responsible investing

Integrated Capital for Social Enterprises | Stanford Social Innovation Blog

Don Shaffer of RSF Social Finance writes on the Stanford Social Innovation Review Blog:

To build a thriving social enterprise sector, we need to rethink the purpose of capital and employ an integrated capital strategy. Integrated capital is the coordinated and collaborative use of different forms of capital (equity investments, loans, gifts, loan guarantees, and so on), often from different funders, to support a developing enterprise that’s working to solve complex social and environmental problems.

Integrated capital addresses the funding challenges social enterprises face in a number of ways: It allows for longer development times by including some types of investment that don’t need to make a return, such as grants. It gets enterprises through the “valley of death,” where they have a promising business model, technology, product, or service, but need more capital to realize its potential and don’t qualify for traditional financing. And when community foundations and local investors participate, integrated capital creates a community commitment to the enterprise’s success.

Read the entire post, Integrated Capital for Social Enterprises.

Green consumer products: Good? Or just less bad? | The Socially Conscious Consumer

How can we create products that provide a net good for the planet and for its inhabitants? I often focus on this question because it’s a key challenge facing business leaders and consumers who seek to promote sustainable lifestyles through the purchase and use of consumer products.

Unfortunately, while we have made incremental steps by creating products that are “less bad,” we haven’t even scratched the surface of what we really need: products that are “good.” “Less bad” initiatives, such as smaller caps on water bottles, are small steps in the right direction. Yet they only slow the rate of environmental destruction. In other words, they buy us a few more seconds before we crash into the wall, when what we need to do is turn the car around.

Definitions of a “good” product can vary, but this is mine: from a holistic, systems-based perspective, the product produces a positive and regenerative effect on our ecosystem from start to finish, encompassing the entire supply chain and including the impact consumers have when they use and dispose of the product. Instead of degrading resources and leaving the world worse off, a good product contributes toward restoring the planet and creating a more habitable environment for future generations.

Read this entire post from Jeffrey Hollender at McKinsey’s The Socially Conscious Consumer.

Building the New American Ownership Society from the Middle…Out

Now that the elections are over and before the nation’s fiscal cliff becomes a roadrunner cartoon without a happy ending, how can “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men” with more elected women reformat, reinvent and re-glue Humpty Dumpty America back together again? In fact, today’s transformational issue transfixing our immediate attention is twofold – whether the chicken or the egg comes first in the sense that as a political economy America benefits most from catering and kowtowing to the one percent or reconfiguring to expand out to the ninety-nine percent, and whether the “forty-seven percent” chicken and egg takers mooch from the fifty-three percent chicken and egg makers. One way to read recent electoral entrails is that a voting majority of Americans believe no chicken and no egg “hatched it by themselves.”

Everyone needs a fix in an economy that practices the most extreme forms of ubiquitous absentee ownership. Contemporary voters in urban and rural fly-over country clamor for an America unchained from disappearing weakened linkages between a rising middle class and those left behind no matter where, no matter who. (more…)

Red, White and Green: The True Colors of America’s Clean Tech Jobs | DBL Investors

September 2012—a new white paper from DBL Shows Red States Lead in Green Job Growth

Clean tech may cre­ate a highly par­ti­san debate in Wash­ing­ton D.C., but in the rest of coun­try, it cre­ates jobs. A new report exam­ines the sharp con­trasts between polit­i­cal rhetoric and on-the-ground real­ity, and shows that red states – not blue states – are lead­ing clean tech or “green job” growth.

The report, “Red, White and Green: The True Col­ors of America’s Clean Tech Jobs” authored by Nancy Pfund, Man­ag­ing Part­ner, DBL Investors and Michael Lazar, a Yale Uni­ver­sity grad­u­ate stu­dent, demon­strates the grow­ing impor­tance of the clean tech indus­try in both red and blue states, and espe­cially in swing states. (more…)

Responsible Private Equity Investors Revitalizing U.S. Manufacturing | Huffington Post

by Marco Trbovich

Private equity firms and their investors from Taft-Hartley and state pension funds offered compelling accounts of their success in securing profitable returns on investment in U.S. manufacturing — especially in the Midwest — at the Heartland Capital Strategies fourth and final Responsible Investment Forum, organized in collaboration with the Blue Green Alliance.

Read the post, including a section of some of MAPA’s work, from the Huffington Post.

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