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This week, Vancouver’s Renewal2, a fund focused on financing ventures with a social mission announced that they have raised their first $16 million. In 2009 that is a monumental task and is testament to the fund’s quality. Historically Renewal has been a pioneer in investments in organic food and other sectors that are becoming increasingly popular. The focus on ethical investments has apparently paid off. While many VC’s are closing their doors and struggling to keep the lights on the fund has successfully beat the odds. The release they put out today says:
Vancouver, BC. – May 25, 2009 – Paul Richardson, President of Renewal2 Investment Fund, is pleased to announce the first close of the Fund at over $16 million. Renewal2 is one of a handful of funds in North America that focus on companies which have positive environmental, social and financial returns. The Fund builds on 15 years’ experience of high-impact social investing at Renewal Partners where early capital was deployed in leading local companies, such as Happy Planet and SPUD, and North American leaders such as Stonyfield Farms and Seventh Generation.
Says Richardson, “We are delighted to be able to announce this close as it enables us to start to fund and nurture the growth of a next generation of companies in our sectors, which include organic and natural foods, green consumer products, green building, social media, and social finance. The decisions we make about what we eat, how we build and clean our houses, and where we source our products, all have large consequences for the planet. The Renewal2 sectors are underserved by the North American venture community which presents a great opportunity as they are expected to grow much faster than the rest of the economy.”
“We are thrilled by the response,” says Joel Solomon, Chairman of Renewal2, “the fact that we have been able to successfully raise this fund in these trying economic times demonstrates the growing interest and commitment of investors who want to drive positive change with their capital.”
Tags: Markets | Toronto | Vancouver | fund | VC | investment | Investing | montréal | Renewal | Tech & Biz | spud | Joel Solomon | Happy Planet | Seventh Generation | Stonyfield Farms | venture community | social investment | Renewal2
In unusually harsh language, Michael Geist, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa has slammed a new report put out by the Conference Board of Canada. In a recent blog post which he titles, The Conference Board of Canada’s Deceptive, Plagiarized Digital Economy Report, he goes on to say:
The Conference Board of Canada bills itself as “the foremost, independent, not-for-profit applied research organization in Canada. Objective and non-partisan. We do not lobby for specific interests.” These claims should take a major hit based on last week’s release of a deceptive, plagiarized report on the digital economy that copied text from the International Intellectual Property Alliance (the primary movie, music, and software lobby in the U.S.), at times without full attribution. The report itself was funded by copyright lobby groups (U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network, Copyright Collective of Canada which represents U.S. film production) along with the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. The role of the Ontario government obviously raises questions about taxpayer dollars being used to pay for a report that simply recycles the language of a U.S. lobby group paper.
It is ironic that a report on intellectual property is now being scrunitized as a work of plagarism. This is truly shameful and Ontario taxpayers should be asking why their tax dollars are supporting such ‘research’. Moreover, the general public should be made aware of this group’s sources. As Geist says in his blog post. “You can pose these and other questions yourself (Golden, Toope, Samarasekera, Wilkinson) as I think the public deserves some answers.”
Direct marketing really has got out of control.
The average person in the US receives nearly 11 pieces of junk mail each week, or 560 pieces a year. This amounts to 4.5 million tons of junk mail yearly, of which 44% goes straight to the landfill unopened and unread.
With advertisers increasingly reluctant to support local television Canadian networks are finding it hard to make ends meet. So instead of relying on ads to support their shows, CTV is launching an initiative aimed at getting cable companies to pay them for their programming.
Current regulations in Canada allow cable and satellite companies to take CTV and ‘A’ programming without compensation. These companies then charge you, the consumer, for the programming they take for free. Most TV subscribers in Canada hold the false belief that part of their basic monthly bills goes to their local TV stations. This isn’t true. Television service providers, including cable and satellite companies, are reaping huge profits at the direct expense of local Canadian TV stations that are going out of business. As a consumer, you are at risk of losing local programming options on the dial.
What do you think? Would you pay more for cable for local news?
I am finding myself increasingly unconfortable in the grocery store these days. There was a time when I looked at the fully stocked shelves along every isle as a sign of prosperity and the efficiency of capitalism. But these days I worry what I’m eating, how much plastic I’m buying and what kinds of chemicals I’m investing in. Greenpeace has a report that looks at how supermarkets stack up in terms of their ocean friendliness. The results for Canadian stores is not good.
“Our analysis shows that major supermarket chains are still part of the problem of destroying our oceans and destroying seafood,” said Beth Hunter, Greenpeace oceans campaign coordinator. “Some of the chains have taken steps in the right direction, but bigger strides are needed to ensure fish for the future. Supermarkets are selling our oceans and themselves out of stock.”