than that of China’s. The middle class in Africa has tripled in size the last 30 years and countries like Ghana are weaning themselves off of foreign aid. The most accurate count of the population of the global middle class, outside of North America and Europe, is 834 million as of 2009. That number will leap over one billion this decade.

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WB study shows how to spur 'inclusive growth' in the PHL

WB study shows how to spur 'inclusive growth' in the PHL | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

Accelerated economic growth could be achieved by the Philippines this year and the next if it can put in place key reform measures, according to the latest World Bank assessment of the country’s prospects.

These reforms would advance recent gains built on strong macroeconomic fundamentals, political stability and a popular government, the report asserts.

Increased government spending, anchored on higher tax revenues, will be crucial in the durability of this growth, the report suggested.

The report, “Philippines Quarterly Update: From Stability to Prosperity,” listed three key reform areas—strengthening public financial management, raising tax revenues efficiently and equitably, and enhancing competitiveness to attract more investment—that need to be addressed to spur economic growth that would “improve the lives of many poor Filipinos.”

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impact investments: unlocking money for social change | Advice for Good blog

impact investments: unlocking money for social change | Advice for Good blog | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

Credit Suisse recently published an excellent report on impact investing and entrepreneurship, called Investing for Impact. I encourage everyone in the non-profit sector to read it.

It goes in-depth on a number of different areas and approaches to improving society through investments – some of which are more along the traditional philanthropy/donation/granting spectrum and others more tied to generating a financial return at the same time as social impact. Here is a the traditional model that has been produced and is found in a number of other areas as well (e.g. European Venture Philanthropy Association).

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