IMPACTASSETS 50™

An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers

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An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers

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ImpactAssets 50: A Global Landscape of Impact Investment Fund Managers
The ImpactAssets 50 (IA 50) is the first open-source, publicly published database of experienced private debt and equity impact investment fund managers.
https://www.impactassets.org/impactassets-50

ImpactAssets 50

An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers

IA 50 2023 PROFILE

Boston Impact Initiative Fund

Total Assets Under Management: Less than $25M
Asset Class: Private Debt - Absolute Return / Notes, Real Estate, Private Equity
Primary UN Sustainable Development Goal: 10 – Reduced Inequalities
Demographic-based impact
Place-based impact
Racial equity and justice

Firm Overview

Category: Private Debt - Non-profit/NGO Finance

Boston Impact Initiative (BII) is a nonprofit impact investing fund working to build financial, social and political power for entrepreneurs of color. We do this by investing in the people, places and social enterprises that share our vision of an equitable economy and need access to catalytic, integrated capital. Over the last nine years, we have pioneered how to deploy integrated capital — financial, knowledge, social and political capital — to regenerative local enterprises owned and controlled by communities of color.  We’re also transforming the impact investing field through field-building and investor education so that economic and racial justice becomes integral to any community-based investment strategy. Our community-based model offers a system-changing approach for those working to close the racial wealth divide and catalyze power in communities of color. 

Firm Headquarters: US & Canada
Years of Operation: 5 – 9 years
Total Assets Under Management:
Less than $25M
Total Number of Investors: More than 25
% of Capital from Top 3 Investors: Less than 25%
Investment Thesis:

We believe we can build a future where entrepreneurs of color and their communities have the financial, social and political power to create a sustainable, inclusive and equitable economy by investing integrated capital in social enterprises and community-controlled real estate to increase wealth and asset-building opportunities for communities of color. 

Investment Overview:

BII Fund II is an integrated capital fund that will invest integrated capital — defined as financial, knowledge, social and political capital — in the people, places, and enterprises that are building our collective future. BII Fund II will invest in enterprises owned by entrepreneurs of color in Massachusetts and the Northeast who are committed to charting new markets, democratizing ownership and decision-making in the workplace, growing climate resilience and providing systemic solutions that build power for communities of color. The fund will also invest in commercial and residential real estate projects that increase diverse ownership and control over buildings and land and/or support community ownership or control of land to prevent displacement. Recognizing the need for patient, non-extractive equity capital for small and medium sized enterprises, BII Fund II will deploy a majority of its capital as equity and near equity instruments.  

Company Differentiator:

BII is a nationally recognized leader in impact investing with a racial justice lens. Since 2013, we’ve pioneered how to deploy integrated capital—financial, knowledge, social and political capital—to regenerative local enterprises owned by entrepreneurs of color to help close the racial wealth divide. In our investing strategy, integrated capital allows us to blend capital types (grants, debt, equity), and structure exits that preserve ownership for founders and workers. As trust based investors, we evaluate investments based on financial, social, ecological and governance criteria. In our impact management, we incorporate impact criteria at due diligence, impact covenants during structuring, and impact measurement annually during the life of the investment. Our charitable loan fund structure allows us to include accredited and non-accredited investors. BII is also building the field nationally through fund manager and investor education that advances fresh perspectives on trust-based investing, balancing risk and return, and democratizing ownership and decision-making.  

Investment Example

Care Academy provides evidence-based online caregiver training for home care agencies, non-medical professional and family caregivers that increases caregiver knowledge. They offer a wide variety of training including Home Health Aide certification and specialized certifications in diabetes, dementia and other topics. Since 2022, they have provided over 1.5 million hours of training to nearly 300,000 learners.  The business was founded by Helen Adeosun and Madhuri Reddy in 2013 and is often hailed as one of the 100 Black women-led businesses that have raised over a million dollars in venture capital. BII Fund I invested $150,000 into Care Academy in their seed series round in 2018, and $500k in the $20M Series B round that closed in 2022 to accelerate product development and data measurement capabilities. The business is highly impactful as it provides improved care for elderly and disabled persons and career advancement for women of color. 

Leadership and Team

Cumulative Leadership Experience in Impact Investing:
30 years or more
Cumulative Impact Experience of Top Three Firm Leaders:
30 years or more
Betty Francisco – CEO, Board and Investment Committee More Info

Betty joined as CEO of BII in 2021. She is a business executive, impact investor and community leader with more than 24 years of experience. She is known as a powerful convener and changemaker. In 2022, Boston Magazine named Betty as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Boston and the Boston Business Journal named her as a 2020 Power 50 – Extraordinary Year Extraordinary People honoree. She is the co-founder of Amplify Latinx, a social venture that’s building Latino economic and political power in Massachusetts. Before joining BII, Betty was the General Counsel at Compass Working Capital where she oversaw its legal affairs, compliance, and risk management. She serves on the Boards of Directors of The Boston Foundation, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Beth Israel Lahey Health, and Roxbury Community College. Betty obtained her JD and MBA from Northeastern University, and BA in History from Bard College.

Deborah Frieze – Founder & President, Board and Investment Committee More Info

Deborah Frieze is a professor, author, entrepreneur and activist. She teaches impact investing at Tufts University’s Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. In 2013, she founded the Boston Impact Initiative, an impact investing fund working to close the racial wealth divide and build a resilient and inclusive local economy in Massachusetts. Deborah is co-author (with Margaret Wheatley) of Walk Out Walk On, an award-winning book that profiles pioneering leaders who walked out of organizations failing to contribute to the common good—and walked on to build resilient communities. She is also founder of the Old Oak Dojo, an urban learning center in Boston, MA. Deborah has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Amherst College.

Aliana Piñeiro – Impact Director More Info

As impact director, Aliana works with BII’s portfolio companies to effectively measure and manage their impact. She is interested in how impact investing can evolve to become more just, equitable, and inclusive. Before joining BII, she worked as a researcher at the Global Impact Investing Network publishing practitioner-oriented research for impact investors around the world. Previously, she was an impact evaluator for organizations operating in Latin America, including RUNA, a social enterprise in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Originally from Boston, she began her career in asset management, spending several years at ClearBridge Investments in New York. She received an MA in International Affairs from The New School and a BA in International Relations from Boston University.

Percentage of Investment Professionals who identify as women:
50% or more
Percentage of Investment Professionals who identify as people of color:*
50% or more
Percentage of Senior Management Team who identify as women:
25% to less than 50%
Percentage of Senior Management Team who identify as people of color:*
50% or more
*People of color include: Black, Latinx, Asian, Native American/Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander, Middle Easterm and multi-racial Americans

Financial Performance

Target Financial Returns Relative to Benchmark:
Concessionary Rates
Actual Performance of Impact Products/Funds Relative to Target Financial Returns in the Past Three Years:
In line with initial target returns
Financial Reporting Frequency to Investors or Donors
Quarterly

Impact Performance

Percentage of Total Assets Under
Management that are Impact Investments:
100%
Primary Impact Outcomes:
Addressing racial inequities
Secondary Impact Outcomes:
Increasing access to financial services
Value-added Services Offered:
Access to markets
Business and legal training
Financial literacy training
Education services
Human Resources, recruiting and professional development services
Other: Education on increasing social impact in the business

Investments systematically target companies where social and/or environmental impact is integral to the product/service being created:

BII seeks to invest in businesses that have a product or service that generates positive social and/or environmental impact. Specifically, we are looking for businesses that are catalyzing power in communities of color and share our belief that a sustainable, inclusive and equitable economy is possible. For real estate projects, we look for community control over buildings and land, while preventing displacement. This criterion is used early in the screening process as companies and projects enter our pipeline. During due diligence, we assess prospective investments’ capacity to address unmet needs, build climate resilience and expand clean energy products and services, and increase financial, social and political power in communities of color. We examine how this positive social and/or environmental impact is weaved into the business model and assess the risks to continuity of that impact over time.

Investments systematically include social and environmental sustainability practices in the due diligence process:

BII aims to make investments into companies or real estate projects that build financial, social, and political power within their organizations, responsibly steward natural resources, and minimize their ecological footprint. BII requires at least 33% business or real estate ownership by people of color. Additionally, we seek opportunities for worker ownership through a cooperative or employee stock ownership plan and for real estate, we seek tranches of community ownership. We expect a diverse team with jobs that pay at least the local Living Wage and offer benefits and a path for professional growth. We also look for procurement policies that focus on diverse and local vendors. Within the context of the industry or real estate project, we seek to understand the environmental stewardship and sustainability measures built into operations. We also look for the level of democratic decision making within the organization and engagement with local community and other stakeholders.

Impact Tracking and Monitoring

Impact is Tracked:
Yes
Impact Verified by an Independent Third-Party:
No
Social and/or Environmental Impact is Reported to Investors and Donors:
Yes – to the public
Third Party Validations:
Member of Impact Capital Managers
Impact Frontiers Cohort Participant
Implement recommendations from Task Force on Climate Related-Financial Disclosure
Net Zero Assets Managers Initiative
Utilizes standardized impact metrics (e.g. IRIS+, GIIRS, etc.)
Participant on steering committees or leadership roles within impact industry associations
Publisher or contributor to industry white paper or other research in impact investing

Learn More

Key Contact Name: Betty Francisco
Phone: 617-875-6642
Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 300443, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 USA

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