Victoria Amador of Tremendous Maid is seeking to reverse her industry’s exploitative labor practices by paying her cleaning workers—mostly low income and immigrant women—a fair wage and full benefits. Diane Ivey is changing the face of textiles by manufacturing hip, urban-inspired yarns through Lady Dye Yarns. And the Dorchester Food Co-op is inviting neighbors to come together as owners and investors to launch a healthy, locally sourced grocery store.
What we’re learning from our entrepreneurs is that it is possible to be economic trailblazers. The companies we invest in are willing to challenge the status quo, to question assumptions and to courageously experiment with new ideas and models in order to build businesses that have meaningful and lasting impacts on the people and communities they serve. But it isn’t easy. If we want to create real prosperity for communities that have been excluded from economic opportunity, then we have to strengthen the networks of support around these entrepreneurs.
That’s why we’re committed to investing in incubators and accelerators like Commonwealth Kitchen and Smarter in the City. It’s why we believe in rebuilding social networks and grassroots organizing through the Solidarity Economy Initiative. And it’s why we think it’s critical to have a dream of what our economy could be—and a practice for finding our way there —through the Ujima Project.
The Boston Impact Initiative is not just an investment fund. We are organizers, field-builders, entrepreneurs, capital partners and friends alongside all of you who work so hard to address the growing wealth gap and ecological challenges of our community.
As we celebrate our 2015 achievements, we look forward to growing a more vibrant and powerful local economy movement in Boston and beyond.
Deborah Frieze, Founding Partner