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January 21, 2021

The Brief

Featured: Impact Voices

Today’s excerpts from "Creativity, Culture & Capital: Impact investing in the global creative economy" explore private and public investment strategies to meet the needs of creative entrepreneurs. The collection of essays was edited by Nesta, Fundación Compromiso and Upstart Co-Lab. Read earlier selections from cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Heva Fund’s George Gachara. 

Dealflow: Follow the Money

Two Sigma Impact invests in workforce educator Penn Foster. Hedge fund Two Sigma launched its nine-figure impact investing initiative from its own balance sheet to prove the correlation between good jobs and business value. The firm’s first investment is in Penn Foster, which offers low-cost degrees and certificates in high-demand fields like healthcare, veterinary sciences and early childhood education. “A happy, engaged workforce is good for companies. That statement isn’t debatable,” Two Sigma Impact’s Warren Valdmanis told ImpactAlpha. Together with Boston-based private equity firm BayPine, Two Sigma took a controlling stake in Penn Foster to improve its data science capabilities and “future-proof” the company in the face of technology change and the pandemic, Valdmanis said. The deal is also the first for BayPine, an ESG-based investor focused on “digital transformation.” The two firms' investment gives existing investor Bain Capital Double Impact an exit. 

Signals: Ahead of the Curve

And that was just Day One of Biden’s climate agenda. It was the executive order heard ‘round the world. “Welcome back to the Paris Agreement!” tweeted French President Emmanuel Macron, although it will take 30 days for new U.S. President Joe Biden’s move to take effect. On the day of his inauguration, Biden kicked off his ambitious climate and racial justice agenda with a broad executive order directing federal agencies to address the impact of climate change on disadvantaged communities and to roll back harmful policies enacted under former President Donald Trump. Biden also revoked the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, despite a last-ditch attempt by Canada’s TC Energy to salvage the project by vowing to invest in renewable energy and hire union workers. “Effective climate laws, as President Biden understands, will drive a host of benefits,” including technology innovation, lower-cost energy, economic competitiveness, and human and environmental health, said As You Sow’s Danielle Fugere

Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent

The Kresge Foundation taps Tosha Tabron, ex-Invest Detroit, as a social investment officer and promotes Joe Evans to portfolio director and a social investment officer… Arctaris Impact Investors is hiring an associate in Chestnut Hill, MA… The Boston Ujima Project has internships available for investment research and fund management in Boston. 

Editor's Picks

Impact Briefing: Week of January 15

On this week’s podcast, host Monique Aiken engaged Frontline Solutions’ Jessica Barron and Marion Johnson on the political power of women of color.

Agents of Impact: Georgia’s organizers

“Welcome to the New Georgia,” proclaimed Senator-elect Raphael Warnock. “It is more diverse, and it’s more inclusive. And it readily embraces the future.”

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