ImpactPHL Perspectives, Volume 9: Innovation Ecosystems - A Mechanism For Creating, Developing, And Scaling New Solutions For Education

To date, many innovative education technology products and services have not been adopted by schools or have failed to achieve scale.  One reason for this lack of adoption and implementation is the disconnect that often exists between educators and entrepreneurs. Practitioners often receive inadequate information about new tools and their capacity to enhance instruction, which further impedes implementation. In addition, the limited amount of time and resources that most practitioners encounter on a daily basis, including insufficient professional development on how to use new technologies, further impedes adoption rates.

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SOCAP Podcast: Money + Meaning Episode Two: "Bring a Friend, Add a Zero" (recorded in Philly)

This episode of SOCAP’s podcast series “Money + Meaning” was recorded in Philadelphia and features a panel of experts to discuss Philadelphia as an example of a city that is bringing together a spectrum of investors with local government allies, entrepreneurs, and community members to tackle systemic problems facing the city. They point to a set of opportunities to build the field of impact investing in Philadelphia and across the US.

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ImpactPHL Perspectives, Volume 8: ReStore - A Self-Sustaining Revenue Model to Further Local Housing Support in Philadelphia

Many who hear “Habitat for Humanity” have some familiarity with Habitat for Humanity's affordable housing work, the phrase “a hand up, not a handout,” and President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn Carter's the tireless commitment to the organization over years. However, few are aware of our furniture and home goods social enterprise, ReStore, that infuses dollars into our Homeownership and Home Repair Programs - two programs that provide affordable payment options, sweat equity, and volunteer labor opportunities for low-income populations that have housing needs in Philadelphia.

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How Much Do Businesses In Your City Care About People and Planet?

Larger organizations that have social impact goals have long since had the resources and access to tools to help them along their journy towards greater impact. However small and medium sized businesses with the same social inclinations have not historically had access to them. That is until organizations in Philadelphia and New York started providing those tools to these business so that they too can monitor and extend the impact which they are able to have on their communities. One of those tools, the Best for PHL assessment as provided by ImpactPHL, attempts to provide these entities with more knowledge and more power to achieve their social goals.

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Can Impact Investing Avoid the Failures of Microfinance?

The impact investment industry is growing rapidly, a fact that many of us in the field celebrate. In 2010, J.P Morgan projected up to $1T in investment would be deployed this decade — which would make impact investing twice the size of official development aid to the world’s less develop countries (as defined by the United Nations), presuming historic levels of aid stayed constant since 2010. Many of us are starting to envision a day where we can drop the “impact” moniker and just assume that investments take into account social and environmental factors. But are we scaling the right model? How do we make sure that the blossoming impact investment movement — especially as it starts to supplant traditional aid — actually leads to improvements in outcomes for the people and communities it is supposed to benefit?

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ESG Investing’s Growing Influence

The integration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into the institutional investment analysis and decision-making process is a mega-trend that investors can no longer ignore, says Emily Chew, ​global head of Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance Research and Integration at Manulife Asset Management. Speaking at the 71st CFA Institute Annual Conference in Hong Kong, Chew noted that there is a mindshift taking place in the financial industry that has both asset owners and managers increasingly treating ESG investing as part of their fiduciary duty. Further, clients are also demanding responsible investing, seeing it not only as a means of doing good, but also as a way to increase portfolio returns and manage risk.

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ImpactPHL Perspectives, Volume 7: An Introduction to Place-Based Impact Investment

At the Wharton Social Impact Initiative, we focus on how businesses and finance can be leveraged to drive inclusive economic development. Over the last decade, we have noticed a dramatic increase in the number of investors seeking to achieve financial returns as well as measurable social or environmental impact across their investable assets.  This approach to investment – generally known as “impact investing” – takes many forms across asset classes, impact sectors, industries, and geographies.  And, the growth in impact investing is leading to a range of partnerships, approaches, and funding strategies.

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ImpactPHL Perspectives, Volume 6: Partnership – The Key to Future Regional Prosperity

At the Total Impact Conference in late April, The Philadelphia Foundation and Reinvestment Fund announced a joint initiative named PhilaImpact Fund. This impact investing vehicle will allow each organization’s investors to fund development projects in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties. The PhilaImpact Fund connects investors, philanthropists and engaged citizens with the projects, initiatives and big ideas that generate results on a local level.

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The Philadelphia Foundation and Reinvestment Fund Launch PhilaImpact Fund

The Philadelphia Foundation and Reinvestment Fund announced the launch of PhilaImpactFund, a new place-based impact investment opportunity targeted to the Greater Philadelphia region. The Fund is believed to be a first-of-its-kind collaboration between a community foundation, The Philadelphia Foundation, and an asset manager that also originates community development loans, Reinvestment Fund. This exciting new development offers an opportunity for investors to channel their capital into neighborhood development projects that support regional growth and local initiatives in the communities that need them the most.

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ImpactPHL Perspectives, Volume 5: Best for PHL - The City of Brotherly Love in Name and Deed

Over the past several decades, investors, economists, and business owners alike have acknowledged the need to move from shareholder capitalism to stakeholder capitalism. Research shows that Millennials seek meaningful work and investments that make money and make a difference. And since Millennials represent 50% of the global workforce and will inherit $40 trillion in the coming decades, they will shape labor and capital markets like no other generation. The existence of this trend raises important questions that B Lab's Liz Fernandes explores in this Perspectives piece.

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Total Impact Conference 2018

The Total Impact conference is for advisors, family offices, and investors who are interested in aligning their portfolios with their social values. We are bringing together impact investing experts, academics, and development leaders to demonstrate how to incorporate impact into investment portfolios. We believe the financial services industry has the tools to solve some of the world's biggest challenges and we would like you to join us.

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ImpactPHL Perspectives, Volume 4: The Circle of Aunts & Uncles - Loans to Drive Local Community Wealth

The Circle of Aunts and Uncles is a group of 35 members that seeks to build local self-reliance by supporting, mentoring, and providing low interest loans and social capital to aspiring entrepreneurs in Philadelphia. The group has loaned out more than $100,000 since 2015 with priority given to entrepreneurs who demonstrate financial need, are from a historically marginalized population, aspire to implement eco-friendly business practices, and plan to maintain local independent ownership.

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ImpactPHL Perspectives, Volume 3: Scaling Capital for Impact Through Fixed Income Investments

Last May, Reinvestment Fund announced a $50 million public bond offering to further its mission to build wealth and opportunity for low-income places and people. The bonds were rated AA- by S&P and represent one of the first examples of connecting CDFIs to mainstream capital markets. Demand for these bonds far exceeded expectations and the offering was oversubscribed. It was a testament to the demand among institutional investors for viable options to channel their capital towards impact, while also receiving market-rate returns.

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StartupPHL Announces iFundWomen Platform and Pitch Competition

iFundWomen Philadelphia is a platform designed to help the region’s women entrepreneurs raise the capital needed to get their ideas off the ground. Businesses selected for the Philadelphia Cohort will receive free crowdfunding coaching and have the option to start their crowdfunding campaigns immediately. Women-led businesses in the region are strongly encouraged to apply, and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

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ImpactPHL Perspectives, Volume 2: Making “Risky” Local Investments for the Common Good

There’s a collective societal consciousness that thinks of traditional stock and bond markets as prudent and safe while viewing direct investments into businesses and non-profits as risky. The Untours Foundation seeks investments with local and/or societal benefits and makes the case that perhaps the level of risk isn’t so different after all.

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