Plugged In: Road to justice for Black farmers leads through flexible finance. More than 150 years of discriminatory lending and land heists have left a generation of Black farmers with little access to reliable, affordable capital to grow their businesses. Black Farmer Fund provides flexible capital to farmers and food entrepreneurs in the northeastern US, “who were seeking capital that did not replicate the discriminatory and predatory lending practices driving Black farmers and land stewards off their land,” cofounder Melanie Allen wrote in ImpactAlpha earlier this year. After building a pilot portfolio of eight entrepreneurs, Black Farmer Fund last month raised $11 million from Chordata Capital, the Kataly Foundation and other investors. The fund will “center the farmers’ lived knowledge, collective decision-making and community relationships,” wrote Allen. Black Farmer Fund cofounder Olivia Watkins is today’s guest on ImpactAlpha’s Plugged In series with host Sherrell Dorsey. Other lenders breaking down barriers facing Black farmers include Konda Mason’sJubilee Justice, Potlikker Capital and Farm Credit Mid-America.
Dealflow: Climate Tech
At One Ventures closes $375 million 'deep tech' climate fund. At One Ventures has backed 27 early-stage, product-based startups from its inaugural $150 million fund. The San Francisco-based venture firm’s second fund is looking to build on its track record with larger checks and more portfolio support for roughly 30 companies. The fund targets deals in climate-critical sectors like buildings and construction, energy and transportation, and food and agriculture. “We didn’t shy away from technologies that are more capital intensive, or technologies that will just take a bit more time to scale, because those are the solutions that we need to face climate change,” At One Ventures’ Helen Lin told ImpactAlpha. The second fund has made nine investments.
Signals: Impact Management
Using integrated analysis to inform impact investing decisions. Impact investors often ask, "Which investments have more impact," all else being equal? All else is never equal. Some investments offer lower financial risk and/or higher financial return than others. Investors need to consider factors like cost, risk and operational complexity along with impact. “Integrated analysis brings together impact and financial considerations to inform decision-making,” write Jackson Gates and Mike McCreless of Impact Frontiers and Diane Kulju of Impact Capital Managers. In the third and final educational video in their “Impact for decision making” series, they dive into the tools investors can use to allocate resources effectively and maximize impact.
Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent
🎙️ Last chance to RSVP: Upstart Co-Lab and ImpactAlpha are co-hosting, “Investing in an inclusive creative economy,” with Upstart’s Laura Callanan and Ward Wolff, and ImpactAssets’ Deb Parsons, in conversation with ImpactAlpha’s Dennis Price, Thursday, Oct. 5. Register today.