Sorenson Impact Foundation inks five investments for underserved communities

ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

ImpactAlpha, Jan. 31 – Utah-based Sorenson Impact Foundation closed out last year with a handful of new program-related investments.

Totem, a Native-led fintech startup, provides benefit disbursements and payroll management for Tribal governments and enterprises. Redemption Bank, a Black-owned holding company in the Salt Lake City area, is acquiring a previously white-owned bank in order to expand access to capital for people of color. In Latin America, the foundation backed the NESsT Lirio Fund, a debt fund that provides working capital to small businesses in the Andes-Amazon region of Latin America (see, “Missing middle’ lending to social enterprises in Latin America”).

Other fourth-quarter investments, which ranged from $250,000 to $1 million per deal, include San Francisco-based Participant Assistive Products, which makes wheelchairs for children with cerebral palsy, and New York-based Kiip, which helps low-income individuals obtain social services.

Bridging gaps

Post-pandemic, Sorenson Impact Foundation shifted its program-related investment strategy “towards investment into frontier and emerging markets that experienced unprecedented capital flight,” said Sorenson’s Savannah Johnson.

The fourth quarter deals brought the foundation’s 2023 total to seven program-related investments totaling $2.75 million (disclosure: Sorenson Impact Foundation is an investor in ImpactAlpha).