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Can the ‘Chicago Model’ Work in Other Cities to Fill Social Capital Gaps? (Podcast)



Reactions to last week’s unveiling of Benefit Chicago recalls the story of the blind men and an elephant. Different folks saw different parts.

podcasct-cover_v2-3aThe latest Returns on Investment podcast from ImpactAlpha looked at all aspects of the new $100 million fund.

Listen to “Chicago Model” on Returns on Investment with Imogen Rose-Smith, Brian Walsh, and David Bank.

Benefit Chicago will provide low-cost, long-term loans and equity investments to social enterprises, nonprofit service providers and other high-impact organizations and companies around Chicago. The collaboration between The MacArthur Foundation, the Calvert Foundation, and the Chicago Community Trust.

  • Is it a new vehicle for civic fundraising?
  • Is it a new source of capital for social enterprises?
  • Is it a way to bring impact investing to retail investors?
  • Is it a model for other cities?
  • Is it a good investment?

When the pieces are put together, Benefit Chicago could be all of those things.

It will require consistent coverage before we really know. David Bank, editor of ImpactAlpha.was in Chicago for some of the launch events and Imogen Rose-Smith, a senior writer for Institutional Investor, wrote a smart piece. Imogen and David are regulars on Returns on Investment, and as usual mix it up with Brian Walsh, head of impact to the New York financial technology firm LiquidNet.

Listen to “Chicago Model” on Returns on Investment with Imogen Rose-Smith, Brian Walsh, and David Bank.

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Subscribe to Returns on Investment on iTunes, Stitcher, or SoundCloud.

Photo by Hide Obara.

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