Featured: Ownership Economy

How Dearfield Fund helps Black women buy homes to build wealth and health. Equitable homeownership is a key strategy for narrowing racial wealth gaps. Centering Black women is key to the strategy’s success. Denver-based Dearfield Fund for Black Wealth has deployed $5.7 million in down-payment assistance loans to help Black families build wealth through homeownership. Dearfield has sharpened its strategy to better serve Black women, who make up 60% of the fund’s 150 borrowers so far. “We know that there’s an economic case for investing in Black wealth creation,” says Dearfield’s Aisha Weeks. “There is also a case to invest in Black women so they have a safe physical and emotional space to rest in a world that often doesn't allow Black women to rest and be at peace.”

Dealflow: Frontier and Growth Markets

With $58 million for African startups, Enza Capital will share profits with founders. Nairobi-based Enza Capital invests in tech-driven startups across Africa tackling challenges from climate change to mobility. The four-year old venture investor in seed-stage and growth rounds raised $58 million for its second fund. Enza’s portfolio includes Cloudline, a Cape Town-based maker of autonomous battery and solar-powered airships for cargo delivery; Lagos-based Autochek, which helps Africans get car financing and maintenance; and EarthAcre, a Nairobi firm that models ecosystems and helps landowners adopt regenerative practices. 

Signals: Return on Inclusion

Investing for a post-affirmative action economy. Since the US Supreme Court decision in June barring affirmative action in college admissions, conservative activists have stepped up legal challenges to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, the military, schools, and even investment firms. Over the weekend, an appeals court in Atlanta ordered venture capital firm Fearless Fund to halt grants for Black women business owners, overturning a district court judge’s refusal to block Fearless from enforcing the racial eligibility criteria. Racial inequity remains a systemic risk to the economy, Monique Aiken and William Burckart of The Investment Integration Project, Tynesia Boyea-Robinson of CapEQ, and Policy Link’s Mahlet Getachew argue in a guest post. Racial disparities have cost the economy around $16 trillion in recent decades. “Investors should view this lost growth opportunity as the economic imperative that it is and double down on investing equitably to support all participants in our economy,” the authors write.

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