Global social innovation round-up #18

Wealthy are put off impact investment due to concerns about complexity

A new study by Barclays Wealth and Investment Management has found that fewer than one in ten investors have made impact investments. Of the 1,800 retail investors surveyed just 9% had made impact investments, despite 56% reporting an interest to do so. The research finds that the main factor deterring investors from this type of investment is concern about the complexity involved. The report cited "a lack of understanding in how to use impact investing most effectively to meet investor’s financial and social goals".

Mexican social enterprise to power 50,000 homes with solar energy

Iluméxico has committed to bring solar homes systems to 50,000 off-grid rural homes and approximately 300,000 people by 2020. The social enterprise made the pledge after joining the Business Call to Action, which is an alliance launched at the United Nations in 2008 that challenges businesses to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals. According to the Mexico-based social enterprise there are three million people in 600,000 households currently without access to electricity in their homes.

University launches campaign to provide free education to refugees in Germany

Kiron University, a social enterprise company headquartered in Berlin, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to provide refugees with a free, two year online programme in partnership with Moocs (massive open online courses), followed by one or two years at a partner institution. Students who complete the three year programme would receive a double degree from both institutions. Approximately 15,000 students have now signed up to start the programme in October. A number of universities in Germany including Leuphana University of Lüneburg have signed up to the initiative. The Kiron team are currently are currently seeking more partners in the UK. 

UK social enterprise reduces ‘bed blocking’ at local health trust

Spiral Health, a Lancashire-based community interest company, has reported that a 16-week trial of its Therapy at Home scheme has resulted in the freeing up of 255 bed spaces at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust. The scheme involves providing individual care assessments for people in their own homes in order to better support patients transitioning from hospital care back into the community. Spiral Health estimates that the trial has saved the Trust £70,000. 

Cambodian social enterprise Circus takes flight to the U.S.

Phare: The Cambodian Circus is preparing to tour the U.S. for the first time. The social enterprise, which was founded in Siem Reap to provide work for artists from Cambodia’s poorest neighbourhoods, will perform its first show in Long Beach, California later this month. The tour has been made possible by the support from the Ringling International Arts Festival and a number of Cambodian-American families who have offered to host the performers. It will finish the tour in Arlington, Virginia on 20 October. 


Photo credit: Thomas Totz