Opportunity to Launch a Retail Business in Fields Corner

The Fields Corner Collaborative (BII is a member) is seeking a local business owned and/or operated by woman or person of color to occupy a prime retail space at 1452 Dorchester Avenue in the Fields Corner neighborhood of Dorchester. The award includes: up to 40 hours of pre- and post-launch business coaching; 6 months free rent starting November; reduced rent for 5 years; $50,000 capital contribution. 

 Applications are due September 15. Learn more

 

Join Ujima! #hope #abundance #solidarity

What would it look like to take back our economy? To put ordinary folks in control of the goods and services they wish to produce and consume? To keep knowledge and capital circulating within the neighborhood rather than draining out to multinational corporations?

If that’s a vision you believe in, then join the Boston Impact Initiative in becoming members of the Ujima Project, a model for a community-controlled economy in Boston. This audacious experiment is an opportunity to demonstrate a viable alternative to an economic system that extracts resources and wealth from our nation’s most vulnerable communities. Watch video

Over the last two years, more than 500 residents have participated in Ujima events and workshops to help build a shared vision for a People’s Economy in Boston. Now it’s your turn to participate. Become a Founding Member or join us on September 8-9 for Ujima’s Founding General Assembly, Dreaming Wild.

 

WeSpire Builds Diversity/Inclusion Module

WeSpire is an employee engagement platform that supports large organizations to design, deliver and measure the benefits of positive impact programs like sustainability, corporate social responsibility and well-being initiatives. BII Fund made a convertible preferred investment in the platform to ensure that its diversity/inclusion module has the quality of content and influence that can transform the way hundreds of thousands of corporate and nonprofit employees think about racial and economic justice.

 

Financing 88 Acres Regional Growth

88 Acres is an artisan food enterprise that produces healthy snacks free of the top eight food allergens. Their manufacturing center, located at the Pearl facility in Dorchester, generates more than a dozen good jobs for the local community. BII Fund made a convertible debt investment to provide growth capital for expansion throughout the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions. The investment included impact covenants focused on maintaining fair wages, management and production staff diversity, local sourcing, employee stock option program, and more.

 

Apply for Free Office Space

For the fourth year in a row, the Boston Impact Initiative is partnering with Fields Corner Business Lab to sponsor a local business that will receive free space and executive coaching. This year, the Boston Ujima Project is joining the partnership to create a participatory process for selecting the winners.

We are currently seeking applications from businesses in Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury and Mattapan that embody our shared commitment to economic justice, which means creating opportunity for all people—especially those most oppressed or abandoned by our current economic system—to lead a dignified and productive life.

Finalists selected by Boston Impact Initiative and Fields Corner Business Lab will be expected to pitch their business at the Ujima Founding Assembly on September 9.

Applying organizations (for-profit and non-profit) must be participating in one or more of these areas:

  • Challenging structures that perpetuate racial, social, economic and environmental injustice
  • Developing good jobs for the local community
  • Providing goods and services that meet community needs
  • Building healthy local food, transportation and energy systems
  • Engaging community through arts and culture and/or civic activism

To apply, please send the following information to john@fieldscornerbusinesslab.com:

  • Organization name, address, website and any additional relevant information
  • Contact name, title, email address and phone number
  • Description of the organization’s mission and how it meets the above criteria
  • If a start-up, describe barriers to launch and when/how to overcome them
  • If in operation, describe how long in operation and current financial condition

Boston residents, women, Black people, people of color, immigrants, queer and gender nonconforming people strongly encouraged to apply.

Applications are due August 30, 2017. View flyer.

Re-investing in Sunwealth

We’re happy to announce that we’ve just made our second investment in Sunwealth, a pioneering clean energy investment firm based in Boston. After investing in Sunwealth’s Boston Interfaith Solar Project earlier this year, we’ve now invested in a fund that aggregates low-income homeowners and anchor non-profits in economically distressed neighborhoods, allowing these communities to gain the benefits of solar and reduce their energy cost.

 

We’re Hiring an Administrator

The position will work closely with the Managing Director to provide administrative support for BII’s investing activities, investor relations, banking and accounting, data management, event planning, social media and general administration. The Administrator will play an essential role in helping launch Boston Impact Initiative as a Charitable Loan Fund.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Track portfolio companies’ payments and reporting requirements
  • Coordinate capital disbursement and closing document preparation
  • Prepare monthly financial reports
  • Manage BII’s investor database, payments and reporting requirements
  • Provide event planning support
  • Update and maintain BII’s web site
  • Manage BII’s social media presence

Desired Skills and Experience

  • Ability to be self-directed; entrepreneurial experience a plus
  • Excellent attention to detail and strong Internet skills
  • Financial reporting and management experience
  • Ability to create advanced spreadsheets and basic accounting
  • Strong project management skills
  • Willingness to continuously learn and adapt
  • Excellent interpersonal skills including verbal and written communication
  • Constant Contact and WordPress
  • Bilingual in Spanish a plus
  • Experience living and working in Boston a plus

Boston Impact Initiative is an equal opportunity employer. Boston residents, women, Black people, people of color, immigrants, queer and gender nonconforming people strongly encouraged to apply.

Introducing Mark Watson as Managing Director

Back in October, Mark Watson joined our Investment Committee. It didn’t take long for us to fall in love with him, and apparently the feeling was mutual: Mark agreed to join us full time in April to lead Boston Impact Initiative into this next stage of our growth. 

Mark is former CEO and founder of Keel Asset Management LLC, a financial advisory firm that provides socially responsible financial planning and investment advisory services to nonprofits, public and corporation pension plans. He is currently an Advisory Board member of the Cape Development Partnership and the Fair Food Network; Chair of the The Highland Center and the Triskeles Foundation’s Asset Management Committee; an affiliate of the Boston Area Sustainable Investment Consortium; a member of US/SIF; an Overseer of the Museum of Fine Arts-Boston; and a former board member of the Social Venture Network. 

 

Worker Ownership in Boston

The City of Boston has launched a Worker Cooperative Initiative in concert with Mayor Walsh’s efforts to expand support for small businesses and entrepreneurs, and create opportunities for economic mobility for every Bostonian. BII is actively participating in the City’s efforts. Learn more

Boston Ujima Project Hiring a Capital Fund Manager

Boston Ujima Project Job Description
Ujima Capital Fund Manager Position

Summary
Ujima Project is seeking a full time Fund Manager to help launch and lead Ujima’s innovative community-controlled investment fund. The Fund Manager will have a balance of investment analysis and / or management experience, a commitment to social and economic justice, and the ability to communicate effectively across diverse communities. The Ujima Capital Fund will be a non-profit fund that includes a diverse group of non-accredited, accredited and institutional investors. The Fund’s portfolio will be made up of local small business investments, the majority owned by working class people of color. The Fund Manager is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of the Ujima Project’s democratic community investment process. The Fund Manager serves on Ujima’s Management Team and reports to the Director of the Ujima Project.

Responsibilities
● Lead the development and maintenance of the administrative, financial, and operational infrastructure of the Ujima Capital Fund
● Work with key stakeholders to help design and implement Ujima’s participatory planning and investment process
● Help form and manage Ujima’s Investment Committee, responsible for developing and overseeing Ujima’s capital allocation strategies
● Support investor recruitment and fund capitalization efforts
● Work with Investment Committee to design and implement a portfolio allocation strategy for balancing risk, return and timing to assure that investors receive their anticipated return
● Coordinate investment pipeline, due diligence processes, term structuring and closing processes for Ujima investments
● Monitor portfolio companies and communicate fund performance with Ujima’s community of investors Desired Qualifications
● Proactive, with a keen ability to cooperatively support the development of a new organization
● Demonstrated commitment to Boston’s working class communities of color
● Passionate about both social justice organizing and community controlled finance
● Experience underwriting and structuring direct investment terms (preferably across a wide variety of capital types including debt, equity, royalty and convertible instruments.)
● Experience managing an investment portfolio
● Experience with running a business or coaching entrepreneurs
● Fluency with the field of local impact investing
● Reliable with impeccable follow-through
● Both detail-oriented and able to keep an eye on the bigger picture
● A relationship-builder with strong interpersonal skills
● Computer and technology savvy
● Fluency with Excel and experience with accounting software like Quickbooks
● Clear, and coherent communicator in both written and oral forms
● Well-organized and able to self manage complex workflows
● Ability to engage and leverage support from volunteers and diverse partners
● Experience living in Boston’s communities of color a plus
● Bi-lingual abilities is a plus

Compensation
The salary is competitive with executive salary levels of community-based nonprofits. The position includes insurance, benefits, and flexible time-off.

How to Apply
Email info@ujimaboston.com with “Fund Manager Application” in the subject line.

Please include:
● Resume
● Cover letter describing interest in the position, qualifications, and expectations
● Three references

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and the position can start as early as May 1 and no later than September 1, 2017.

Ujima Boston is an equal opportunity employer. Boston residents, women, Black people, people of color, immigrants, queer, and gender nonconforming people strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about Ujima Project at www.ujimaboston.com