Impact Investing

The Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), an event co-organized by the United States Government and the Republic of India, will take place in Hyderabad, India, on 28-30 November. This year, it will highlight the theme Women First, Prosperity for All, and focus on supporting women entrepreneurs and fostering economic growth globally.

Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells delivers opening remarks at the U.S.-India Business Council Road to GES Entrepreneurship Conclave, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C. (Photo: U.S. Chamber of Commerce)

A strong group of entrepreneurs, government officials and impact investing actors will attend the event, reflecting the GES diversity of cultures and expertise. The Summit aims to foster the conditions that empower innovators to take their ideas to the next level. Horyou will present aspects of its experience as a social network for social good, in resonance with this inspiring social innovation initiative. Yonathan Parienti, founder and CEO of Horyou, has been invited by the US State Department and its Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva to attend the GES and speak for the network on the topic of “Go For It: Tapping Alternative Financing Solutions”. Before the international attendees, he will share his vision and perspective around the launch of Spotlight, the first digital currency for impact that supports philanthropy and economic inclusion.

With Spotlight, as well as its many other events and initiatives, and Foundation, Horyou supports the implementation of the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, while aiming to provide philanthropic support to millions of social entrepreneurs, women, youth and social good projects.

Horyou founder and CEO Yonathan Parienti with members of the US State Department from the US Mission in Geneva

«It is a great credit to our efforts to be given such a unique opportunity to share with this international audience the disruptive innovations we have been working on over the past few years at Horyou to further social good and to set up more harmonious conditions for economic inclusion», says Mr. Parienti. «Horyou, the social network for social good, has many stories to disclose about inspiring women, with our member organizations, whose initiatives lead by example in shaping a better future for their communities », he adds.

The Global Entrepreneurship Summit is one of the most important annual entrepreneurship gatherings in the world in that it showcases the efforts of both emerging and developed countries to answer the challenge of furthering joint business opportunities worldwide. GES 2017 aims to create an empowering environment for innovators, especially women, to take their ideas to the next level. The Right Honorable Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi, is expected to inaugurate the Summit on 28 November 2017 and Mrs. Ivanka Trump, advisor to the President of the United States on advancing policies and initiatives for women empowerment, is due to lead the US delegation. As she recently reminded the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo: «Ensuring 50% of our population can fully participate in the workforce is critical to strengthen our communities and grow our prosperity».

Ivanka Trump at the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo

GES participants will be supported by mentors and coaches, through workshops and networking sessions, and will be provided with opportunities to meet funders, build partnerships and find their target customers. Plenary sessions will highlight businesses led by women and their stories while master classes will discuss innovative topics as Blockchain, Fintech and e-commerce. «It is an amazing ecosystem to be part of and feel inspired by, due to the diversity of its participants. We will be there to speak the language of social entrepreneurship to shape a better future for the generations to come», concludes Yonathan Parienti.

Horyou blog will provide regular GES updates! Be the change, be Horyou!

Every baby taking its first breath is a potential actor of change. Every teenager living in a healthy environment has the potential to create a stable and happy family. Every woman with access to a safe childbirth is potentially a loving mother. Health is an essential condition to change the world for the better.

Photo: UNDP

What would the world be like when deaths are not caused by neglected or badly treated diseases anymore? The UN Sustainable Development Goal number 3 aims to ensure healthy lives and well-being for all at all ages.

It does not mean that we would no more have diseases and deaths, but that we would minimize avoidable mistakes and negligence. Global maternity mortality ratio, for instance, would be reduced to less than 70 per 100,000 and epidemics of infectious diseases would end by 2030. Road accidents, tobacco-related illnesses and other health conditions caused by lack of access to treatment would not be part of our daily lives either.

According to the UN, many advances have been made on the health front worldwide since 2000. Yet we still have to face realities such as the ones we find in sub-Saharan regions whereby only 53% live births are assisted by skilled people and mortality among children under 5 years of age is 84‰, almost twice global rates. Part of the solution is to prevent early and unintended pregnancies by fighting child marriages and spreading reproductive education; but there is an urgent need to invest and train in skilled care and sound health policies worldwide.

Infectious diseases are yet another challenge to face – HIV, tuberculosis and hepatitis B epidemics continue to plague many countries -, and the solution lies in prevention. Vaccines, sanitation and hygiene, as well as sexual education are to be improved. The same applies to premature deaths caused by depression, alcohol and tobacco, all of which are taboo ailments in several regions.

Many of these health risks are directly related to poor quality medical assistance and lack of health coverage and funding, especially in underdeveloped regions. Available data from 2005 to 2015 indicate that over 40% countries count less than one physician per 1,000 people, and around half have fewer than three nurses or midwives per 1,000 people. Almost all least developed countries count less than one physician and fewer than three nurses or midwives per 1,000 people.

Many organizations and social projects did produce some improvement. Child Family Health International, an NGO that is active on our Horyou platform, is one fine example of community-based global health education programs for students and institutions that aim at empowering local communities. CFHI acts on undergraduate medical schools curricula and publishes papers and publications on global health safety on a regular basis.

Based in Cameroon, Ascovime, yet another active member of the Horyou community, runs educational health campaigns and provides free medical consultation and surgery to isolated communities throughout the country. Ascovime was founded by Dr. Georges Bwelle, a surgeon at the Central Hospital in Yaoundé and a CNN Hero.

If you wish to support this SDG, you can do so through Horyou. Go to Horyou platform and choose an NGO or project that helps promote health and well-being in your region or anywhere in the world. Your support can be made easier and more effective with Spotlight, our digital currency for impact. Check it out and start using it to engage in any cause you feel concerned about. Be the change, be Horyou!

Um fundo de investimentos criado para estimular a inovação aplicada ao meio ambiente – essa é uma das estratégias da Inseed Investimentos para estimular o empreendedorismo sustentável no Brasil. João Pirola, diretor da empresa, fala ao Horyou blog sobre como investir em negócios verdes pode ir além do ‘politicamente correto’ e trazer lucros e inovação para o negócio.

Quando o fundo foi lançado e qual a proposta por trás de sua criação?

Dentre as iniciativas de inovação, existe um espaço para as pequenas e médias empresas inovadoras que buscam desenvolver soluções que impactam direta e positivamente o meio ambiente. A principal questão destas empresas menores é ter acesso a recursos para conseguir fazer isso em escala maior e velocidade. Da mesma forma que as grandes empresas industriais têm muito recurso para explorar e para produzir, as pequenas e médias também deveriam ser capazes de acessar recursos para desenvolver suas soluções inovadoras e assim, gerarem grande impacto no meio ambiente. Neste contexto e com esta proposta surgiu o Fundo FIP Inseed FIMA, criado pelo BNDES em 2012, e gerido pela Inseed Investimentos. Empresas do setor de tecnologias limpas, com faturamento de até R$ 20 milhões ao ano, podem candidatar-se a receber aporte de capital do Fundo. São R$ 165 milhões de capital comprometido para aporte em até 20 empresas até o fim de 2017. O Fundo contempla três eixos de investimento: Soluções Ambientais, Tecnologias Avançadas e Agropecuária Sustentável, e Novos Modelos.

João Pirola. Foto Cláudio Camarotta

Um dos grandes temas correntes é a inovação social – você acredita que negócios responsáveis social e ambientalmente podem gerar lucros tão expressivos quanto os de negócios tradicionais?

Sim. Eu diria que empreendedorismo, inovação e meio ambiente são os grandes temas do momento. Tudo que a gente fizer do ponto de vista industrial, econômico, urbano ou agrícola tem que estar dentro de uma equação de menor impacto: Como recuperar aquela matéria prima? Como fazer uma melhor compostagem? Como usar menos agrotóxico? Como fazer mais coisas orgânicas? Mas tudo isso também pensando em rentabilidade e economia, pois o sustentável, a princípio, não pode ser mais caro, se não ele vai criar uma restrição. A nova agenda do século XXI implica inovações tecnológicas e a capacidade de empreendê-las, com o olhar sobre o meio ambiente sempre presente.

Como você vê o futuro da inovação ambiental?

O caminho é o incentivo e o estimulo à inovação tecnológica. A Inseed é gestora de um fundo de inovação em meio ambiente, criado pelo BNDES e pioneiro no Brasil. Acreditamos que grande parte dos problemas ambientais atuais, que foram gerados com a industrialização, ou com a urbanização, podem ser acolhidos, equacionados e até minimizados com a aplicação de inovação tecnológica em diversas áreas. Ao trazermos a temática “inovação ambiental”, queremos convidar o empreendedor a ter um novo olhar sobre o meio ambiente.

Horyou apoia as iniciativas de inovação social que ajudam o mundo a alcançar os Objetivos de Desenvolvimento Sustentável, e é organizadora do SIGEF, o Fórum de Inovação Social e Ética Global. Seja a mudança, seja Horyou!

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!

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