Posts in start-ups
Philly Ranks 40th on 2019 US Cities Sustainable Development Report

America’s cities are home to more than 80 percent of Americans and around 85 percent of US production. They will determine the future of sustainable development in the United States. Around the US, more and more cities are signing up to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework for action.

Read More
Group of Top CEOs Says Maximizing Shareholder Profits No Longer Can be the Primary Goal of Corporations

A group representing the nation’s most powerful chief executives on Monday abandoned the idea that companies must maximize profits for shareholders above all else, a long-held belief that advocates said boosted the returns of capitalism but detractors blamed for rising inequality and other social ills. In a new statement about the purpose of the corporation, the Business Roundtable, which represents the chief executives of 192 large companies, said business leaders should commit to balancing the needs of shareholders with customers, employees, suppliers and local communities.

Read More
See who's leading the charge in backing female-founders. And who has work to do.

What's the best way to identify the top investors in female-founded companies? To answer that question, we published a list of US-based VC firms ranked by the number of investments completed in startups with at least one female founder since 2006. But that list failed to highlight firms whose portfolios contained mostly female-founded companies.

Read More
SunTrust Joins Wave Of Banks Exiting The Private Prison Industry

SunTrust Bank announced this morning that they are ready to join other major banks in moving away from the private prison industry, in the wake of deep public sentiment against their role in mass incarceration and family detention. “Following an ongoing and deliberate process, SunTrust has decided not to provide future financing to companies that manage private prisons and immigration holding facilities,” said Sue Mallino, Chief Communications Officer of SunTrust Banks, Inc. “This decision was made after extensive consideration of the views of our stakeholders on this deeply complex issue.”

Read More
How Board Members Really Feel About ESG, from Deniers to True Believers

Driving sustainable business practices in companies requires involvement from boards of directors. And there is some evidence that sustainability is rising up the board agenda. Many board members today have the right aspirations, but there is a substantial gap between those aspirations and the capacity of their boards and firms to deliver.

Read More
The ROI Of Purpose: The Growth To Expect And 3 Investments To Make

The time is coming where we’ll look back on how we’re doing business today and marvel at how strange it was. We’re living out the last moments of a way of working and defining value that we’ll remember with disbelief. We’ll do one of those head-shaking chuckles when we think about the fact that companies once existed without a real sense of purpose — similar to when we remember using phones that were anchored to our walls.

Read More
Op Ed: Diversity Pays

Several years ago, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation decided to start investing portions of our multi-billion-dollar endowment with firms owned and managed by women and people of color. For our president, Alberto Ibarguen, and the board of trustees, it was morally the right thing to do, and we were confident we could execute it in a financially prudent and responsible way.

Read More
Tech and Impact Pioneer Mitch Kapor on SOCAP’s Money + Meaning Podcast

Many people know him as the Founder of Lotus Development Corporation, the designer of Lotus 1-2-3, or the Co-founder of The Electronic Frontier Foundation, but in the social impact space Mitch Kapor has become most famous for investing in seed stage tech startups that are closing gaps of access, opportunity, or outcome for low-income communities and communities of color in the US.

Read More
Ford Foundation: Spotting Mispriced Risks In Affordable Housing, Quality Jobs And Diverse Managers (Podcast)

Foundations command a combined $900 billion in the U.S., and more than $1.5 trillion globally. No other class of asset owners should be more predisposed to move “beyond trade-offs” than philanthropies, which have a legal mandate and tax obligation to benefit society, as well as a presumably charitable original intent.

Read More
Impact Investing Is The Quiet Revolution Taking Shape Across Our Economy — And It’s Just Getting Started

In recent years, there has been a quiet revolution taking shape across our economy. A growing movement led by passionate pioneers out to change the world has been slowly but surely expanding. A growing chorus of fearless leaders have been championing the idea that businesses can be a powerful tool for social good, beyond the jobs that they create, while also retaining a focus on profit and growth. And the markets have responded. 

Read More
Philanthropic Investors Multiply Their Impact Assets With Beyond Meat’s IPO

Impact investments from donor-advised funds helped seed the growth of Beyond Meat, the plant-based meat company that staged a successful public offering earlier this month. Commercial real-estate investor Mark Van Ness, and Honest Tea’s Seth Goldman, now executive chair at Beyond Meat, invested in the company from their donor-advised funds, tax-advantaged accounts originally designed for grant-making.

Read More
From Sri To Esg, Values-aligned Investing Has Many Names. Let’s Decode The Lingo.

Values-aligned investing is called by many different names, which are commonly misused or misunderstood by investors. Let me decode the lingo, because a shared understanding of the terminology makes this type of investing more accessible to advisors and investors alike. Please note that there are no universally agreed upon definitions among professionals, and everyone uses the words a bit differently. After 15 years of working in this space, this is how I define the most commonly used terms.

Read More
Action on Global Warming: NYC's Green New Deal

Mayor de Blasio today announced New York City's Green New Deal, a bold and audacious plan to attack global warming on all fronts. It is comprised of $14 billion in new and committed investments, legislation and concrete action at the City level that will ensure a nearly 30 percent additional reduction in emissions by 2030. The laws and investments of New York City's Green New Deal will directly confront income inequality, generating tens of thousands of good-paying jobs retrofitting buildings and expanding renewable energy.

Read More