Impact Investing

The latest Green Transition Scoreboard® (GTS) found that private green investments now total more than $8.1 trillion USD ($8,133,456,730,370).

Published annually since 2009 by Ethical Markets, the GTS is a global measure of private green investment in five green sectors: 1) Renewable Energy, 2) Efficiency, 3) Life Systems (water, waste, recycling, community investing, e-learning and fintech), 4) Green Construction, and 5) Green Corporate R&D. Government investments have been omitted wherever possible and technological criteria are strictly applied.

Sector Amount US $


Renewable Energy – $3,427,534,992,202

Energy Efficiency – $1,748,904,490,919

Life Systems – $1,660,880,346,366

Green Construction – $914,736,379,757

Corporate Green R&D – $381,400,521,125

Grand Total – $8,133,456,730,370***

The aggregated total is tracked by Ethical Markets Media Certified B Corporation’s team of experts and global advisory board, led by CEO Dr. Hazel Henderson, futurist/author and former US government science policy advisor.

Henderson said “The green economy is growing faster than anyone realizes. We knew that this good news on the progress of the global green transition couldn’t be fully covered by mainstream financial media and news programs whose advertising is still from fossilized sectors.”

GTS co-author Tim Nash, The Sustainable Economist, adds “Although the USA is expected to fall behind due to federal policies that put obsolete industries like coal ahead of thriving green sectors, large corporations are stepping up to invest billions in more efficient technologies.”

The full 2017 GTS report titled “Deepening Green Finance” can be downloaded free here: 2017 Green Transition Scoreboard Cities and states worldwide are now leading, energized by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and many others. The UNEP Inquiry on Design of a Sustainable Financial System is successfully engaging conventional financial markets. Co-director Dr. Simon Zadek welcomed the release of the GTS report, “With a changed political landscape, the case for green finance has to be strengthened, so your work is very important and has to be widely used”.

The GTS report traces private money shifting from incumbent fossilized sectors to emerging green opportunities. Financial firms are being forced to innovate as pressure grows from all sides.

Activist ethical investors and divestment campaigns are getting louder. New pressure from above is driven by the National Development Commitments (NDCs) signed by 194 governments under the UN COP 21 and 22 climate accords and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Pressure is also coming from below with the rise of Silicon Valley’s Fintech100, including crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, and reward currencies.

Horyou is the Social Network for Social Good, which connects, supports and promotes social initiatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens who help the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to build a more harmonious and inclusive world. Horyou is also the host of SIGEF, the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum, taking place in Astana, Kazakhstan during the EXPO 2017, from 5-7 September. We invite you to Be the Change, Be Horyou!

As a network organization, the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie aims to educate and support social entrepreneurs and innovators. Established in 2010, the institution is a joint initiative of four universities from Munich, Germany. By coaching startups and helping students and professionals to gain entrepreneurial skills to solve global challenges, the SE Akademie embeds the idea of social entrepreneurship in society. Horyou blog interviewed the team spokeswoman Kristina Notz about the network and the social innovation landscape.

SE Akademie is a result of the cooperation between  four German universities
SE Akademie is a result of the cooperation between four German universities

As a social entrepreneurship supporter and accelerator, what would you say are the biggest challenges for a social entrepreneur?

Every entrepreneur faces similar challenges and there are many. We observe that some social entrepreneurs have more difficulties to think and talk about profit, since they are impact-driven. At the same time they need more time to figure out their business model, to find funding, and to convince people and supporters. In the social sector, it is a challenge to find and retain talent, even though it seems to be an attractive working environment at first sight. The ability to stay motivated intrinsically is key.

Are you committed to the Sustainable Development Goals ? Do you address some of the SDGs with your projects?

Yes, we’re using the SDGs in most of our workshops as a starting point to raise people’s awareness and give impulses towards the field they could become active in as a social entrepreneur. Many of the social enterprises we support tackle one of the challenges addressed by the SDGs.

How do you see the future of social entrepreneurship?  

My vision is that all entrepreneurship is social and we can leave out the word “social” and herewith differentiate. The future is that every entrepreneurial activity respects the triple bottom line and bears in mind people, planet, and profit. And I strongly believe this is possible but requires a certain change in mind-set.

Many social entrepreneurs supported by the institution develop SDG-related projects
Many social entrepreneurs supported by the institution develop SDG-related projects

Horyou connects on its social platform thousands of social entrepreneurs, philanthropists and organizations around the world. In your opinion, what’s the importance of social networks for social entrepreneurship and, particularly, for your work?

Social networks offer powerful tools to raise awareness about social entrepreneurship and bring its idea and examples to a broader audience. Platforms like yours are very valuable to the sector since you showcase best practices and role models and inspire others, and ideally turn information into action.

In our work, Social media are our main tool to reach out to and stay in touch with our participants and alumni. We focus as well on offline networks, make people meet and experience the network face to face. They can learn from each other, be inspired by others and exchange ideas and best practices. The flux of ideas, learnings, dreams, and failures contributes a lot to the venture development and success.

Horyou is the Social Network for Social Good, which connects, supports and promotes social initiatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens who help the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to build a more harmonious and inclusive world. We invite you to Be the Change, Be Horyou!

The European Commission launched this week a report which addresses the challenges for the future of Europe regarding innovation and research.

The European Commission event took place in Brussels
The European Commission event took place in Brussels

Over 700 scientists, business leaders and policy makers have gathered this week in Brussels at the conference Research and Innovation – Shaping Our Future, where competitiveness, productivity and value generation were some of the key topics on discussion.

The report, entitled LAB – FAB – APP: Investing in the European Future We Want was initiated by an independent group of leading experts chaired by Pascal Lamy, President Emeritus of the Jacques Delors Institute. The document highlights the idea that part of Europe’s success is due to research and innovation as two thirds of economic growth achieved in the last two decades by industrialised countries are attributed to investments in this area. The document included 11 recommendations that focused on maximising the impact of EU investments in research and innovation in order to increase prosperity and solve the biggest societal challenges on the continent.

Apart from being pretty much focused on policies and research budgeting propositions, the recommendations address some of the Sustainable Development Goals such as education and human rights.

The 11 recommendations for the future of innovation are as follows:

*1. Prioritise research and innovation in the EU while taking them into account in national budgets, with emphasis on a doubling of the budget covering post-2020 EU research and innovation programme

  1. Build a true EU innovation policy that creates future markets

  2. Educate for the future and invest in people who will make the change

  3. Design the EU R&I programme for greater impact

  4. Adopt a mission-oriented, impact-focused approach to address global challenges

  5. Rationalise the EU funding landscape and achieve synergy with structural funds

  6. Simplify further, privilege impact over process

  7. Mobilise and involve citizens

  8. Better align EU and national R&I investment

  9. Make international R&I cooperation a trademark of EU research and innovation

  10. Capture and better communicate impact*

For Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, “Research and Innovation make a big difference to enhancing productivity, boosting competitiveness and tangibly improving our quality of life. Europe is a global scientific powerhouse, but we need to better reap the benefits of this knowledge by turning it into value for the economy and society through innovation.”

Horyou is the Social Network for Social Good, which connects, supports and promotes social initiatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens who help the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to build a more harmonious and inclusive world. We invite you to Be the Change, Be Horyou!

With a mission statement focusing on childhood cancer support, the Boston-based Richi Foundation has bold objectives via an initiative called Richi Social Entrepreneurs which supports new innovative businesses to generate positive impact in society. Their immersion programs, counselling and sharing of entrepreneurship best practices seek to help shape the future of social innovation. The Horyou blog interviewed Ernest Lara, Executive Director of Richi Social Entrepreneurs.

Richi Immersion Team
Richi Immersion Team

What is Richi Foundation’s mission?

Richi Social Entrepreneurs (RSE) is a Richi Foundation initiative whose mission is to boost startups from around the world that have the potential to generate a substantial positive impact on society, by connecting them with Boston’s innovation key players and helping them take full advantage of this unique innovation ecosystem.

How did The Richi Foundation get started?.

In 2011, the founder’s son, Richi, was diagnosed with an aggressive medulloblastoma. His family, who was living in Spain, brought Richi to Dana Farber, where they literally saved his life. It was then that Richi’s father, Ricardo Garcia, a serial entrepreneur, decided to found the Richi Childhood Cancer Foundation to provide other children with the same opportunity that Richi had. We have built a strategy to raise funds through business units (initiatives) that provide value to society in sectors such as education, innovation & entrepreneurship, and culture. Richi Social Entrepreneurs is one of those initiatives.

You have an immersion program for social entrepreneurs. How does it work?

Our main program at RSE is named Boston Immersion. It is a three-week eye-opening bootcamp in Boston. Startups have the opportunity to embrace best practices from Boston’s unique ecosystem, and to connect and interact with potential clients, investors, strategic partners, and local top notch industry experts who lead them to outstanding synergies.

Social entrepreneurs attend lectures in the immersion program
Social entrepreneurs attending lectures in the immersion program

You have a strong commitment to social entrepreneurship. Can you share some of your projects in this area?

We have worked with very interesting social entrepreneurship projects in our past program editions, which now are RSE Alumni, such as Literates, PIC, and H20 Now. We like to emphasize that, for us, a social entrepreneur is anyone who provides a positive impact to society or environment with his project, being a startup or a traditional for-profit organization. This means that any life sciences or cleantech startup is perfectly eligible to participate in our program.

As a social entrepreneurship supporter and accelerator, what would you say are the biggest challenges for a social entrepreneur?

Generally speaking, for any entrepreneur, some main challenges are: being able to obtain enough deep knowledge about the unmet need the startup wants to address, and finding the correct fit between this unmet need and the value proposition. Additionally, de-risking the project by generating evidences / results to justify that the project is moving towards the right direction is also challenging (partly because of the economic resources needed to prove the assumptions). It’s also essential to convince key stakeholders that they should care about their project (which requires excellent communication skills and strategic focus).

What are the main aspects of a social business you evaluate in order to give it support?

One important thing for us is to make sure that the startup has (or is testing) a business model able to support the organization’s operations and scale globally. Then, we tend to support projects with a high technological or scientific component. And of course, the team is key. It’s key that projects are carried out by complementary teams and supported by experienced sectoral experts.

Entrepreneurs visiting Harvard University
Entrepreneurs visiting Harvard University

How do you see the future of social entrepreneurship?

Every time we see more and more startups trying to provide a positive impact to society or environment with their projects, and this is great. So we think social entrepreneurs will have, every time, more resources and help to boost their businesses.

Horyou connects on its social platform thousands of social entrepreneurs, philanthropists and organizations around the world. In your opinion, what’s the importance of social networks for social entrepreneurship and, particularly, for your work?

Social networks are a great place to learn about new players, resources and influencers. So social networks focused on social entrepreneurs for us is a great tool to meet new projects and stakeholders to collaborate with.

Horyou is the Social Network for Social Good, which connects, supports and promotes social initiatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens who help the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to build a more harmonious and inclusive world. We invite you to Be the Change, Be Horyou!

Launched by the United Nations Development Program, Foundation Center, and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors in 2014, the SDG Philanthropy Platform aims to raise awareness and build connections within the philanthropy sector. Focused on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the “SDG Funders” have developed partnerships to increase funding and create programs in order to reach the Global Development Agenda. Our Horyou community shares the same values, therefore we are happy to feature their interview in our blog!

Promoting SDGs in Brazil
Promoting SDGs in Brazil

What is the scope of SDG Funders work?

The goals of the SDG Philanthropy Platform (“the Platform”) is twofold: 1) To provide a greater understanding by the philanthropy sector of the Sustainable Development Goals (“SDG”) agenda and the process and 2) To provide a greater understanding by the UN system, governments, private sector and civil society of the role and potential of the philanthropy sector to contribute to sustainable development. After launching the Platform in Kenya, Ghana, Zambia, Colombia, Indonesia, India, Brazil, and the United States, we have recognized our role in creating partnerships that result in effective programs that help countries achieve the SDGs. The Platform is working to improve the philanthropic sector by providing country-specific information more easily, mapping the ecosystem, and sharing data so that giving is more transparent and less fragmented.

Teamwork in Ghana
Teamwork in Ghana

As a social entrepreneurship supporter and accelerator, what would you say are the biggest challenges to be a social entrepreneur?

I believe the biggest challenges for a social entrepreneur is access – access to funding, networks, resources, mentorship, etc. The SDGs is a classification system that is understood globally and is increasingly being used by all stakeholders. When social entrepreneurs frame their work using this taxonomy, it is an opportunity to leverage more resources. Through the open-source information we provide on our website, social entrepreneurs are able to better understand the ecosystem in which they operate and learn who are the top funders and recipients related to a specific SDG and country.

How do you see the future of social entrepreneurship?

In order to achieve the SDGs and their respective targets by 2030, neither the government nor philanthropy can do it alone. We will need the support of innovative thinkers, social entrepreneurs, and corporations to all work together to achieve the SDGs. In this, social entrepreneurs will continue to be valuable in scaling solutions and deepening their impact.

Event in Indonesia
Event in Indonesia

Horyou connects on its social platform thousands of social entrepreneurs, philanthropists and organizations around the world. In your opinion, what’s the importance of social networks for social entrepreneurship and, particularly, for your work?

Collaboration. Around the world, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists and organizations are creating solutions to tackle issues. By participating in social networks, stakeholders can learn from each other, share their approaches, and discuss how to create meaningful impact. Collaborative networks reduce duplicative efforts and help better utilize resources, both monetary and non-monetary. The Platform is a vehicle for catalyzing multi-stakeholder partnerships and collaboration to advance SDGs through building awareness and connections between those working in the philanthropy sector and beyond. The Platform has adopted a systemic approach to funding and policy work, shifting from fragmented individual projects to long-term collaborative efforts in line with national development priorities and the SDGs.

Horyou is the Social Network for Social Good, which connects, supports and promotes social initiatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens who help the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to build a more harmonious and inclusive world. We invite you to Be the Change, Be Horyou!

The social entrepreneur Ilaina Rabbat co-founded Amani Institute with the wish to address one of the biggest challenges of our times: education for social change. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, the institute offers courses on social innovation management, short term courses for professionals on leadership and management, and tailored programs for companies and educational institutions, all focused on the social sector. In this interview to Horyou blog, Ilaina talks about her motivations to work with social innovation, Sustainable Development Goals and her wishes for the next 20 years:

Interactive classes at Amani Institute
Interactive classes at Amani Institute

When and why have you decided to become a social entrepreneur?

It was in 2010 when I was working at Ashoka, where I met Roshan Paul (my current co-founder). We were discussing the importance of training professionals to solve the world’s gaps, as opposed to market gaps. Education and social change have always been my passions. I had already had experiences in both sectors. Now was the time to put those passions to the service of a project that I deeply believe in. Amani Institute was that. In 2012 Roshan and I moved to Nairobi, Kenya, leaving behind comfort and security to start something that almost no one believed could work!

What’s the social or environmental impact of your project?

Our mission is to develop professionals who produce social impact by creating new models of education and training that enable people to develop new practical skills and experiences for their professional toolkit, as well as a personal understanding of their own leadership journey, and the global networks necessary for long-term career success. All this while simultaneously reducing the high cost of a world-class global education. As a result, we build much-needed talent and capacity in organizations addressing social problems, thus enabling more effective operations across the entire social sector.

Field trips
Field trips

Which Social Development Goals does your project address?

We directly address the “Quality Education” goal but indirectly all of them, since our mission is to train people to contribute to these goals.

What is the biggest challenge for a social entrepreneur?

To never give up! There are many moments when you think your idea is not realistic. Those are hard moments. You have to stick to your long-term vision to go through the ups and downs of an entrepreneurial journey.

Classes at Amani Institute
Classes at Amani Institute

What inspires you to face everyday’s challenges?

What inspires me is hope! To believe that it is possible to have a better world and that we, human beings, can make it happen.

What’s the importance of social networks to your project? Within our social network for social good Horyou.com, we host more than 1000 social entrepreneurs who advocate their impact-driven projects. To what extent do you consider the role of the Internet and social platforms in fostering social entrepreneurship and, by extension, social impact?

At Amani Institute, social media is central to our goals because we are a global organization that wants to attract people that want to live a life of meaning and impact from all around the world. It would be almost impossible to do it without the force of the Internet and social media.

Interactive Social Innovation classes
Interactive Social Innovation classes

How do you see the future of social entrepreneurship? Where do you see your project in 20 years

I think social entrepreneurship will be the norm. We see at Amani Institute that more and more people want to have a meaningful life where they can have a real impact in the world and in someone else’s life. Not necessarily through starting a social venture but through bringing new solutions to social problems in different sectors such as the private and public ones. That is what we call them social Intrapreneurs.

I hope to see my project dying in 20 years because we are not needed anymore. I hope that by 2037 it will be the norm in education and training to talk about social impact and meaning. That everyone who wants will be able to have a life where they are aligned with themselves and with the world. I see a world full of social innovators and a much better world for all.

Horyou is the Social Network for Social Good, which connects, supports and promotes social initiatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens who help the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to build a more harmonious and inclusive world. We invite you to Be the Change, Be Horyou!

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