BLOGS: Womble Carlyle Has Impact

Friday, March 10, 2017, 11:14 AM

New Project by Jacki Zehner Collects 400 Research Reports on Issues Impacting Women & Girls

Posted by: Bruce Buchanan

With the world recognizing International Women’s Day earlier this week, investor/philanthropist Jacki Zehner has complied a comprehensive study on research into gender equity and women’s inclusion, empowerment and leadership.

In the study, titled “Top Reports on Women and Girls: Supporting Gender Lens Giving and Investing,” Zehner aggregates 400 reports across 18 different categories, all of which show work being done on behalf of women and girls.

This report provides a wealth of information for impact economy investors looking to improve the lives of women and girls. As Zehner says, when she was a Goldman Sachs trader, she “relied heavily on research to inform my investment decisions.” This project can guide future giving and investing in ways that have maximum benefit.
Click here to read “Top Reports on Women and Girls: Supporting Gender Lens Giving and Investing.”

Tuesday, January 31, 2017, 3:00 PM

Ikea Wins Design Award For Refugee Shelter

Posted by: J. Brian Ewing
It's understood that one of the keys to retail giant Ikea's success is how efficient it is at packaging. Massive pieces of furniture fit into the smallest boxes possible, making them easy to transport from manufacturer to store to home. 

Ikea won recognition this week for putting that same thinking toward the plight of refugees. The Design Museum of London awarded Ikea its Beazley Design of the Year for a flat-pack shelter created to provide refugees with safe, easily transportable housing. Ikea developed the shelter in collaboration with the United Nations. This CNN article has the full story.   

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Thursday, June 23, 2016, 1:56 PM

Barron's: Private Banks Massively Increase Impact Fund Offerings

Posted by: Bruce Buchanan
A new article in Barron's confirms what many of us working in the Impact Economy already knew - Impact Investing is growing at a rapid pace.

According to the article, global impact investing has increased by 26 percent since 2012, to a total of $109 billion. And that number is expected to hit $650 billion by 2020.

Perhaps just as importantly, the size and quality of impact funds are growing, too. Jackie VanderBrug, Co-Chair of U.S. Trust’s Impact Investing Council (and the keynote speaker at the recent inaugural Womble Carlyle Impact Speaker Series event), said that in 2014, 11 impact funds passed U.S. Trust's rigorous examination process. But 29 impact funds passed in 2015.

Click here to read "Private Banks Massively Increase Impact Fund Offerings" at Barron's.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016, 1:46 PM

Impact in an Instant: How Ramen Noodle Creator Momofuku Ando Fed Post-War Japan, Created Business Empire

Posted by: Bruce Buchanan

Most of us associate ramen noodles with college dorm food or a cheap, filling meal when we were young, single and broke.
But the inventor of ramen noodles—Japanese entrepreneur Momofuku Ando—had a far loftier goal in mind. World War II devastated Japan and despite food rations sent by the United States, many residents of Japan’s cities suffered from food storages.  Ando sought to create something inexpensive and easy to store that could feed his country’s hungry masses.
He stumbled across the secret of ramen—flash-frying the noodles in hot oil—by accident. But his discovery led to a culinary revolution, and the creation of a company that has sold up to 40 billion units of ramen annually.
Click here to watch a short video on “How Instant Ramen Became an Overnight Success” from Great Big Story.

Thursday, April 21, 2016, 10:13 AM

VIDEO Womble Whiteboard Ep. 1: The Impact Economy

Posted by: Bruce Buchanan
The Impact Economy consists of for-profit, non-profit and governmental entities using proven management practices to harness the positive power of business to address endemic social issues. With a rapidly expanding market and an increasing number of participants, the idea of “impact” as an economic force has hit the mainstream.

Womble Carlyle’s Impact Economy Team helps entrepreneurs and investors do good while doing well. In this short video, Mark Newberg, the firm’s Director of Impact Strategies, walks viewers through how Impact Economy companies function. He also provides a brief forecast on the future of Impact investing.

Click here to watch Womble Whiteboard Ep. 1: The Impact Economy

Monday, February 22, 2016, 1:42 PM

Apple Issues Largest Green Bond in U.S. History

Posted by: Bruce Buchanan

Apple has long been a corporate and consumer trend-setter—and the company’s latest move could have a huge and positive effect on the Impact Economy.

This month, Apple issued $1.5 billion in green bonds. Proceeds from the bond sales will finance renewable energy, energy storage and energy efficiency projects, green buildings, and resource conservation efforts.

The overall green bond market is expected to top $50 million in 2016, according to Moody’s Investor Services. With industry leaders like Apple stepping on board, there’s a great deal to like about these latest developments.

Click here to read more about Apple’s $1.5 million green bond plan at

Thursday, January 28, 2016, 4:31 PM

French Government Creates ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) Labels for Financial Products

Posted by: Bruce Buchanan

Observers of the U.S. Impact Economy might want to take a look across the Atlantic to France for some interesting developments.

Recently, the French Government created two official product labels for financial products. In order to qualify for the labels, financial products must meet criteria set by the nation’s Finance Ministry. According to Novethic, a Paris-based Impact Economy media and research center, “a fund must exclude 20% of its initial investment universe on the basis of ESG criteria, and the average ESG rating of a portfolio must be higher than the rating of the benchmark index used to measure its financial performance.”

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said the goal of the product labels is “to bring about compliance with a set of criteria aimed at making economic performance compatible with positive social and environmental impacts through the financing of companies and public entities that contribute to sustainable development, whatever their activity may be.”

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