Obama enters impact investing arena with new program
The newest GreenBiz column by NI’s Michael Kramer celebrates the latest and most comprehensive move by the Obama administration to channel federal funds toward initiatives that pursue the triple bottom line of social, economic, and environmental performance. Read the whole piece here. A taste:
NII offers two main planks of support for social enterprises:
1. Global Development Innovation Ventures (GDIV): This is a joint $25 million per year initiative of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UK’s Department for International Development. It pilot tests and scales cost-effective development solutions offered not just by governments, but social enterprises, NGOs, corporations and researchers alike, enhancing the potential to reach millions of people with innovative poverty alleviation strategies, such as solar village-scale microgrids in India.
The GDIV complements the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), which allocated $333 million last year to bolster private capital solutions by companies, such as Citibank, Marriott, Sun Edison, Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo, and longstanding social finance organizations, including MicroVest, Grameen Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and the Calvert Foundation.
2. Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Early Stage Fund: A new round of solicitation for the SBIC Early Stage Investment Fund increases the amount available for investment from $150 million to $200 million annually. The Small Business Administration also raised the amount of SBIC leverage that Impact Investing Funds can receive from $80 million to $150 million and recently expanded the definition of impact investing to include rural communities. This successful program provides leverage guarantees that can triple the amount of private investor capital raised by a company. Some 1,300 companies used this program in 2011.
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