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Friday Good News Roundup: January 27, 2017

Friday Good News Roundup: January 27, 2017

Liz Biscevic—5 Things to Know Today

Photo via gemkonnect.wordpress.com

Photo via gemkonnect.wordpress.com

What a week! If you’re looking for some good news, you should know that “baby boxes” that help prevent sudden infant death syndrome are coming to America, there’s an app that’s letting African small businesses raise money, and a 9-year-old is helping Chicago’s homeless from the back of a pickup truck. 

1. Quartz: Finland’s Baby Boxes are making their way to America.
Today, Finnish parents—regardless of income—receive a baby box for their newborn. The box doubles as a crib and includes a snowsuit among some 49 items, and is offered in exchange for Finnish parents learning prenatal care and parenting information from a healthcare professional. In a new, similar program in New Jersey, moms-to-be will have to take a course online and take a quiz before they get a box filled with educational material, a onesie, and diapers. The real goal of the boxes isn't just cute and convenient baby gear, but helping parents learn vital information about newborn care and health in order to lower the rate of sudden infant death syndrome.

2. Inc: African small businesses struggle to find lenders to invest in their ideas. Numida Technologies is trying to change that. 
 In Africa, millions of small companies struggle to raise capital to fund their ventures, and available loans rarely exceed a few hundred dollars. A new product called TrackApp by Numida Technologies might make loans more accessible to African entrepreneurs. The app tracks every part of the company’s finances, giving owners and potential owners insights into ways to make their business more efficient. This information is shared with local lenders interested in working with small businesses.

3. Triple Pundit: Utility-scale solar power reaches its $1 per watt goal three years ahead of schedule. 
Originally considered “aspirational” rather than realistic when unveiled in 2011, the Department of Energy's SunShot initiative has made a major impact on solar energy across the country. In the last five years, solar power has grown from contributing 1.2 gigawatts to the U.S. electricity supply to more than 30 gigawatts. The initiative also set a goal to reduce the cost from $4 per watt in 2011 to $1 per watt by 2020—and hit it three years early. The newest goals hope to reduce that $1 cost by half by 2030. 

4. Climate Change News:  Ireland might be the first country to fully divest from coal, oil, and gas. 
Irish lawmakers overwhelmingly voted in favor of scrapping fossil fuels from their $8 billion euro Ireland Strategic Investment Fund. The bill is expected to pass in the next few months after approval by the finance committee. Thomas Pringle, the representative who sponsored the bill, says, “National governments have an essential role to play in backing up their Paris pledges by ensuring public funds are well placed to support the clean energy transition, and protected from the inevitable decline of the fossil fuel industry.” 

5. MSN: A 9-year-old boy is helping Chicago's homeless start their days.
Jahkil Jackson is empowering his community to take care of Chicago’s less fortunate after volunteering to feed the homeless with his aunt. Jackson told MSN, “They didn’t have items to start or end their day,” so he and his mom created a nonprofit called iAMNaeem, which offers “Blessing Bags” to the homeless community. The bags include toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, socks, hand sanitizer, and other small essentials. Jackson distributes the bags from the back of his godfather’s pickup truck to individuals in need. Since the nonprofit began, Jackson has given away nearly 2,000 Blessing Bags and hopes to distribute 5,000 by the end of 2017.

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