Weekly Impact Investment Market Update: August 18, 2017

Impact Investing & ESG

Socially-Responsible Investing: Earn Better Returns from Good Companies

Sustainable investing is an opportunity to make money and make a difference in the world. Many people still feel like they have to choose between their money and their values. They still think about the way sustainable investing used to be, and they could be missing out on some terrific new opportunities in this space. New environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings for mutual funds give investors far more funds to choose from.

The State of Blended Finance

This working paper has been jointly produced by the Blended Finance Breakthrough Taskforce (BFBT) convened by the Business & Sustainable Development Commission, and Convergence. The State of Blended Finance aims to expand the evidence-base around the potential of blended finance to help close the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) funding gap by summarizing blended finance deal trends and identifying ongoing blended finance-related efforts of key actors in the space. This report will inform the recommendations the BFBT intends to deliver to unlock systemic barriers in the blended finance ecosystem that are currently preventing the flow of mainstream capital into blended finance transactions at scale.

Which of the 17 U.N. Global Goals do Impact Investors Prefer

Goals as a guide to impact and opportunity. Yet little is known about which of the goals are getting the most attention. A new report from InvestorFlow, the fast-growing impact investor network, sheds some light on the question. The report, “Who, What, Where, and How: The First 205 Investors,” provides a snapshot of InvestorFlow members (which now number 212) and includes an analysis of their preferences among the U.N. goals.

United States & Europe

U.S. Employment Jumps by 209,000 Jobs in July, More than Expected

A closely watched report released by the Labor Department on Friday showed employment in the U.S. jumped by much more than anticipated in the month of July. The report said non-farm payroll employment surged up by 209,000 jobs in July after spiking by an upwardly revised 231,000 jobs in June.

Developing Economies

Tanzania: U.S., Tanzania Sign U.S.$225 Million Grant

The governments of United States and Tanzania on Friday signed a grant agreement of $225 million for implementation of various projects in education, health, agriculture and good governance. The agreement comes just a day after the US announced its plan to extend funding support in the next year for implementing various development projects in the country.

Gates Foundation to Spend over $300 Million in Tanzania in 2017

Bill Gates has told Reuters his foundation plans to spend more than $300 million in Tanzania this year on public health and poverty reduction programs. In an interview, the billionaire said aid was now being spent “in a smarter way” in some parts of the world.

Breaking the Code: How Women in Nigeria are Changing the Face of Tech

The Nigerian tech scene is booming. Last year, Lagos-based startup Andela received $24m (£18.5m) in funding from Mark Zuckerberg. In 2015, financial technology startup Paystack – one of the first Nigerian tech companies to be accepted into renowned California-based startup accelerator Y Combinator – secured approximately $1.3m in seed investment from international investors.

The Long Game: How Developing Countries can get Microfinance Right

Microfinance is often cited as an essential tool in helping women in particular rise from poverty. The theory goes that when you empower women to grow their businesses, they’re able to secure their families’ finances and create pathways toward education and improved quality of life for their children.

How to Decarbonize Indonesia and Achieve Low-Carbon Prosperity

Indonesia stands at a crossroads. It is the fourth-largest country in the world, with a population approaching that of the United States and a per-capita GDP nearly as large as China’s.  Like many countries in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is developing rapidly.  The manner in which Indonesia chooses to develop will have consequences for hundreds of millions of Indonesians as well as the developing countries of Southeast Asia and Africa that look to Indonesia as a model.