The Brief | January 10, 2019

Driving Opportunity Zone impact, Circularity Capital’s waste-reduction fund, Canadian impact bond for indigenous mothers

The team at


Greetings, Agents of Impact!

Featured: Impact Voices

Opportunity Zone investors want impact. Let’s help them get it. A surprising number of real estate developers, venture capitalists and other Opportunity Zone investors are seeking to drive genuine social impact, say Lisa Green Hall and Jennifer Collins. “Firms are eager to ascertain the efficacy of the legislation, attract capital from impact players, engage community voices in the process and … include social outcomes in return calculations,” write the two fellows of Georgetown University’s Beeck Center, in a guest post on ImpactAlpha. “The uptake of impact management will be boosted by easily accessible tools and straightforward guidance for those investors new to impact investing principles.”

Read, “Opportunity Zone investors want impact. Let’s help them get it,” by Lisa Green Hall and Jennifer Collins on ImpactAlpha.

  • Signs of gentrification. Common signs of gentrification include higher than average income growth rates and growth in the white share of the population. Very few of the Opportunity Zones nationwide exhibit such signs, according to new data from the Economic Innovation Group, which helped develop the tax policy. An exception is New York, home to the largest number of tracts with signs of gentrification. In contrast, most of the designated zones “are facing enormous socioeconomic challenges,” says EIG.
  • Sweeteners. One way Chicago and Cook County can lever Opportunity Zones for community benefit: buy up and resell vacant land at a low cost to Opportunity Funds willing to meet specified community needs, according to a new brief from the Urban Institute.
  • Shutdown. The U.S. government shutdown forced cancellation of an IRS hearing on Opportunity Zone rules. Treasury issued the first draft of rules in October.

Dealflow: Follow the Money

Circularity Capital raises £60 million for European waste-reduction ventures. The Edinburgh-based private equity firm invests in growth-stage European businesses targeting waste-reduction and the “circular economy.” The fund has invested in Winnow, a data firm that targets food waste in the hospitality sector, and Grover, which reduces electronic waste with technology subscription services for consumers and large companies. The firm reached a first close for its debut fund in March 2017. The fund’s investor roster includes AXA Investment Managers, BNP Paribas Fortis, Henkel, Philips, and several family offices. Read on.

Manitoba social impact bond will finance doulas for indigenous mothers. The Canadian province is seeking to raise $3 million from private investors to support at-risk indigenous mothers in childbirth and mothering. Manitoba’s pilot project aims to match 200 indigenous mothers with doulas, or birth coaches, to reduce the risk of children entering the state’s child welfare system. The social impact bond is Canada’s fifth, and second focusing on at-risk mothers. Here’s more.

Agents of Impact: Follow the Talent

Follow the talent. AdPredictive’s Kristin Frank joins Cornerstone Capital’s board of directors… Boston Trust’s Kimberly Gluck, OppenheimerFunds’ Aniket Shah, Chicago treasurer Kurt Summers and Leslie Samuelrich of Green Century Capital Management join the board of The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, or US SIF.

Seize the opportunity. Ceniarth is recruiting an investment officer and investment manager in London… The Mulago Foundation is looking for an investment principal in San Francisco… Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio & Fellowship team is hiring a program associate and other roles in New York.

January 10, 2019.