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High Country News

Jeremy Lybarger

19 April 2017

Sebastopol, California, United States

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California looks to the Bank of North Dakota as a model to launch a public bank for the cannabis industry. While the Bank of North Dakota is the only public bank in the country thus far, California's cannabis industry...

Christian Science Monitor

Tom A. Peter

16 April 2017

Samso, Denmark

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1500-3000 Words

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Samsø, a small island in Denmark, has done what no other city has reached; energy independence. People on the island use a combination of wind, solar, and biomass, energy. How is such a large feat accomplished? Local ...

Yale Environment 360

Cheryl Katz

23 March 2017

United States

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Once largely confined to the desert Southwest, solar power is making its way across the United States. Due to decreasing prices in installations, coupled with government incentives and increasing knowledge of energy h...

Grist

Amelia Urry

21 February 2017

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

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There is an ongoing competition to improve batteries as a method of energy storage that is environmentally conscious. Intense research on batteries is ongoing, including the development of the "saltwater battery', in ...

Yale Insights

Tony Sheldon

7 February 2017

Dhaka, Bangladesh

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1500-3000 Words

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BRAC, the largest NGO in the world and one of the leaders in microfinance as an approach to combating poverty, discovered that despite its successes, microcredit did not always reach what are called the Ultra-Poor in ...

Chicago Reporter

Kalyn Belsha

24 January 2017

Kansas City, Missouri, United States

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When public schools close, what can communities do with the buildings? Kansas City hired an urban planner to help repurpose school buildings to better engage the community and enabled non-profits a chance to purchase ...

Detroit Free Press

Kristen Jordan Shamus

13 December 2016

Peterborough, United Kingdom

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A project launched in the United Kingdom uses social-impact bonds to reduce recidivism among prisoners, bringing together public and private resources to implement more effective and cost efficient social programs. Th...

Christian Science Monitor

Ryan Lenora Brown

11 December 2016

Maseru, Lesotho

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The approach of giving cash straight to poor people - rather than funneling goods or services indirectly through the slow, diluted, and complex systems of charities or governments - is nothing new, but evidence of lon...

Clean Energy Finance Forum

Emily Wier

5 December 2016

New York, New York, United States

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Climate financing, determining which nations pay and which nations receive, is a challenge for the United Nations. The World Bank created a Pilot Auction Fund, which competitively allocates credit in an online auction...

Next City

Johnny Magdaleno

30 November 2016

Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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As major manufacturers keep "pulling the rug" from under urban areas, low skilled job loss increases. Nevertheless, small-scale businesses have instrumental in their ability to counteract job loss in improvised urban ...

Forbes

Kerry A. Dolan

30 November 2016

San Francisco, California, United States

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For the superrich and the biggest U.S. charitable foundations, donating to universities, hospitals and cultural institutions is the norm. Less common are donations targeted at "social change" such as alleviating pover...

The Atlantic

James Fallows

11 September 2016

Erie, Pennsylvania, United States

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Erie, Pennsylvania transforms standard casino revenue into community development funds to jumpstart the city's urban and economic planning. An innovative initiative sets aside a percentage of revenue for city-wide dev...

High Country News

Leah Todd Lin

5 September 2016

Walsh, Colorado, United States

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When the only local grocery store in tiny Walsh, Colorado, shut down, the 600 residents of the town chipped in to re-open the store, combining community financing with traditional business savvy to keep the community ...

Washington Monthly

Anne Kim

10 June 2016

Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

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Earlier this month, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed new rules to regulate payday lending – the business of offering high-cost short-term loans to Americans on terms that many consumer ...

High Country News

Leah Todd Lin

26 May 2016

Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States

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New Mexico adapts an innovative forestry idea from Quito, Ecuador, to prevent unpredictable and untamable forest fires. The application of this idea, called the Rio Grande Water Fund, raises money around the Rio Grand...

Bloomberg

Stephan Faris

2 December 2015

Kenya

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Since its commercial launch in 2012, M-Kopa has grown to exceed expectations for its revenue--now making more than $12 million a year. The company does this all while expanding access to affordable technology to the p...

The New York Times

Nathaniel Popper

7 October 2015

Utah, United States

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In Utah, Goldman Sachs funded the education of preschoolers and was reimbursed by the state once it was shown that the kids would not need special education. Social impact investments, like this one in Utah, can help ...

Reuters

Dean Karlan

17 June 2015

Korom, Ethiopia

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For years, policymakers have debated different approaches to helping the poor , but new data offers resounding evidence for a strategy that works: an approach known as a “Graduation” program. This method offers partic...

Climate Central

John Upton

24 April 2015

Sacramento, California, United States

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The government wants more farmers turning waste methane into biogas to help combat the negative effects of global climate change. California is leading the initiative, largely through a cap-and-trade program.

Shareable

Nathan Schneider

21 December 2014

United States

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Over 3000 Words

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Entrepreneurs have tried to avoid putting their projects in the hands of venture capitalists fearing loss of control of the project direction and vision. The sharing community combats that by allowing entrepreneurs to...

Next City

Gregory Scruggs

18 December 2014

North Adams, Massachusetts, United States

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The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) uses an innovative business model to stay afloat, relying on both internal and external projects and revenue streams to make a change in the North Adams communi...

Harvard Business Review

Erik Simanis

1 October 2014

United States

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Too often socially useful businesses end up failing because they get ahead of themselves and end up not being profitable. Companies now can select from an 'opportunity map' of ventures that serve the poorest individ...

USA Today

Laura Baverman

21 July 2013

Antigua, Guatemala

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Development work is evolving beyond short-term mission trips and one-off donations into a more comprehensive, in-depth model that addresses long-term sustainability of a solution paired with empowerment of those being...

NPR

Daniel Zwerdling

4 April 2013

Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Radio

5-15 Minutes

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An innovative program by an unusual bank allows low-income people in Cambodia to take out a 15-year fixed mortgage with little or no documentation - contradicting traditional loan assumptions and creating means for so...

The New York Times

Amy Yee

21 March 2013

Bangladesh

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Saving money while conserving water and electricity is a win-win for the textile industry in Bangladesh. After a joint effort to improve the mechanics and upgrade the factories, the industry saw a savings of 1.2 milli...

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Photo Credits: Almudena Toral; Cody Pope; Matt Stokes; Kriston Bethel; Noah Friedman-Rudovsky

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