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Helping communities acquire assets and rebuild small businesses in Minnesota. The conviction of former officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd sent a signal to residents of Minneapolis that their voices were heard and that Black lives matter. Two new real estate and small business funds aim to do the same – by strengthening the role of community development financial institutions. CDFIs are a key channel for deploying capital to Black and Brown-owned businesses, as well as to affordable housing and other social infrastructure in low-income neighborhoods. “Capital in the system is outstripping the capacity to spend it in strategic, quick and effective ways,” say Bruce Katz and Colin Higgins of Nowak Metro Finance Lab, who have advocated for such local funds. “Local leaders must focus on building strong and capable intermediaries with community standing that can have positive impact in the near-term and persist after the immediate recovery period to drive equitable growth for years to come.”

Dealflow: Follow the Money

EnCap Investments raises $1.2 billion energy transition fund. The Houston-based oil and gas private equity firm has raised 22 institutional investment funds totaling roughly $38 billion over three decades. Its first fund dedicated to clean energy production brought in $1.2 billion for wind, solar and energy storage enterprises. The fund has backed five companies in the battery storage, distributed power, and utility-scale solar and wind sectors, including Broad Reach Power, Catalyze, Jupiter Power, Solar Proponent and Triple Oak Power. “Their early progress is exceeding our expectations,” said EnCap’s Jim Hughes.

Signals: Ahead of the Curve

Conservation of mangrove forests could get a boost from carbon credits. Farmers in Iowa and Illinois are getting $20 per ton for sequestering soil carbon. Tropical forests can collect $10 per ton for storing forest carbon. Communities on the northern coast of Colombia this week will test the market for mangrove carbon under a new standard for verifying carbon stored both above and below the water. “Verified carbon units” for an 11,000-hectare mangrove forest in Cispatá are coming to market, via Verra, after a two-year effort by Conservation International and local partners, funded by Apple, that included scientists wading into knee-deep mud to collect samples for analysis. Mangroves store up to 10 times the carbon of terrestrial forests and provide local communities with food, livelihoods and protection from storms. “Mangrove ecosystems are the Protective Mother for communities,” Doña Ignacia, a community leader, said in a statement.

Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent

Marcin Lewczuk, ex- of Mobius Capital Partners, joins GIB Asset Management as emerging market equity portfolio manager… Andreas Nilsson and Nina Freudenberg, co-founders of Sonanz Capital, join Golding Capital Partners as head of impact and director respectively… Accion appoints Nazanine Scheuer, ex- of Save the Children’s Social Enterprise and Impact Ventures, as chief development and partnerships officer… Tulaine Montgomery becomes co-CEO of New Profit alongside founder and current CEO Vanessa Kirsch… Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter joins Ride To Work as an advisory board member.

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