ImpactAlpha Open | July 18, 2023

ImpactAlpha Open: Indigenizing catalytic capital + energy transition minerals

Dennis Price

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ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

Greetings, Agents of Impact!

Welcome to the latest ImpactAlpha Open, a zero-cost preview of ImpactAlpha’s all-access subscription offering. Below, take a peek at the most popular content ImpactAlpha subscribers read last week. Ready to upgrade? Lock-in our special introductory offer today. 

In this week’s Open:

  • Indigenizing catalytic capital
  • Rising stakes for quality jobs
  • Africa’s social infrastructure
  • Energy transition minerals

Let’s jump in. – Dennis Price

Must-reads on ImpactAlpha

  • Indigenizing catalytic capital. Working with the Siċaŋġu Lak̇ota Oyate on the Rosebud Sioux tribal lands in South Dakota, a group of foundations provided early catalytic grants to set the Wolakota Buffalo Range on the path to financial sustainability. ​​”Successful projects and businesses in tribal communities have to be community-driven,” Siċaŋġu Co’s Aaron Epps told ImpactAlpha’s Jessica Pothering.
  • New wealth agenda. Paths to more widespread wealth run through residential and commercial real estate, report Roodgally Senatus and David Bank, including shared equity strategies for businesses and homeowners. Says Partners in Equity’s Talib Graves-Manns, “That type of capital is necessary for a lot of our really brilliant entrepreneurs.”
  • Rising stakes for quality jobs. With a tight labor market and a reinvigorated union movement, worker empowerment has proved remarkably durable. In such an environment, a firm with a strategy for quality, sustainable jobs can generate higher profits “while creating value for its employees at all levels,” write NYU Stern’s Ulrich Atz and Tensie Whelan.

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Agents of Impact

☀️ Amy Duffuor, Azolla Ventures: Bridging climate gaps with catalytic capital

Many investors look at promising new climate solutions and say, “Great, come back to me when you have traction.” Amy Duffuor and Azolla Ventures are more likely to say, “How can we help you get there?”

🏃🏿‍♀️ On the move

  • Spring Lane Capital brings on Jason Scott, ex- of Encourage Capital and Renewable Resources Group, as entrepreneur-in-residence.
  • The McKnight Foundation’s Tonya Allen is named co-chair of The Presidents’ Council on Impact Investing, alongside Surdna Foundation’s Don Chen.
  • KKR managing director George Aitken took over as the firm’s chief of global impact in Asia, replacing Chee-Wei Wong, who stepped down last week.

Impact Briefing

🎧 On the podcast

David Bank chats with Musa Mabesa, head of South Africa’s Government Employees Pension Fund, in the latest conversation from the “Connecting capital to communities” gathering at the Salzburg Global Seminar, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Host Monique Aiken has the headlines. 

Deal Spotlight

Photo credit: Gram Vaani

💸 A social media platform for India’s poor

Gram Vaani reaches three million people in eight local languages with information on healthcare, agriculture, worker rights, child development and governance. Gram Vaani’s mobile app is growing, but in-person engagement remains core to the model. “This is not expected to become the next Facebook,” says Mahesh Yagnaraman of Acumen India, which led Gram Vaani’s latest equity round. “It’s targeted for local people and for the people themselves to be the agents.” 

Short Signals: What We’re Reading

🎓 The case for investing in HBCUs. Historically Black Colleges and Universities play a pivotal role promoting social and economic mobility for Black Americans. Policymakers and the private sector can play a larger role in bridging funding gaps. (Goldman Sachs)

🏢 Muni impact in the Motor City. Detroit marked the 10th anniversary of its historic bankruptcy by tapping the municipal bond market for $100 million of financing, most of which will go toward reviving blighted neighborhoods. (Bloomberg)

🔎 Sustainability transparency. Europe’s new Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation requires asset managers marketing products in the EU to disclose information about their ESG considerations. Its effects on ESG investing will be far-reaching, writes AlTi’s Jed Emerson. (Alti Global)

💎 Energy transition minerals. Surging demand for electric cars, energy storage systems and solar PV has led to a boom in demand for critical minerals, including lithium, cobalt and nickel. An array of new policy actions seeks to enhance the diversity and reliability of supplies. (International Energy Agency)

⚡ Biden’s hydrogen bombshell. European leaders are investing tens of billions of dollars to encourage production of hydrogen, a clean-burning fuel that will create jobs and fight climate change. The Inflation Reduction Act means many of those jobs will be going to the US instead. (Politico)

🔌 Modernizing the grid. In Texas, record heat means record demand for electricity – and consumption is set to increase by more than 30% in the next decade. New wind, solar, natural gas and energy storage needed to meet demand by 2040 would create 40,000 jobs and generate $19 billion in local taxes. (IdeaSmiths)

Get in the Game

💼 Step up

  • Veris Wealth Partners is looking for an impact investing senior research analyst in New York.
  • Founders First Capital Partners has an opening for an investor relations associate in San Diego.
  • Global Partnerships is recruiting a global portfolio impact officer in Nairobi.

Scan through dozens of more impact jobs curated this week on

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