Impact Places: Shaping Sustainable, Inclusive Urban (Re)development

In an increasingly urban world, we need to devise sustainable, engaged and constructive ways to live together in urban centres. Globally, over 50% of the population lives in cities. This figure is set to rise to roughly 70% by 2050 worldwide, and to over 80% in Europe. But not all cities are growing. Across the […]

Affordability – Beyond the Buzzword

Affordability is at the core of much of our work as impact investors – from affordable electricity to housing, food, healthcare, education and many more. Yet ask someone to define what it means, and you may be met with little more than a blank stare. We recently conducted a straw poll of 20 impact investment […]

Partnering for Healthier Cities

Urbanisation is a global trend – with distinct opportunities or complex challenges, depending on where in the world it is taking place. Every day across Africa, economic, climatic, and political factors force migration from traditional rural dwellings to makeshift urban neighbourhoods. These urban settlements often lack access to basic water and sanitation services, leading to […]

Emerging Lessons on Scaling Inclusive Distribution Networks

One of the most difficult and underestimated hurdles to doing business in low-income markets is figuring out how products make their way from production to the final customer. In India, more than 90 percent of all retail purchases are made in 12 million kirana stores and in Mexico, more than 50 percent of retail business […]

Abandoned Houses Prove Golden Opportunity

Miriam, 43, lives in Cañadas del Florido, a low-income neighborhood in Tijuana, Baja California, the northernmost state of Mexico. Three years ago, on any given day, Miriam and her three children would watch criminals, drug addicts, and vagrants frequent the empty house next-door. Their streets were littered with garbage and dead animals. This is not […]

Constructing 7,500 New Homes

In December 2012, CDC committed US$20m to Phatisa’s Pan African Housing Fund (‘PAHF’) with the aim of catalysing finance for the construction of up to 7,500 new homes over ten years. This will create an estimated 22,500 jobs. FUNDING HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS The Fund will provide risk capital on a joint venture basis with selected local […]

How Financial Innovation In LatAm Is Securing Housing For The BOP

I’m intrigued by FOMEPADE, a rising star in Mexico’s financial scene. Conceived by microfinance veteran Juan José Gutiérrez Chapa (a founding partner of Banco Compartamos) to provide quality housing to underserved markets, FOMEPADE launched in 2012 a housing loan program that incorporates housing providers into a unique value chain for the families at the base […]

Who Are The Innovators?

Innovation is alive and well among entrepreneurs – but not so much where you’d expect. Take Silicon Valley, for example – a place long considered virtually synonymous with innovation. Twelve companies originating from that hotbed of invention during the past decade have achieved market valuations of $1 billion or more, presumably marking them as the […]

What are the most promising Base of the Pyramid business models in Latin America?

Housing, education and banking, increasingly through mobile technology, are three of the fastest growing areas for private companies doing business with the Base of the Pyramid. Thanks to creative and also profitable new business models, low-income Colombians living outside the formal banking system are buying homes and appliances like fridges and washing machines on credit, […]