Posts in start-ups
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.

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JPMorgan Chase Is Done With Private Prisons

After years of targeted actions by everyday activists and concerned shareholders, JPMorgan Chase announced early this morning that they will stop financing GEO Group and CoreCivic — the largest operators of private prisons and immigrant detention centers in the U.S. This is a big win for the world of corporate accountability; one that many believe wouldn’t have been possible without hundreds of thousands of people nationally demanding change in the wake of growing concern over family detention. It also calls into question the financial viability of the private prison industry, which has come under fire both by activists and financial analysts.

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Companies vow to employ former prisoners and conserve energy — while still turning a profit

Laundry isn’t a life-changing experience. But when Gabriel Mandujano founded Philadelphia-based Wash Cycle Laundry in 2010, he set out to make it just that. Commercial laundry — literal dirty work — isn’t hip or high-tech. Most of the time, commercial laundry services are outsourced to cut costs; in Philadelphia, Mandujano notes, laundry from hotels, hospitals, and universities is trucked 50 miles or more to rural Maryland or northern New Jersey. The work also isn’t sexy or particularly lucrative. It can be monotonous, and most employees are paid less than $10 an hour, according to PayScale, which tracks compensation among 7,000 companies.

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The Philadelphia’s Department Of Planning & Development's Guide To Developing With Social Impact

Philadelphia’s Department of Planning & Development incorporates “social impact” as a component of its review process for developers seeking public land and financing. This document explains the concept of social impact, with the intent of helping developers craft a successful social-impact strategy

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Kresge Foundation Commits $22m To Back Arctaris, Community Capital Management Opportunity Zone Funds

The Kresge Foundation announced Monday it will partner with two established impact fund managers and provide $22 million in investments to anchor their emerging Opportunity Zone Funds, after these managers have agreed to a level of transparency, accountability, and disclosure thus far unheard of in the Opportunity Zones space.

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How Foundations Are Using Impact Investing to Advance Racial Equity

Racial inequity is inextricably connected to nearly every social challenge that philanthropy seeks to address. Quality healthcare. Affordable housing. Access to a better education. Participation in a just economy. These are just some of the challenges that disproportionately affect people of color and are central to the mission-driven work undertaken by foundations.

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Philadelphia grows a regional (and national) impact investing market

If you’re in business or finance, the term “impact investing” is probably already on your radar. If not, the growing global market – $228 billion in assets (doubled from 2016 to 2017) – is a topic that leaders as diverse as Larry Fink, the Pope, U2’s Bono, and local Philadelphia impact leaders, Jay Coen Gilbert or RoseAnn Rosenthal, would advise you have on your 2019 agenda. And the Total Impact Conference, this May in Philadelphia, is the just the opportunity to begin or advance your impact investing strategy.

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Philadelphia’s impact investors step up to finance local job-creation and a storefront revival

First Step Staffing has a disarmingly simple impact strategy for integrating homeless and previously incarcerated people into the workforce. The nonprofit acquires all or part of much larger for-profit staffing companies with steady customers in need of reliable workers. First Step assimilates the existing staff and, through natural attrition, gradually adds employees from much more vulnerable – but eager to work – populations. To boost retention, First Step provides transportation and covers other expenses.

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Backstage Accelerator Backs 25 Underestimated Founders In Detroit, Philadelphia, L.a. And London

WhoseYourLandlord, founded in Philadelphia by Ofo Ezeugwu to empower and inform renters, is among the first 25 companies backed by Backstage Capital’s new accelerator program. The venture capital firm for founders who identify as a woman, person of color, and/or LGBTQ will invest $100,000, and provide mentorship, investor introductions and financial guidance to each of the Detroit, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and London-based companies, in exchange for a 5% stake.

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New Goldman Sachs Fund Will Track Paul Tudor Jones’s Feel-Good Companies

The spiritual guru Deepak Chopra had just finished teaching a class about ethics in business at Columbia Business School when he called the billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones II in the fall of 2012. “‘Listen, one of my students has got a really good idea,’” Mr. Jones said Mr. Chopra had told him. The student had posed two questions: “Why can’t companies be an instrument for goodness? Why can’t companies focus their capital — human and financial — on being a change agent for societal betterment, a change agent for justness?”

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Successful Opportunity Zone investments will pull people up, not push them out

Of all the factors stifling America’s underserved communities, a dearth of economic investment is among the most pernicious. For decades, institutional capital has largely bypassed disadvantaged urban and rural areas due to the perceived risk of investing there – whether those concerns are justified or not. As a longtime investor in underserved communities, I have witnessed firsthand the transformative power of private sector capital to create jobs, energize schools, revitalize neighborhoods, and ignite hope. I have also faced rejection from institutional investors who are fearful of any number of real or perceived hazards, from lack of market opportunity and narrow customer base to high crime and poor governance.

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Business For Good: Time For A Capitalist Reformation

Larry Fink challenges. Tucker Carlson rants. David Brooks moralizes. Others wonder Can American Capitalism Survive? They all correctly diagnose the problem—a broken economic system that is not meeting the needs of the vast majority of people and that has embedded incentives that make it designed to fail in the more perilous times ahead—but they all fail to see clearly how long we’ve had this problem, what is its root cause, and what is required for its solution.

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Impact Investing Isn't Just For The Rich - We All Have A Part To Play

As one of my New Year’s resolutions, I’ve introduced my children to an excellent idea I heard once at an event on gender lens investing (which is, by the way, a whole other interesting angle I’ll come back to at another time!). Basically, the idea is that when your children get pocket money or Christmas money etc, instead of blowing it instantly on sweets/games/50 packets of Match Attax, they have to divide it up into four pots: one for spending, one for saving, one for investing, and one for giving away.

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Ceniarth’s Diane Isenberg: ‘I am a gender-lens investor’

I have never been a big fan of joining clubs and recoil at the over-simplification often inherent in these types of identifiers. That said, I have found myself, circuitously, embracing this new badge. When I first casually glanced at promotional materials for last November’s Gender Smart Investing Summit, organized by Suzanne Biegel, I was not sure that it was a forum that would be relevant to me or my team at Ceniarth. Yes, we deployed over $40 million last year in a range of global funds and enterprises, almost all of which, given their rural focus, must be attentive to gender and power dynamics in underserved communities. Yet, I still did not consider myself a gender-lens investor.

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A New Local Movement

Like most parents, Dave Friedman approached his son’s graduation with pride. But he also worried. He knew that with valuable skills but high-functioning autism, his son would find few companies prepared to hire him. Friedman’s response was to create AutonomyWorks, which employs people with autism spectrum disorder to provide marketing operations support—work that, because of its detailed, repetitive nature, makes it hard for companies to retain staff.

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The Alpha In Impact: How Operating With An Impact Objective Can Add Value For Investors

New research from Tideline and Impact Capital Managers (ICM), a network of private fund managers committed to impact investing, shows that a social and environmental focus on investment management can, in fact, boost financial returns. The new white paper, titled The Alpha in Impact, is based on Tideline’s analysis of nearly 30 financial transactions from ICM-member investment portfolios. The analysis uncovered 10 unique drivers of “impact alpha,” defined as the ways in which operating with an impact objective can enhance or add financial value for fund managers, investors, and the firms in which they invest.

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Renewed corridor: Economic opportunities developing along North Broad

Thirty-four developments are under construction, completed or proposed for the North Broad Street corridor between City Hall and Germantown Avenue. The projects include the $56 million renovation of The Met Philadelphia into the state of the art entertainment venue, the redevelopment of the historic Lorraine Divine Hotel, $25 million renovation of the former Blue Horizon boxing venue into a Marriott brand Hotel Moxy and the transformation of the Beury Building into residential and commercial space.

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City selling vacant lots with eye to ‘social impact’

City agencies own roughly a quarter of the 40,000 vacant parcels of land in Philadelphia. It’s a figure that’s barely budged over the last decade despite a building boom and the introduction of several new blight-fighting tools. But on Friday the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority plans to put 26 of those properties on the market and take a first (small) step towards a resolution for the backlog of undeveloped, municipally owned land that pocks the city’s neighborhoods.

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