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Funding for the millions of people displaced by the war in Ukraine has focused on meeting immediate needs like food and shelter. As the conflict evolves, another set of actors are looking longer-term at how to ensure that the people who are now in refugee communities are able to remain an active part of the global economic fabric—and continue to innovate.

Ukrainian social impact platform SILab has been helping displaced entrepreneurs navigate their new reality. The EU’s Collaborate for Impact Project, initially created to promote social investment in Eastern Europe, has launched a rapid-response grant program to keep capital flowing. Many of the changemakers receiving these funds are working on the country’s sustainable energy transition with potential implications well beyond their borders.

And, as illuminated in previous crises, investing in refugee-led businesses can lead to positive outcomes. The Refugee Investment Network, Mission Investors Exchange, and other funder networks are already identifying other ways to keep the motivation and momentum going even during a time of great uncertainty.

When the pandemic began in March 2020, food banks experienced a massive surge in demand alongside struggles to safely distribute food. To meet the moment, Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot drew on lessons learned from her 107 siblings (yes, you read that right) and her bout with cancer to navigate the needs of her employees and food bank organizers around the country. “Always assume good intentions of your co-workers, that people want to work together to do good,” she recently told CNBC.


Wildlife Bonds

The World Bank has issued the world’s first wildlife bond to support animal conservation. The five-year, $150 million “rhino bond” will pay out returns based on the rate of population growth among endangered rhinoceroses in South Africa.
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Impact-Linked Finance

The emerging practice of “impact-linked finance”—rewarding companies’ impact through better financing terms, like lower interest rates—is yet another tool that can help social enterprises grow.
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Nigerian Startups

For the first time ever, an African nation—Nigeria—is one of the top three countries represented by the startups selected this year for the prestigious Y Combinator accelerator program.
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New Capitals

The growth in small businesses is also growing the clout of smaller cities in the south and midwest. New research from the Brookings Institute looks at how the shift to more remote work is driving even more change.
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And the Impact Goes To...

From Leonardo DiCaprio to Serena Williams, here are some of the attendees at this year’s Oscars ceremony who moonlight as impact investors.
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A Crypto Harvest?
Lemonade, the B-corp certified insurance company, is leading an effort to use blockchain technology to automate insurance payouts to subsistence farmers, who are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
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