Addressing the social determinants of wealth at Neighborhood Economics. The zip code in which a person grows up in America is more a determinant of their health than their DNA. That makes “neighborhoods a really important unit of change,” said Carol Naughton of Purpose Built Communities at Neighborhood Economics, the annual gathering of local economy investors and ecosystem builders. Inside the historic Travis Park Church in downtown San Antonio, pastors, community organizers, business owners and local investors crafted a narrative of abundance and bottom-up reinvestment. Churches aren’t in decline but are economic engines in their communities (UCC Church Building and Loan Fund’s Patrick Duggan). Asylum seekers are not a burden but a symbol of America’s promise (Dianne Garcia, pastor at San Antonio Mennonite Church). Ending discrimination in lending is an opportunity for financial growth for all (Neighborhood Economics’ Jeremiah Robinson). “You are the actual health creators,” Douglas Jutte of Public Health Institute told local innovators in the room. “You should own it and talk about it.”
Dealflow: Capitalism Reimagined
Kachuwa Impact Fund scores $3.2 million to bring cooperatives to impact investing. Blake Jones, a “cooperative geek,” launched Kachuwa Impact Fund to bring the principles of cooperative ownership and governance to impact investing (see “Blake Jones: Making co-ops work for investors, too”). In six annual raises, the Boulder, Colo.-based evergreen fund has raised over $20 million from more than 225 members, nearly 40% of whom are non-accredited investors. “One of our goals is for our cooperative to be as inclusive as possible, which is why we have a low minimum investment requirement of $5,000,” said Kachuwa’s Alicia Robb. Some members have invested more than $1 million. The $3.2 million raised through the latest private stock offering will be used to broaden its investment pipeline. “We’ve already deployed over half of the proceeds towards investments in multiple impact companies in the US,” Jones told ImpactAlpha, as well as two affordable housing projects in Portland.
Signals: Private Equity
Impact Engine doubles down on “purpose built” private equity with $85 million fund. Impact investing has become trendy among private equity firms, as the sector seeks to redeem its reputation for debt-fueled and externality-laden profits. In 2019, when Impact Engine created its first fund to allocate capital to impact private equity funds and invest in middle market companies, the firm’s partners could identify only a half-dozen impact-focused PE funds. Today, there are more than 150 funds with some kind of impact strategy, Impact Engine’s Priya Parrish told ImpactAlpha. Impact Engine is looking for managers in which the entire firm is committed to impact, not those that relegate it to a single fund of two. With the close of its $85 million second fund, Impact Engine is doubling down on its “purpose built” strategy (see, “Scaling purpose built impact with Priya Parrish” (podcast).
Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent
Carlyle appoints Jeff Currie, a former global head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs, to chief strategy officer of Energy Pathways, the private equity firm’s energy investment platform… Nuveen is looking for an impact investing associate in New York… Also in New York, Apollo Global Management is hiring a sustainable finance associate… Crown Family Philanthropies is on the hunt for an equity lead in Chicago.
Editor’s note: This guest post is sponsored by Impact Ventures by J&J Foundation, which supports ImpactAlpha’s Investing in Health coverage. In partnership with Impact Ventures, ImpactAlpha is exploring the …