Weekly Review – August 29th – September 11th


(almost)Every week at Invested Development we scan the web for articles that relate to what we do and what we like. This week we read a lot about the big picture issues surrounding impact investing.  

Publically Traded Social Impact: what does it mean for how we do business?
SKS Microfinance, one of the largest microfinance organizations in the world, recently issued an IPO that raised over $350 million. Started in 1997 as a nonprofit organization, SKS has grown from 2,000 borrowers in 2001 to 4.7 million in 19 states across India, with $1.8 billion disbursements and $554 million of loans on the books. Since going public, SKS has been the center of important discussion about the morality and implications of the IPO on social entrepreneurship.
Notes from gKenya
Kenya has just finished hosting a big Google-focused conference in its capital. For three days, 30+ Google employees have spent time with university students, programmers, entrepreneurs and marketers. Issues discussed include the high penetration of mobile devices, the expensive nature of broadband in Africa and affordability of gadgets and devices.  
U.S. Ranks Fifth in New Global Survey on Giving
This past week the US was ranked fifth in a survey based on giving habits in 153 countries. The survey was conducted by Charities Aid Foundation and found that 60 percent of Americans had donated money to an organization, 39 percent had volunteered their time to an organization, and 65 percent had helped a stranger in the previous month.
Top Ten Solar Venture Capital Investors
Considering the enthusiasm surrounding solar technology, GreenTech Media created a list of the top ten solar venture capital investors. Since this is an emerging space for investors, the list is compiled on the basis “for testicular fortitude, style points and sheer hype and vision.”
The big company vs a bootstrap
It is a modern day Goliath vs. David. In the past two weeks established global companies have especially challenged startups. Google and Nike have created products to directly compete with two popular startups: Sanebox and Runkeeper. Their response to this potential “threat” is admirable.