The Impact World this Week: 29 February 2024

Your quick guide to the news in social enterprise, impact investment and mission-driven business. This week: WFTO calls for Gaza ceasefire, the link between gender inequality and climate change, and a new resource for impact-focused VCs.

Global: The World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) is calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. While the organisation’s primary objective is to address unfair business practices within global trade, it  said that it is also committed to standing up for its core values of “solidarity, peace, and justice”. In an article on its website, the organisation stated: “We know that behind every product and business lies a human story, which is directly affected by this war. We collaborated with the people affected by these events; we know them by name, and we shook their hands at our Summits. They are our fellow fair traders, colleagues, and friends, and they are heavily suffering from the ongoing war.” Read more Pioneers Post stories about WFTO’s work.

Asia: A report released by SecondMuse Capital’s Future Economy Lab, titled Financing Gender-Smart Climate Businesses in Asia, has revealed that South and Southeast Asian nations are among those most vulnerable to climate change and there is an interconnected relationship between climate change and gender inequality. Produced in partnership with Visa Foundation and AVPN, the report is based on data from India, Indonesia and Vietnam, and highlights the financing barriers faced by gender-smart, climate-positive micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises in these countries. Natalia Arjomand of SecondMuse Capital said: “Women-led MSMEs are one of the most promising drivers of economic development in South and Southeast Asia, yet the lack of funding continues to stand in the way of them positively impacting communities. Providing these women with the resources they need for their businesses will help solve climate issues and bridge the gap for women business owners.” 

Europe: ImpactVC, a group of 570 European venture capital firms launched in February 2023 by the UK’s Big Society Capital, has published The VC Impact Playbook with the aim of helping venture capitalists “source, select and support the most exciting impact startups and help them maximise their potential”.

UK: “Let’s make a new business plan for Britain,” is the message from the Future Economy Alliance ahead of the UK general election. A crowdfunder launched this week offers, among other prizes, dinner with Social Enterprise UK chair Victor Adebowale for a £500 donation to support the campaign to “fix the economy” by “unleashing the power of business to benefit people and planet”.

Figure of the week: £120m is the amount raised via Ethex for projects with a positive social or environmental impact, according to the positive investment platform’s 10-year impact report. Ethex lets people invest directly into projects which tackle climate change, social inequality or community breakdown. Read our Ethex customer review.