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  • MEDA - How Canada can regain its prestige as a foreign aid leader
    Impact Investment Taskforce he wants to mobilize private capital for the public good and he thinks Canada has a global role to play as a marketplace and broker for new financial vehicles Government is not in the best position to innovate because their whole value proposition is not to fail he told a select group of Canadians this week But investors especially those of the millennial generation are not only risk takers they seek meaning in their work And social impact investing is the ultimate pay it forward model of investment So what is impact investing and how can it replace or supplement traditional international development Micro financing loans are the most traditional form of impact investing But they are blunt instruments More sophisticated financial tools include social impact bonds or SIBs and social impact funds that invest in for profit start ups just as a venture capital fund might but target companies that have a social or environmental purpose SIBs are a financing vehicle for social programs that flip the traditional government pay for service structure on its head With SIBs investors pay upfront for a program for example poverty reduction in a particular region and if the fund meets its objectives the government pays back investors their capital plus rewards them with a rate of return that is comparable or higher than traditional government bonds SIBs typically give uncorrelated rates of return between four and nine per cent while at the same time generating social returns that save lives and government fees Sir Ronald wants Canada to step up to the SIB plate In a private meeting with bankers and government officials in Toronto this week he spelled out how the United Kingdom and Japan have created social impact funds by pooling unclaimed bank assets Big Society Capital in the UK for instance now has 600 million pounds of assets under management thanks to government policy that enabled banks to release 400 million pounds in unclaimed assets to the fund while the banks topped it up with an additional 200 pounds of their own money Sir Ronald thinks Canada could also allocate unclaimed assets to impact investing and the banks should invest alongside government Canada has been slow on creating SIBs but we are ahead of the international field with other initiatives Canada pioneered the Social Venture Connexion or SVX a platform that connects impact ventures with accredited investors INFRONT a program designed by MaRS in collaboration with Sarona Asset Management and Mennonite Economic Development Associates is an innovative global mentorship project that sends Canadian venture capitalists to emerging markets where they offer technical assistance and mentor overseas funds and ventures I ve personally participated in the INFRONT program Earlier this year I flew to India to meet with Aavishkaar a Mumbai based social impact fund that invests in startups like Nepra a waste management company It has not only delivered financial returns for its investors it is also an example of how social impact businesses can improve

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/connect/meda-in-the-news/1665-how-canada-can-regain-its-prestige-as-a-foreign-aid-leader (2016-02-17)
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  • MEDA - $30m for best ideas
    capital financier which focuses on funding SMEs that have viable businesses However this is the first specific fund for three East African countries together Mark Paper the chief operating officer said last week BPI EA will initially focus on investments in East Africa namely Kenya Rwanda and Uganda but we foresee that in the short to medium term we will include other countries and will aim to make this new vehicle the way in which all investments are concluded in Africa The International Finance Corporation IFC the World Bank Group private lending arm is leading a consortium composed of four other lenders These are the Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets SIFEM Dutch impact investor Stichting DOEN and the Dutch Development Agency FMO The Canada based Mennonite Economic Development Associates MEDA Each put up 6 million and has a 20 stake in Business Partners International East Africa BPI EA wants to reach out to those enterprise owners whose business is doing well but cannot attract commercial bank attention or small family owned companies Paper said Private equity firms often refrain from lending to these SMEs as they either too small or prefer not to deal with the complexities of doing business with a family management team rather than a board of members This is however the area that Business Partners Limited specialises in and exactly the service offering we are working to expand across Africa According to a statement BPI EA aims to encourage entrepreneurship facilitate job creation and contribute to small enterprise development by providing access to risk capital funding technical assistance and mentorship to SMEs in East Africa A large number of family owned SMEs are caught between informal sources of capital and commercial lending tools such as banks and private equity he said BPI was established in

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/connect/meda-in-the-news/1659-30m-for-best-ideas (2016-02-17)
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  • MEDA - Talking Books expansion in Ghana’s Upper West, benefits women farmers
    by Michael Quaye and Agnes O Amoah on Graphics Online About 20 000 women farmers in the Upper West Region are benefitting from agricultural extension services and other facilities to improve on food production and reduce poverty The project is being funded by the Canadian Government at a cost of 20 million with support from Mennonite Economic Development Associates MEDA The project involve 662 women s groups of about 30 members each and cover 190 communities in 11 districts of the region The six year project which is in its third year of implementation involves the supply of a simple electronic device called the Talking Book to each of the women s groups The device contains audio messages recorded by experts in agriculture on soyabean farming and it is intended to enhance agricultural extension services to the women farmers The project was piloted last year in 30 communities within the Lambussie Karni District GROW Project The initiative is under the Greater Rural Opportunity Women GROW project in the region which offers information on health and nutrition gender sensitisation value chain and marketing for agricultural products and village loans and savings associations to the beneficiary women At a day s sensitisation workshop for lead farmers drawn from Nadowli Kaleo and Daffiama Bussie Issa districts Mr Andy Bayor Research and Development ICT Manager of Literacy Bridge Ghana a non governmental organisation in the Upper West Region said the successful implementation of a pilot project on the use and relevance of the device had necessitated the expansion to cover the entire region He said the device had come to save time for other partners in the project who otherwise would have needed to transport personnel and experts onto the fields to engage farmers The project according to the Programme Coordinator of MEDA Mr

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/connect/meda-in-the-news/1655-talking-books-expansion-in-ghana-s-upper-west-benefits-women-farmers (2016-02-17)
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  • MEDA - $30m SME investment firm established in East Africa
    for SMEs in a number of sectors in the region Risk finance firm Business Partners the World Bank s investment arm the International Finance Corporation IFC Dutch impact investor Stichting DOEN and the Dutch development agency FMO have all put in US 6 million for a 20 per cent share in the company with the remaining 20 per cent held by the Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets SIFEM and Canada based Mennonite Economic Development Associates MEDA BPI EA aims to encourage entrepreneurship facilitate job creation and contribute to small enterprise development by providing access to risk capital funding technical assistance and mentorship to SMEs in East Africa Value of transactions will range from US 50 000 to US 1 million Mark Paper chief operating officer COO of Business Partners International BPI said the company has recognised the need to expand into other African countries having been focused on South Africa He said there was enormous potential for the new company especially in targeting family owned SMEs are a large target audience In a global context Africa is rich in opportunities yet investment in local business has been constrained and access to finance remains a growth constraint for many SMEs SMEs typically fall into a gap between large corporations served by mainstream financiers and micro enterprises served by microfinance institutions he said Paper said this problem could be particularly acute for family owned businesses which comprise up to 95 per cent of SMEs in developing countries A large number of family owned SMEs are caught between informal sources of capital and commercial lending tools such as banks and private equity he said Private equity firms often refrain from lending to these SMEs as they either too small or prefer not to deal with the complexities of doing business with a

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/connect/meda-in-the-news/1658-30m-sme-investment-firm-established-in-east-africa (2016-02-17)
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  • MEDA - DutchCrafters to sponsor MEDA's Bike to GROW
    Connect MEDA Ambassadors 20 under 35 MEDA Chapters Mennonite Entrepreneurs Conference Ways to Give Donate today Gift Solutions Catalogue Planned Giving Sarona Risk Capital Fund Farmer to Farmer MSCU Mutual Aid in Action Fundraise for MEDA AmazonSmile Donate while you shop Products Supporting MEDA Donate aeroplan miles Resources Publications The Marketplace Magazine Learning Centre Policies Logos and Branding My MEDA My Communication Preferences My Giving History MEDA Staff Logins Website Login Logout MEDA365 E mail Login MEDA365 SharePoint MEDA Master Photo Library Travel Tracker Email Print DutchCrafters to sponsor MEDA s Bike to GROW on 20 May 2015 Source Business briefs DutchCrafters sponsor Mennonite fundraiser by Herald staff and wire reports for the Bradenton Herald MANATEE DutchCrafters Amish Furniture is sponsoring part of a bike ride to raise funds for Mennonite Economic Development Associates GROW program GROW supports women entrepreneurs in Ghana Mary Fehr and Sarah French will bike across Canada to raise 150 000 for Greater Opportunities for Rural Women GROW assists women in obtaining seeds and other materials needed for success in rural areas The program plans to reach more than 20 000 women within six years DutchCrafters will match up to 5 000 of funds raised Stay

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/connect/meda-in-the-news/1653-dutchcrafters-to-sponsor-meda-s-bike-to-grow (2016-02-17)
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  • MEDA - 20 Under 35 recipient Tiffany Meyer: Relationships important in lending
    Meyer absorbed what it meant to be Christian and Mennonite through both church and family But she and her husband desired a less bounded faith experience and moved first to a Mennonite Brethren congregation and now to Creekside Church a Waterloo church plant of First Baptist in Kitchener She believes her Mennonite background influences the work she now does at Mennonite Savings and Credit Union MSCU New Hamburg branch As a twenty something she is a senior account manager overseeing more than 120 families in a wide range of agricultural and commercial industries Ben Janzen of MSCU nominated Meyer for the Mennonite Economic Development Associates MEDA 20 under 35 honour In an e mail he said he nominated her because of the length of time in her role with MSCU having served members in different branches living out her values in the job and serving members who do similar work to what MEDA does in agricultural communities While not an entrepreneur herself she serves many entrepreneurs in her work supporting them as they create businesses She sees her work as service fulfilling our purpose on earth especially when she can give a listening ear to members with difficult stories to tell She does the same with her friends family and relatively new neighbours in New Hamburg living out her internalized Christian and Mennonite values community fellowship and mutual aid Meyer entered employment at MSCU as a teller and worked her way up eventually going to head office in Kitchener for nine months to be trained for her current job There are ongoing courses she takes online to keep up with her position but a big part is building relationships with clients and families She is glad that she has time to listen to the story rather than just look at

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/connect/meda-in-the-news/1650-20-under-35-recipient-tiffany-meyer-relationships-important-in-lending (2016-02-17)
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  • MEDA - MEDA in the News
    this event email delvalmeda yahoo com This event is sponsored by the Delaware Valley MEDA chapter The Perkiomen Trail ride is sponsored by the MEDA chapters of Lancaster and Delaware Valley Following the ride there will be an international dinner and program at Salford Mennonite Church Registration for the ride is 20 RSVP for the ride and dinner by April 16 at Chapters meda org or by calling 717 560 6546 Additionally Sarah and Mary will be speaking at Blooming Glen Mennonite and Mellinger s Mennonnite Church the day after the ride Riders and non riders alike are encouraged to follow and support Sarah and Mary s adventures through their website www biketogrow com or on Twitter or Instagram Email Print Ghana Simple Technology Offers Rural Communities A Route Out Of Fragility on 13 August 2015 Source Posted by author Pete Guest on Forbes com View original artical here Thunder is rolling over the horizon at the start of the rainy season in Suke a small village in Ghana s arid north Suke is remote a two hour drive from Wa the nearest major town One major road closed for repairs creates a ninety minute diversion along dirt tracks that have collapsed into ditches some of them barely passable by four by four or motorbike The village s women gather in a semicircle in the shadow of a large tree to demonstrate their Talking Books coloured plastic boxes with 10 buttons all marked with basic symbols which they hope could provide a lever to mitigate the fragility of their rural livelihoods and help them to achieve the social and economic empowerment that many women in the region lack The challenges of distance and infrastructure in Ghana s Upper West region mean that even in a country that has ostensibly graduated into middle income status many people remain economically isolated making a living through smallholder agriculture and small scale trading These livelihoods are vulnerable to external factors out of pocket expenses such as health emergencies can push families over the edge Worse the climate here is already changing The rainy season has been late and weak two years in a row and yields are low Poor crops mean no surplus to sell Women use Talking Books in Suke Ghana Peter Guest Drought tolerant varieties are available but they are poorly distributed Government agricultural extension workers used to travel out to remote communities to educate farmers on when to plant and how to use improved seeds and fertilisers but years of cutbacks mean that the few people still on the payroll are thinly stretched and often lack the funds even to put petrol in their motorbikes In such communities it is often women who are the most economically disenfranchised Although primary schooling is compulsory in Ghana for boys and girls it is not free In a traditionally patriarchal society it is boys that are educated when funds run out Girls are far less likely to move onto secondary education and often remain

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/connect/meda-in-the-news?start=3 (2016-02-17)
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  • MEDA - MEDA in the News
    position to innovate because their whole value proposition is not to fail he told a select group of Canadians this week But investors especially those of the millennial generation are not only risk takers they seek meaning in their work And social impact investing is the ultimate pay it forward model of investment So what is impact investing and how can it replace or supplement traditional international development Micro financing loans are the most traditional form of impact investing But they are blunt instruments More sophisticated financial tools include social impact bonds or SIBs and social impact funds that invest in for profit start ups just as a venture capital fund might but target companies that have a social or environmental purpose SIBs are a financing vehicle for social programs that flip the traditional government pay for service structure on its head With SIBs investors pay upfront for a program for example poverty reduction in a particular region and if the fund meets its objectives the government pays back investors their capital plus rewards them with a rate of return that is comparable or higher than traditional government bonds SIBs typically give uncorrelated rates of return between four and nine per cent while at the same time generating social returns that save lives and government fees Sir Ronald wants Canada to step up to the SIB plate In a private meeting with bankers and government officials in Toronto this week he spelled out how the United Kingdom and Japan have created social impact funds by pooling unclaimed bank assets Big Society Capital in the UK for instance now has 600 million pounds of assets under management thanks to government policy that enabled banks to release 400 million pounds in unclaimed assets to the fund while the banks topped it up with an additional 200 pounds of their own money Sir Ronald thinks Canada could also allocate unclaimed assets to impact investing and the banks should invest alongside government Canada has been slow on creating SIBs but we are ahead of the international field with other initiatives Canada pioneered the Social Venture Connexion or SVX a platform that connects impact ventures with accredited investors INFRONT a program designed by MaRS in collaboration with Sarona Asset Management and Mennonite Economic Development Associates is an innovative global mentorship project that sends Canadian venture capitalists to emerging markets where they offer technical assistance and mentor overseas funds and ventures I ve personally participated in the INFRONT program Earlier this year I flew to India to meet with Aavishkaar a Mumbai based social impact fund that invests in startups like Nepra a waste management company It has not only delivered financial returns for its investors it is also an example of how social impact businesses can improve the quality of life for some of Ahmedabad s poorest workers its waste pickers Aavishkaar is an international example of best practices in the social impact investing space It succeeded in raising private capital to fund 38 portfolio

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/connect/meda-in-the-news?start=6 (2016-02-17)
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