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February 2017 Impact Investing News Roundup

  • The Global Impact Investing Network has appointed Mark Grier as its new Board Chair. Grier serves as Vice Chairman at Prudential Financial.
  • ImpactAssets released their 2016 impact investing showcase, the ImpactAssets 50, a free online resource that provides a diversified overview of fund managers representing private debt and equity investments that seek to deliver social and environmental impact as well as financial returns.
  • Common Cents, a financial research lab at Duke University that creates and tests interventions to help low-to-moderate income households increase their financial well-being, published their 2016 annual report. In a recent study, the lab found that 36% of participants reported having less than $500 in savings yet 92% could list three or more actions they could take to improve their financial security.
  • According to a Gartner forecast, 8.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide this year, an increase of 31% since 2016. The greater China, North America, and Western Europe regions will account for 67% of the overall Internet of Things.
  • Recent cuts by the Trump Administration to environmental programs like the Environmental Protection Agency could cause a funding shift. According to the Fast Company article, scientists may now need to seek more funding from private sources.
  • A group of leading Republicans have called for a carbon tax on fossil fuels.
  • The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation projects a $23 trillion investment opportunity between now and 2030 in 21 emerging market economies if these countries deliver on their national climate commitments made as part of the global climate agreement.
  • Only 14% of plastic packaging is recycled. Recycling the other 86% could generate between $80 billion and $120 billion in annual revenues according to the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
  • Laureate Education, the world’s biggest for-profit college company raised $490 million in its public debut. This is the first public benefit company to go public and seeks to balance desire for profit alongside the desire to have a positive impact on society. The company mostly operates outside of the U.S. and has managed to distance itself from U.S. for-profit colleges.
  • Recent research  of programs in Louisiana and Indiana shows that private school vouchers may harm students who receive them. Some call the results the worst in the history of the field of education.
  • The New Media Consortium and the EDUCASE Learning Initiative have released their 2012017 Higher Education Report Higher Education Report which highlights key trends, challenges, and developments in technologies that impact teaching and learning.
  • Venture capitalists have invested $2.3 billion into education technology startups since 2010; however, some argue these investments focus on already advantaged students and that work needs to be done to reach additional lower income families.
  • According to market research firm Technavio, the global digital English language learning (ELL) market is expected to grow 23.36% between 2017 and 2021.
  • Have you been keeping up with your impact investing news? Here’s a quiz from ImpactAlpha to test your knowledge.