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What We’re Reading – A Roundup of the Latest Impact Investing News

Impact Investment News

G8 Leaders Embrace Impact Investing With New Funds – Businessweek

Can Impact Investing Move From Niche To Mainstream? – FA Mag

Investors Want to Package Efficiency Securities Like Mortgages – Greentech Media

What Makes Solar Energy a Good Investment? – TriplePundit

Over $2 Billion in Green Bonds, A Good Start – Sustainable Business

 Sustainability News

European demand for voluntary offsets surges in private sector – GreenBiz

Sustainability Needs to Find Its ‘Reality Distortion Field’ – Bloomberg

Sustainability: An Investment Perspective – CFA Institute

Crowdfunding News

Universities explore crowdfunding, social media to raise money – USA Today

Small Businesses the Next Big Borrower in Peer to Peer Lending – P2P Lending News

New Tool Lets Intermediaries Become P2B Lenders – Bridging Distributor

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Sustainable Capital and Securities Crowd Funding

This post is part of a series called “Mission Markets Musings” where team members share their thoughts on the latest developments within the impact and sustainability sectors. 

There already has been much debate, conversation and rhetoric around the topic of securities and what most people are calling “Equity Crowd funding”.

The prospect of investors, regardless of their accreditation status, having the ability to invest in private placement offerings and supporting exciting impact investment opportunities is likely to have a positive influence on the capital injection process for sustainable businesses.

In my opinion, Securities Crowd Funding is best suited towards direct investments in support of local businesses that can improve the health of local communities and economies.  I am referring to businesses such as retail outlets, restaurants, local food systems and renewable energy developers. I think that local direct investment and lending by community members can serve as a new form of a “Community Banker.”

These types of investments can offer:

  • Opportunity for revenue sharing arrangements
  • Cash flow and fixed income returns,
  • In some cases potential for equity returns.

They also offer the benefit of having a direct stake in the growth of your local economy as a local investor. This can possibly connect hundreds of local investors with local businesses and substantially increase their chances of success. In turn these local investors become advocates of their local businesses and can see their investment put to work, creating a positive feedback loop.

When the SEC does approve Securities Crowd Funding, it has the potential to spark local economic activity and become an integral tool for creating deep and lasting connections within local economies and their stakeholders.

mvpMichael Van Patten

Founder & President, Mission Markets


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Mission Markets Raises $1.5 Million in Series A2 Financing Round

Today Mission Markets completed a $1.5 million funding round that gives us a chance to demonstrate the strength of our platform.  We are more excited about the quality of investors. Our new investors include: Jim Sorenson, who is a committed leader in impact investing; Sarah Johnson Redlich, who has produced numerous documentaries on environmental and social justice issues; Bob Caruso, who heads an Impact Foundation focusing upon women and children; and Jarrett Lilien, former President of E*TRADE Financial who seeks disruptive technologies in financial services.  The leadership and investments of these individuals are gratifying and a vote of confidence in the future of Mission Markets.

Following is the press release that went out this morning:

Ken Marienau
CEO, Mission Markets
MM_Logo


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Pro Solar Regulations on The Rise, Support Teams Ready for Action

Over the years, the cost of solar panels has dropped significantly. While good for consumers, Imagesuch low prices are threatening to bankrupt many manufacturers who can’t compete, which would slow down large-scale adoption of solar energy. This bad news hasn’t clouded the fact that solar is the most readily available alternative energy source, and with help from federal, state, and local governments, a sustainable market for solar can still be supported.

The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority in Connecticut is at the forefront of merging public and private green initiatives. Established in 2011, the nation’s first “green bank” oversees a number of innovative financing initiatives that parallel emerging innovations in solar technology.

One such initiative is The Commercial & Industrial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE), a program that allows property owners to make energy efficiency upgrades at low cost by providing financing with little to no upfront costs and repayment of the loans over time on owners’ property tax bills.

These new initiatives and policies aspire to make energy usage cheaper, cleaner and more efficient, and they’re coming in waves. It’s encouraging news for proponents of solar energy who have until recently watched the industry from the sidelines, horrified by how financial professionals and government officials have dismissed the space.

It’s a new beginning for the solar sector, and those interested in jumping on the trend should consider big industry names for their investment portfolios. Kapitall has helpfully created an infographic to summarize the industry, its potential, and the key companies working to make a difference.


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What We’re Reading – A Roundup of the Latest Impact Investing News

Impact Investment News

Investors Announce Proposal for Sustainability Listing Standard for Global Stock Exchanges – Ceres

Royalty-Based Venture Financing, Born in Boston, Could Shake Up VCs and Startups from New England to the Northwest – Xconomy

Gift puts Utah’s legacy of impact investing, Salt Lake City on the map – Deseret News

High Net Worth Not Big on Socially Responsible Investments – Millionaire Corner

Family Foundation Embraces Impact Investing – WSJ

PACE Financing Concept Provides Hope for Renewable Energy Projects – Renewable Energy World

‘Social Impact’ Investing in Demand in Maine, but Hurdles Linger – Maine Public Broadcasting

Social Innovation in Acceleration: Building the Social Impact Bond Ecosystem – Forbes

The Rise of Impact Investment – Triple Pundit

The Housing Market is on the Rise: Opportunities in Green Building – Triple Pundit

Coming soon: Sustainability ratings for real estate investments – GreenBiz

Sustainability News

NY Renewable Energy Study Finds New York Could Soon Be Powered By Wind, Water And Sunlight – Huffington Post

Sustainable agricultural policies will soon land in farmers’ laps – The Western Producer

Skoll World Forum 2013: 5 Conversations Worth Having On Social Entrepreneurship – Policy Mic


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Sustainable Mariculture with Roberts and Rose Mariculture Corp.

rose4Mission Markets is proud to have Roberts and Rose Mariculture Corp. as a qualified issuer member.  We sat down to ask Tom Roberts and Robert Rose a few questions about the mariculture industry and markets and how sustainable farming of sea cucumbers can help restore fragile ecosystems. To learn more, please register at missionmarkets.com.

Q)    What is Mariculture? What inspired you to enter this market and what are some of your past accomplishments?

A) Mariculture (mari =sea in Latin) is the science or art of sea farming of plants and animals. The word is used interchangeably with aquaculture, which includes both marine and sea farming or cultivation.

Inspiration was an evolution over time for both Thomas Roberts and Robert Rose, from sport/recreational diving youths to either a commercial marine archeologist/pearl farmer/business entrepreneur (T Roberts) or a qualified marine biologist/commercial aquaculturist (R Rose, PhD). Independently, Tom through observations and working underwater on pearl farms and Bob’s research/aquaculture on the reproductive ecology/life cycles of pearl oysters and sea cucumbers discovered both species share the same marine habitat and thrive together in open-sea, polyculture systems.

Fourteen years ago both gentlemen met in northern Palawan Province, Philippines to establish a pearl farm. While conducting a survey, they realized that Busuanga Island and surrounding archipelago were teeming with sea cucumber species of which most were commercially lucrative and easy to propagate using pearl oyster-abalone hatchery/nursery techniques. Most importantly, the grow-out techniques developed in Indonesia and Australia by Bob and by two colleagues on the management team (Jeff Abel and Beni Giraspy), were ideally suited for the area.

Both proponents were aware through colleagues from the seafood industry and scientific literature that an ever-increasing global demand for sea cucumber was due to a rapidly growing human population in combination with a plethora of collapsing regional fisheries. Readily available buyers in close proximity to major markets across the South China Sea, made the practicality of entering market with aquacultured produce cost-effective; hence, Roberts and Rose partnership commenced.

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SOCAP12 Reconnects Impact Investing Leaders and Highlights New Social Entrepreneurs in SF

Last week our very own Jeff Tuller and Eleanor Horowitz traveled to the West Coast and joined over 1600 attendees for SOCAP12 at San Francisco’s Fort Mason. This was the fifth annual weeklong conference hosted by Social Capital Markets (and Jeff’s fifth time in attendance) and this year’s theme was Making Meaning Matter.

For those who have yet to experience it, SOCAP is a conference dedicated to increasing the flow of capital to social good and convenes social entrepreneurs, impact investors, intermediaries, students, government officials and more.

“We are here because we are about investing in a new way that supports businesses doing business in a new way; a way that creates positive good, measurable good, and impact, while it makes a profit,” wrote convener Kevin Jones.

At SOCAP, we caught up with friends and business partners and were energized to meet so many entrepreneurs new to SOCAP12 like Julia Sevilla, the founder of Kape Maria, a coffee company supporting local farmers and communities in the Philippines, Debbie Sterling, the founder of GoldieBlox, a toy company that sets out to inspire girls to become engineers, and Tonee Ndungu from Kenya who founded Kytabu, a textbook subscription app for tablets providing access to low-cost schoolbooks for low and middle income families.

A few of our favorite highlights:

Majora Carter speaking at Wednesday’s opening plenary at SOCAP12

  • Mission Markets was an active part of the conversation on Jed Emerson’s panel on impact investing platforms. What really defines a platform anyways?
  • Jeff Raikes, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, announced the launch of the Markets for Good initiative in partnership with LiquidNet, which will be tasked with improving data collection for impact investing. It is great to see some heavy hitters reinvigorating the conversation around impact measurement.
  • Majora Carter of Sustainable South Bronx spoke at Wednesday’s morning plenary about the importance of building and investing in sustainable local communities
  • Jenny Kassan of Cutting Edge Capital and Amy Pearl of Change XChange led a panel on Direct Public Offerings, something Mission Markets will be partnering with Jenny and Amy to offer. At last year’s SOCAP, the JOBS act and crowdfunding were all the buzz, but sometimes people forget that DPOs also enable the democratization of impact investing
  • Impact Assets launched the IA50, a resource of 50 investment opportunities that value both financial and environmental returns and includes Iroquois Valley Farms and Brazil’s first impact investing fund Vox Capital
  • And of course we loved the view…