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We are measuring impact BEYOND sustainability. What about you?

Posted By Cecilia Latapí, SVX México, Friday, April 27, 2018
Hello!
 
We want to invite you to join a collaborative effort to define what REGENERATIVE - going beyond sustainability - means in our daily practice and to design the metrics for measuring it. Our aim is to collect as many opinions as possible from regenerative practitioners and others with different perspectives, taking into account as many voices as possible before ReGen18 in early May 2018.
 
In the words of Kevin Jones, co-convenor of ReGen18 and co-founder of SOCAP: "the challenge for regenerative metrics is that we have to find a way for them to add value, instead of being seen as a cost." 
 
The intention of this undertaking is a collaboratively-designed, co-created regenerative tool to provide organizations the capacity to determine the positive and negative impacts of their practices while establishing some common ground on what regeneration means, its sector-specific metrics, and guidance on best practices for generating Regenerative outcomes. 
 
As a first step, we invite you to participate in the following survey: https://goo.gl/forms/Q7tZMLp5fIKRSOIu1 
 
The results of this survey will be made available to all participants and presented during ReGen18 for further discussion and exploration. After the event, we will keep working on the project on a shared platform, aiming to develop our regenerative tool with your participation (the resulting tool will be placed in the public domain under a Creative Commons license).
 
If you are doing something similar, working on ideas that could contribute or are interested in co-creating in this exciting new field of endeavor, we want to hear from you!
 
Thanks for co-creating with us.  We look forward to your contributions.
 
 
- Holly Dublin, Kevin Jones, Cecilia Latapi, Laura Ortiz Montemayor, Shaun Paul @ ReGen18

Tags:  Environment  impact assessment  impact investing  impact investing; gender lens investing; gender; w  Performance Measurement  Private sector development  Risk; Risk Assessment; ANDE Members  study  Survey  sustainability  sustainable development  sustainable energy 

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USAID Awards $767,000 Grant To Miller Center For Social Entrepreneurship And New Ventures India

Posted By Patricia Haines, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University, Thursday, February 25, 2016

Initiative aims to deliver off-grid, clean energy to 1 million Indians.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Feb. 8, 2016 — In an effort to lift one million of the 289 million people in India without electricity out of darkness, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University and New Ventures India (NVI) have been awarded a $767,000 grant for an Energy Access Investment Readiness Program. This public-private partnership, made possible by the generous support of the American people through USAID, has the goal to enable delivery of clean, innovative, off-grid power to people in India who currently lack energy access.

Under the program, NVI will facilitate the investment of $41 million of impact capital over three years to support local social enterprises that are able to deliver clean energy. Already, close to $5 million has been committed to the program. Miller Center’s Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI®) will train social entrepreneurs in India to help them become investment-ready and able to increase the reach of their businesses and resulting impact.

“This grant from USAID further validates Miller Center’s GSBI methodology, which helps social enterprises worldwide apply Silicon Valley business principles to scale their impact,” said Thane Kreiner, Ph.D.,executive director, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship. “GSBI mentors will work in India with the social entrepreneurs and continue mentoring them remotely as the entrepreneurs build partnerships, overcome business model challenges, and obtain investments. We believe social entrepreneurship is an effective agent for change to address serious global issues including energy poverty and climate change.”

Addressing Energy Access and Climate Resilience

Of the 1.3 billion people globally without electricity access, approximately 20 percent are in India. Entrepreneurs seeking to supply clean energy products and services to these households face numerous challenges in entering the market, overcoming barriers to scaling their operations, and accessing managerial and technical talent, and limited working capital. Miller Center’s GSBI methodology, combined with NVI’s ability to source funding from local impact investors and foundations, is expected to help overcome these challenges.

“The need for energy access in India is great,” said Sanjoy Sanyal, director of NVI. “This public-private partnership and grant from USAID promises to make a real difference in the lives and livelihoods of a million Indians, and the benefits will radiate out to their entire communities. This program signifies a shift towards building locally-led partnerships that can identify game-changing solutions in addressing development problems such as clean energy.”

 

About Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship
Founded in 1997, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship is one of three Centers of Distinction at Santa Clara University. Miller Center accelerates global, innovation-based entrepreneurship in service to humanity. Its strategic focus is on poverty eradication through its three areas of work: The Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI), Impact Capital, and Education and Action Research. To learn more about the Center or any of its social entrepreneurship programs, visit www.scu.edu/MillerCenter.

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 9,000 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business and engineering; master’s degrees in business, education, counseling psychology, pastoral ministry and theology; and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.’s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see www.scu.edu.

About the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
The U.S. Agency for International Development administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide.

 

Tags:  GSBI  impact investing  sustainable energy 

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Universal Energy Access White Paper: An Enterprise System Approach

Posted By Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa, Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, December 9, 2015

As world leaders meet in Paris to discuss how to keep the Earth’s temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius at COP21, one discussion thread that has emerged is “climate justice”: How do developing countries obtain the energy they need to fuel their economic aspirations? These are the countries least responsible for climate change crisis we face. Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship believes that solving the problem of energy access starts with reframing the problem. When it is reframed, it becomes possible to envision and enact more viable solutions.

 

Keying off one of the main thrusts of the recent climate encyclical by Pope Francis, Miller Center is helping to refocus efforts in Silicon Valley and beyond to solving energy poverty — the lack of safe, affordable energy — for 2.6 billion people globally, or one-third of the human population. Miller Center is joined in this endeavor by social entrepreneurship organizations worldwide that include Shell Foundation, the World Bank, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, and the Solar Electric Light Company (SELCO) India.

 

“We believe that solving the problem of sustainable energy access requires reframing the problem: Instead of seeing the 2.6 billion sufferers of energy poverty as potential aid recipients, we see a total market of more than 500 million potential consumers for public and private energy solutions,” said Thane Kreiner, Ph.D., executive director, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship. “By reframing the issue in this way, it becomes an ideal focus for locally based enterprises, which also provide dignified livelihoods. In fact, we would go a step further and declare that it’s a moral imperative for successful entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley to apply their skills and proven practices to help eradicate the suffering of the world’s poorest people, who will be most impacted by climate change.”

 

Despite billions of development and charity dollars spent on energy access by government aid agencies, foundations and corporations, the fact remains that billions of poor people lack the energy they need to survive and thrive. Miller Center has synthesized tangible steps to encourage and support social enterprises that provide clean energy access, presenting them in a new white paper, Universal Energy Access: An Enterprise System Approach

 

Addressing the Human Needs of Energy Poverty

Energy poverty takes many forms and has devastating effects on the world’s poor. For example:

  • Studies have found that children doing homework by the light of a smoky kerosene lamp do as much damage to their lungs as a two-pack-a-day cigarette smoker. (Source: World Health Organization, Lighting Africa Report)
  • Globally, household air pollution from cooking kills more than 4 million people every year and sickens millions more. (Source: World Health Organization)
  • Collecting cooking fuels is often a labor-intensive burden borne by women and children that results in deforestation.
  • 1.3 billion people lack access to even small amounts of electricity, and another billion lack access to reliable electricity.

At the same time, social enterprises are already making a significant dent in the problem. Examples include:

  • The solar home systems sold by Iluméxico, a Mexican social enterprise, increase family incomes by 20 percent.
  • Eco-Fuel Africa’s green charcoal saves 19,000 families $3.4 million in energy expenses while mitigating over 500,000 tons of CO2 emissions.
  • School performance has improved 25 percent for children who have solar lighting in their homes. (Source: Ilumexico, the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University)

“In addition to the sustainable energy solutions and services we provide to underserved households and businesses, we are dispelling three myths associated with sustainable technology and rural customers: 1) Poor people cannot afford sustainable technologies; 2) poor people cannot maintain sustainable technologies; and 3) social ventures cannot be run as commercial entities,” said Harish Hande, chairman of SELCO-India. “The more than 300,000 households (at least 1.2 million people) who have purchased our solar energy systems would argue otherwise.”

 

“We are creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions that save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and protect the environment,” said Radha Muthiah, chief executive officer, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. “Our market-based approach allows us to address household air pollution at a scale that can have a meaningful impact. We’re marching toward our goal of 100 million households adopting clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020.”

 

“We believe that sustainable energy globally is both the biggest challenge and the biggest opportunity of our time,” said Sarah Butler-Sloss, founder director of Ashden. “The Ashden Awards program showcases and celebrates the success of energy trailblazers and social enterprises that are rolling out sustainable energy solutions to those who need them most, and the award winners have transformed the lives of more than 45 million people in the UK and developing countries since 2001."

 

“Through analysis of reports by important participants throughout the energy access sector, we have seen strong agreement with and support for the four-tactic strategy we present in our enterprise system approach,” said Andrew Lieberman, director of new programs at Miller Center. “While the roles and some specifics of these ecosystem actors vary, collectively they point to the emerging consensus we believe already exists for focusing on establishing and scaling energy enterprises as the best way to address energy poverty.”

 

About the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship

Founded in 1997, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship is one of three Centers of Distinction at Santa Clara University. Miller Center accelerates global, innovation-based entrepreneurship in service to humanity. Its strategic focus is on poverty eradication through its three areas of work: The Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI), Impact Capital, and Education and Action Research. To learn more about Miller Center or any of its social entrepreneurship programs, visit www.scu.edu/MillerCenter.

 

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 9,000 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business and engineering; master’s degrees in business, education, counseling psychology, pastoral ministry and theology; and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.’s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see www.scu.edu.


 

Tags:  energy  Social Entrepreneurship  sustainable energy 

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CrossBoundary Energy Fund I raises $8M - First dedicated fund for C&I solar in Africa

Posted By CrossBoundary, Monday, December 7, 2015

CrossBoundary Energy today announced the first close of CrossBoundary Energy Fund I, Africa’s first dedicated fund for Commercial & Industrial solar. Over the next 18 months, the fund will deploy over $25M to build solar facilities to power African enterprises through the SolarAfrica platform.

Due to a dramatic fall in cost, solar is now a viable alternative energy source for businesses in Africa. But it needs finance to be attractive.

Across Africa, economic growth is stifled by expensive and unreliable electricity. This challenge represents an immense opportunity for investment. Matt Tilleard, co-Managing Partner of CrossBoundary observed, “Africa is undergoing an energy revolution and has become a laboratory for pioneering new methods of energy delivery. A key driver of this has been the dramatic fall in cost of solar power – down by over 80% since 2008. Solar is now often cheaper than the grid in a majority of African countries”

Jake Cusack, co-Managing Partner at CrossBoundary, noted that “For many of the businesses that drive Africa’s growth, solar power is now an alternative source of cheaper and cleaner energy. However adoption remains low due to two barriers. First, solar has a substantial upfront cost. Without financing, solar installers are typically only able to offer upfront purchase of the solar system.  This means that the customer has to pay the full cost of 25 years of electricity on the first day. Second, many customers are unfamiliar with solar and reluctant to take responsibility for the technical and operational details of the system.”

Mr Tilleard said, “In markets such as the US, both these barriers were removed through the introduction of financed solar solutions. Instead of paying upfront, the financier builds the solar asset and the customer enters into a long term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). With today’s announcement, we are bringing the same financed solar solutions to Africa. Financing is now available to make cheaper, cleaner energy a reality for African enterprise.”

Empowering project developers through the SolarAfrica platform

CrossBoundary Energy will deploy its investment capital through SolarAfrica, a platform that provides solar installers a fully financed ‘PPA in a box’ to offer customers. SolarAfrica brings together CrossBoundary Energy’s financing with technical oversight and asset management services from NVI Energy. Through SolarAfrica, CrossBoundary Energy allows solar installers to offer Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to African firms – enabling them to pay for the solar assets over time, just as they would pay for grid electricity or diesel fuel.

Mr Tilleard said “SolarAfrica already has a strong network of partners and we are actively looking for new installers or developers who are interested in offering a financed solar solution to their potential customers. We are currently in operation in Kenya and are hoping to expand to up to three additional countries in the next three to six months. Our funding is available for solar projects above 100 kWp that serve commercial and industrial customers.”

A ground-breaking transaction

CrossBoundary Energy has raised US$8m in equity to provide solar power for African enterprises. After debt leverage, CrossBoundary Energy Fund I intends to invest a total of over US$25m in solar assets over the next 18 months.

Mr Cusack observed, “The fund is a unique and innovative financing platform that will pioneer an entire new asset class in Africa. It is backed by a prestigious group of investors from the USA and Australia attracted both by the commercial returns and the opportunity for positive environmental and economic impact.” Investors include Blue Haven Initiative, TreeHouse Investments and Ceniarth.

Power Africa has been a crucial supporter of CrossBoundary Energy. Through Power Africa, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) provided an early-stage grant to support establishment costs and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided a $1.3M first-loss contribution to the fund. Mr Tilleard noted that this “was a groundbreaking innovation by USAID that helped attract private investors to this opportunity.”

In addition, the Shell Foundation, an independent charity, has also provided grant funding and business support to accelerate CrossBoundary's expansion into markets outside of Kenya and lay the groundwork for follow-on funds.

The transaction was led by Chadbourne & Parke LLP with local counsel support from the Africa Legal Network and Viva Africa. Ikenna Emehelu, a partner at Chadbourne said: "We helped solar companies create a market for distributed energy in the US.  We have seen that mass-market adoption of renewable energy occurs not when technology becomes available, but when it becomes affordable. By pooling institutional capital to finance upfront installation costs of solar systems, CrossBoundary has made solar affordable for the malls, hotels, schools and small businesses it serves in Africa.  Chadbourne congratulates the CrossBoundary team whose tenacity and vision has unlocked a promising new market in Africa."

CrossBoundary Energy’s first investment pioneers new ground in East Africa

At fund close CrossBoundary Energy also announced that its first major investment is an 858 kWp solar installation at the newly opened Garden City Mall in Nairobi. Mr Tilleard announced “It is the largest rooftop solar system in East Africa and the largest solar carport system in Africa. It is also the largest solar PPA that we are aware of with a private consumer in Sub-Saharan Africa.   This is an exciting first step on CrossBoundary Energy and SolarAfrica’s mission to introduce solar-as-service to African enterprises.”

Conclusion

Providing clean energy for African businesses represents a major commercial and environmental opportunity. The development of innovative energy financing and business models in Africa means the continent could have smarter, cleaner and more decentralized electricity infrastructure than developed countries. Mr Cusack noted that “Through the first dedicated fund for Commercial & Industrial solar, CrossBoundary Energy hopes to help Africa take a clean path to development through a transition to improved infrastructure and increased economic productivity with minimized environmental impact.”

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About CrossBoundary

CrossBoundary is an innovative investment firm that provides transaction and economic advisory services to help unlock capital for positive change in underserved markets. The firm was founded in 2011 and has worked across a range of frontier markets and also developed innovative mechanisms to attract investment in fragile states affected by conflict such as Afghanistan and Mali. Recently, the firm has launched CrossBoundary Energy, the first dedicated investment fund for commercial and industrial solar in Africa. 

 

Tags:  africa  Business Models  Capital Aggregation  East Africa  energy  finance  Financing Mechanisms  impact investing  impact investment  Investors  Kenya  Private sector development  sustainability  sustainable energy 

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A new crowdfunding experience for more impacts in Africa!

Posted By Olivier Lafourcade, Investisseurs & Partenaires, Friday, March 28, 2014
Updated: Friday, March 28, 2014

For the first time, Investisseurs & Partenaires partners with Kiva, the American crowdfunding web platform.

Over the past decade, Africa has experienced unprecedented growth, with 5-6% growth rate at the continent level. However, this growth remains heterogeneous, fragile, insufficient and unevenly distributed. Small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) are at the core of the African economic fabric; they are the largest contributors to job creation and are key actors for political and social stability. However, most of these SMEs lack access to the necessary funding that will fuel their growth. Since 2002, I&P has supported more than 45 companies in over 13 African countries, contributing to create and retain more than 1,400 jobs.

Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) considers crowdfunding, this participative finance tool, as complementary to its existing financial instruments. I&P has decided to partner with Kiva, the US-based crowdfunding pioneer, which has raised more than $500 million from 1.2 million internet users since its inception in 2005. The Kiva web platform brings together thousands of individuals and micro-borrowers in order to help them start or expand their businesses or finance a personal project, contributing to alleviate poverty across the world.

The pilot is a project by CDS, a Mauritanian company in the IPDEV portfolio since 2009. It will be online on www.kiva.org for funding next week. With this innovation, I&P continues to drive its mission of promoting a new generation of African entrepreneurs who will contribute to the emergence of a sustainable and dynamic private sector on the continent.  

Tags:  crowdfunding  impact investment  sustainable energy 

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