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Clinton Bush Fund Leaves Haiti

Posted By Stella Hanly, Aspen Institute, Monday, December 17, 2012

Clinton Bush Fund Leaves Haiti by Willy Foote (Founder and CEO Root Capital, and member of the ANDE EC)

Last week, the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund announced that it was closing up shop in Haiti on December 31. Presidents Clinton and Bush visit Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. (Image Credit: Foreign Policy Magazine)

As you may recall, the fund was created by former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush in the aftermath of the epic 2010 earthquake that brought that small island nation to its knees. The fund raised $54 million that has now been distributed to more than 50 businesses and organizations to spur sustainable development and bridge the gap between short-term reconstruction needs and longer-term development. Read the full article here.

Tags:  Agriculture  Haiti 

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Supporting the Entrepreneurial Spirit in the Middle East and North Africa - US Department of State

Posted By Stella Hanly, Aspen Institute, Friday, December 14, 2012

Supporting the Entrepreneurial Spirit in the Middle East and North Africa - US Department of State

Since the first days of the Obama Administration, the Department of State has prioritized fostering global innovation and entrepreneurship as a key pillar of its economic statecraft and broader foreign policy agendas. Much of this activity has focused on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), a region brimming with entrepreneurial energy and talent. Recent transitions in the region have only reaffirmed the importance of this work as citizens have demanded broad-based economic opportunity and advancement. Read the full article:

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ANDE welcomes new member Emcor Securities!

Posted By Stella Hanly, Aspen Institute, Thursday, December 13, 2012

ANDE welcomes new member Emcor Securities!

Located in New York City, Emcor Securities Inc. (Emcor) has over three decades of experience as a leading independent risk management firm. Emcor provides strategic asset allocation advisory services to institutional investors and family offices, and specializes in the design and development of customized investment allocations and strategies.
The investment programs to which Emcor serves as advisor are managed by traditional as well as alternative investment managers and include investments in U.S. timberland properties with an emphasis on full forestry ecosystem services. Emcor is also active in the emerging asset class of impact investing.


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Creating the Chinese Dream - A practitioners guide to impact investing in China's green SMEs

Posted By Stella Hanly, Aspen Institute, Thursday, December 13, 2012
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Center for Global Development: Seven Steps to Supercharge Opic

Posted By Genevieve Edens, Aspen Institute, Thursday, December 13, 2012

Launched in 1971, OPIC leverages public money to create market opportunities and crowd-in private capital by providing insurance, loans, and seed capital for new private equity funds. Over four decades, OPIC has helped to generate nearly $200 billion in new investment, enabling US investors to enter new markets and building a private sector in support of US policy objectives. The bonus of OPIC is not only that it works, but that it comes at no cost to US taxpayers. In fact, for 34 years in a row, OPIC has generated profits and contributed funds into the US Treasury (the FY2012 budget expects a $188 million contribution).

Read the full CGD blog post here>>

Tags:  ANDE Members 

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ANDE Legal Working Group - updates and next meeting

Posted By Katrin Kuhlmann, TransFarm Africa (ANDE Legal Working Group Leader), Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The next meeting of the ANDE Legal Working Group will take place on January 17th, 2013 both in person at the offices of the Aspen Institute in Washington D.C., and on the phone.

A more detailed agenda will follow shortly, but we plan to cover the following items: 

•   Update on the East Africa project, which launched this fall in collaboration with Nairobi-based Open Capital Advisors.  The project will produce a guide to local regulation and law, best practices guidelines for social investment in the region and a simple guide for entrepreneurs.  We see this exciting project as a potential model to take to other regions, and, while the project will not conclude until Summer 2013, we will use this meeting to share our initial work.
•   Identify issues of interest to Legal Working Group members and possible tools that could be developed for the portal, as well as Working Group members who are willing to take the lead in developing these resources.
•   Agree upon a dissemination strategy for tools produced by the Legal Working Group.

•   Discuss ways in which to share recommendations on qualified local counsel within the Working Group.

For full meeting details, and to RSVP:

Tags:  Legal Working Group 

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Interested in Agriculture? Join Oxfam's Discussion on "The Future of Agriculture"

Posted By Genevieve Edens, Aspen Institute, Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Oxfam International is hosting an online discussion December 10-21 focused on the future of agriculture policy. They explain that, "rather than critique the current state of affairs, the discussion seeks to generate bold proposals to meet increasing world demand for food in a way that eradicates hunger and preserves the environment."  One of today's posts lays out a vision for agriculture in 2050 -- here's an excerpt: 

"Smallholder farmers now get significantly more attention from government, including cooperative storage facilities to manage stocks, flows, and prices, improved transport links and loan guarantees for agricultural cooperatives. Rich countries have stopped subsidizing food production, leaving market forces to determine agricultural prices. Even the poorest of governments have increased their investment in small-scale agriculture by fourfold, primarily through co-investment rather than through full subsidy. Market systems, even in statist countries, are allowed to signal supply and demand. Most countries have disbanded their inept and corrupt ministries of cooperatives, replacing them with wholly farmer-owned "cooperative companies,” which have the same status and legal persona as any corporate entity."

Tags:  Agriculture 

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Catalyzing Smallholder Agricultural Finance

Posted By Stella Hanly, Aspen Institute, Monday, December 10, 2012

Catalyzing Smallholder Agricultural Finance (from, co-authored by ANDE EC Member Andrew Stern of Dalberg Global Development Advisors)

The world’s 450 million smallholder farmers represent a large — and largely unmet — opportunity for agricultural financing. As population growth and rising incomes create unprecedented demand for food, multinational companies increasingly rely on smallholders to secure their supply of agricultural commodities.

In response to consumer preferences for ethical and sustainable sourcing, traceability, and quality, companies have also made bold sustainability commitments that implicate smallholder value chains. As a result, smallholders present a compelling opportunity for buyers, lenders, and other actors in the agricultural value chain. However, smallholder production is often characterized by low yields, low quality, poor linkages, and little access to finance.

A recent Dalberg report — supported by the Citi Foundation and Skoll Foundation — called "Catalyzing Smallholder Agricultural Finance” suggests that with increased financing, farmers can improve their yields and products and in some cases double their income. Strengthening these farms is also important for the environment, as smallholders represent stewards of natural resources that are in need of sustainable management to prevent deforestation and the degradation of ecosystems.

Read full text of article here:

Tags:  Access to Finance  Agriculture 

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Accelerators: A Critical Component in Scaling Up Environmental Entrepreneurship

Posted By Saurabh Lall, ANDE Research Director, Monday, December 10, 2012

Accelerators: A Critical Component in Scaling Up Environmental Entrepreneurship
Co-authored by Aram Kang (WRI)

Over the past few years, we have seen tremendous growth in impact investing, investments made to generate both a financial and a social/environmental return. The sector now manages about US$40 billion.
While this growth on the supply side of mission-driven capital has been tremendous, we must now focus on the demand side—in other words, the entrepreneurs themselves. It’s essential to ensure that there are enough entrepreneurs and small and growing businesses (SGBs) out there to address today’s complex, global challenges. These businesses must also have the capacity to take on the type of capital that impact investors have to offer. Accelerators and incubators are and will be increasingly critical to achieving these goals.

Read full article:

Tags:  Business  impact investing 

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ANDE's Research Newsletter- December 2012

Posted By Daina Ruback, Aspen Institute, Monday, December 10, 2012

Today we released the 2nd volume of our Research Newsletter- a resource provided exclusively to ANDE members containing summaries of relevant publications, links to helpful resources, and updates on active ANDE members.  This edition of the newsletter focuses on Post Conflict Entrepreneurship.

Highlights include:

  • Updates from Mercy Corps, YBI, Root Capital, and BPeace on their work in post-conflict states
  • Eye on Iris: ANDE members have contributed data on 628 companies, 15 of which are based in the fragile states Afghanistan, Cote d’Ivoire, Haiti, Liberia, and Nepal
  • Summary of (and link to) the paper:  "Entrepreneurship in Post-Conflict Transition: The Role of Informality and Access to Finance,” Demirguc-Kunt, A., Klapper, L., and Panos, G. (2011). Economics of Transition, Vol.19(1), 27-78. EBRD

Read December 2012 Research Newsletter >

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