Social Finance Round Up: Global Financial Inclusion Database Launched produces a weekly round up featuring social finance related news, insights, job openings, and events. We source the content for these round ups from Twitter, an RSS reader, and directly from our community of social finance practitioners. Below is our round up for the week of April 23, 2012.

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Last Week on

Brett Matthews published Of Good Intentions, and Micro-Pensions on April 18, 2012

Nora Sobolov published The Community Forward Fund Launches: Remarks from the CEO on April 19, 2012

Becky Slater published Video: OxfordJam’12 Jammed with Good Conversation and Great Ideas on April 20, 2012

Canadian and International News

The World Bank, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, launched the “Global Findex,” short for the Global Financial Inclusion Database. It is the first large-scale, comparable, demand-side financial inclusion data-collection exercise of its kind. For additional information on the methodology and country results, please read the Global Findex report [PDF] or visit the Global Findex website.

The Principles for Responsible Investment and the Canadian Business and Ethics Research Network (CBERN) are announcing a final call for papers (submission deadline: April 30) for the Fifth Annual Academic Network Conference on Responsible Investment. The conference will be held October 1-3, 2012 at the Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto, ON. Submissions are invited on sessions on topics that address one or more of the following themes:

  • Investment strategies;
  • Shareholder engagement and collective action;
  • Public policy and regulation;
  • Organizations and organizational change;
  • Market structures and systemic change.

Monitor Group, in collaboration with the Acumen Fund, published From Blueprint to Scale: The Case for Philanthropy in Impact Investing, a new study on the role of philanthropy in impact investing. Download report [PDF].

Pique Ventures, a new impact investing advisory firm based in Vancouver, BC, launched last week. Pique Ventures focuses on angel investments for social purpose businesses. Visit the website and read about their launch event here.

A new report from Cluid Housing Association in Ireland sets out a detailed review of the potential and challenges surrounding private finance in funding social housing, offering a practical framework as well as recommendations. Download report here [PDF].

Ashoka Full Economic Citizenship and NextBillion, published a new, multimedia book titled The Big Idea: Global Spread of Affordable Housing. It is a collection of more than 20 essays, 10 videos, and illustrative photographic images created by low-income housing innovators from around the world. Download the full publication [PDF].

McKinsey on Society published a report on social impact bonds, written by Laura Callanan and Jonathan Law, looking at the potential and challenges presented by outcomes-based financing. Download report here [PDF].

The winners of the International Impact Investing Challenge, a competition to design investment vehicles that create sustainable impact, were recently announced. The results are as follows:

  • First place: Rural Electrification with Renewable Energy (REwIRE) from the School of International Policy Studies at Stanford University (prospectus, PDF)
  • Second place: UpSkill Capital from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University (prospectus, PDF)

Beyond Capital Fund has provided funding to Sanergy, a sanitation business operating in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, by way of a convertible loan with an 18-month term and a future option to convert into equity.

During the 2012 HP Catalyst Summit in Beijing, HP announced the creation of a new Education Innovation Fund to support teacher training in China through a $1 million donation.

The Mayor of London opened the tender process for providers who want to deliver services within its new £5m, three-year, social impact bond which is aiming to reduce rough sleeping in London.

The Rockefeller Foundation launches a Global Centennial Initiative to identify and pursue innovative solutions for the next century, marketing 100 years since John D. Rockefeller started the Foundation in May 1913.

Social Finance Learning and Best Practices

Susan Johnson investigates how ‘savings’ can hold different meanings for policymakers and the end users, and how this affects the study of financial inclusion.

Logan Yonavjak interviewed six impact investing leaders, writing about identifying and investing in environmentally-focused companies in emerging economies, as well as major barriers in the process.

Lonnie Shekhtman, reading all the negative news about microfinance, decided to explore the impact herself, talking to Oikocredit’s National Director, Sharlene Brown.

N.S. Ramnath in Forbes: After being the bad boy of microfinance, SKS is now trying to pick itself up and transform into a more cost-effective, diversified organization.

How does one go about making sound and socially responsible investments in this new era? By focusing on the facts. Sarah Bracking explains in this excellent overview of how using data properly can help invest in good.

Closing the Gap with FInancial Inclusion – Femi Oke moderates a panel of experts on financial inclusion. Watch a replay of the World Bank event.

Laura Hattendorf published another post in the Stanford Social Innovation Review series ‘The Trouble with Impact Investing‘, prompting an excellent (and incomplete, for now) debate in the comments.

How did Cleveland capitalize on the foreclosure crisis as an opportunity for change, and reinvent itself as a leader in the local food economy movement? AxiomNews has this wonderful story covered.

Jesse Last explains how Root Capital is facilitating the growth of agricultural businesses that employ sustainable practices, using three case studies to prove his point.

Jay Coen Gilbert thinks that in a few decades, ‘benefit corporations will displace traditional corporations because people will prefer them and they will prefer them because they create value for all of us, not just shareholders.’ He also highlighted the critical support provided by the Social Venture Network.

Job Opportunities

Social Asset Measurements is hiring; seeking an SROI Analyst [description, PDF] to work with clients on developing SROIs. The deadline for applications is May 7th at 5pm EDT. Candidates should submit their resume and cover letter as a single .pdf attachment via e-mail to

Applications for the Kiva fellowship are now open! The deadline to apply is May 13th. For more information on the application process or to see dates for future classes, please click here.

The Entrepreneurial Finance Lab (EFL) is seeking an entrepreneurial undergrad or recent graduate to join the team this summer. Email a cover letter and resume to Emily Silberstein at See more details at

Upcoming Events

Public Banking in America Conference
April 27-28, 2012, Philadelphia

Enterprising Non-Profits Alberta: Building Your Social Enterprise Workshop (Edmonton)
April 30, 2012 at the Business Link, Edmonton, Alberta

3rd Annual Impact Conference
22-25 April, 2012, Miami, Florida

SOCAP: Designing the Future
May 8 – 10, Malmo, Sweden

Environmental Bonds Conference
May 23, New York

Canada’s Socially Responsible Investment Conference
June 18 – 20, Montreal, Quebec

Cracking the Nut 2012 Conference
June 25-26, 2012, Enrique V. Iglesias Conference Center, Washington, DC

Partnering for Global Impact
July 9-10, Lugano, Switzerland

PRI-CBERN Academic Conference 2012
October 1-3, York University, Toronto, Canada

The Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) – Fórum Mundial de Negócios Sociais 2012
October 16-18, 2012, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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