MM Memo 11.04.17

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Each week, we compile and summarize the top articles on corporate social impact, impact investing, and conscious capitalism from around the world, and deliver it to your inbox every Saturday morning for you to enjoy and digest.  

Feel free to shoot us an email with any feedback, insight, tips or suggestions. If you like what you are reading, we would love it if you would share it with your friends.


HOW EVA LONGORIA AND IMPACT INVESTING ARE TRYING TO BRING AFFORDABLE HOUSING TO DALLAS


Actress, businesswomen and philanthropist Eva Longoria is joining forces with investors to bring affordable housing to the Texas city. This project, with the California-based Turner Multifamily Impact Fund, is an example of social impact investing, which makes a profit while tackling social issues. Longoria is concerned for workers who have to live hours away from their jobs to find affordable rent. She chose to invest in housing because government and nonprofit organizations are limited in what they can do. The Turner fund “is creating a sustainable model which will bear fruit for investors but also do something amazing for the community,” Longoria said. The Turner fund is led by chief executive Bobby Turner, who left the hedge fund world to get involved in impact investing. Turner said he wants to make profits for investors while bringing social change. He said the fund brings about a 10 percent to 12 percent return.


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VISA INVESTS $20 MILLION IN MICROLOAN PROGRAM FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS

Visa says it has a new strategy to help women entrepreneurs. The global lender announced the launch of its new Visa Foundation this week and with it, a contribution of $20 million to the nonprofit Women’s World Banking (WWB) to help “prioritize the growth of micro and small enterprises around the world.” The money, which will be distributed to WWB over a five-year period, will be used to boost opportunities for women-led businesses in underserved communities where banks and other financial institutions are limited or nonexistent.


LESSONS IN CSR COMMUNICATIONS AND BRAND STORYTELLING FROM A DECADE IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Marketers working at the intersection of brand storytelling and CSR communications face unique challenges in communicating their missions, engaging audiences, and finding fresh angles that capture the real impact of their work. Recent studies show that today’s consumers are willing to pay more and are anxious to do business with companies that have a clear purpose. Yet another recent study found that many consumers are becoming wary around “arrogance” and brand purpose. Today’s audiences want to do business with organizations that are making a positive impact, but too many CSR communications default to feel-good story lines.


HOW SMART SUSTAINABILITY COMMUNICATION IS BRINGING SMEs OUT OF THE SHADOWS

When it comes to sustainability communications, it seems like small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been operating on the dark side of the moon. From a global perspective, even though many of these companies engage as good corporate citizens in their local communities, the light usually falls on the “sustainability champions” of the world, most of them multinational corporations.


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