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

Solidarity Rising in Massachusetts: How Solidarity Economy Movement is Emerging in Lower Income Communities of Color

Solidarity Rising in Massachusetts: How Solidarity Economy Movement is Emerging in Lower Income Communities of Color seeks to understand how organizing, power-building, and economic alternatives add up to transform capitalism—as we know it—into a world rooted in values of democracy, justice, and sustainability.

The report examines eight cases across lower-income communities of color in Massachusetts from Worcester and Springfield to Lynn and Boston. Communities are organizing to resist and reform the current system, while building alternatives that go beyond capitalism. They are incubating worker-owned coops, community land trusts, and community-controlled capital. They are modeling an economy and democratic governance based on collective care and putting people and planet over profit. Communities are dreaming big, of building regional ecosystems that can scale up transformative impacts.

Authored by Penn Loh and Sarah Jimenez, this report was commissioned by the Massachusetts-based Solidarity Economy Initiative (SEI), which was convened in 2015 to support grassroots organizations to lead a movement for a solidarity economy. SEI was developed by Access Strategies Fund, Boston Impact Initiative, Center for Economic Democracy, and Solidago Foundation. SEI’s community partners include Alternatives for Community & Environment, Black Economic Justice Institute, Boston Workers Alliance, Brazilian Women’s Group, Center for Cooperative Development and Solidarity, Centro Presente, Chelsea Collaborative, Chinese Progressive Association, City Life Vida Urbana, Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, Ex-Prisoners and Prisoners Organizing for Community Advancement, Matahari Women Workers Center, Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts, Neighbors United for a Better East Boston, and New England United for Justice.

Introducing Alexie Torres-Fleming & Afsana Jahan

We are thrilled to welcome Alexie and Afsana to the BII team!

Alexie  Alexie Torres-Fleming is an activist, community organizer, advocate and urban planner from the South Bronx, New York with over 25 years of executive leadership in the faith, non-profit and philanthropic sectors. She has extensive experience in environmental justice, participatory community planning and grassroots organizing. Alexie is a nationally and internationally recognized public speaker, rooted in urban communities, with a strong history of building city, state, and national coalitions and alliances. Her life’s work has been dedicated to many issues including economic and democratic change, young people, women and communities of color, community voice, leadership and action. Alexie is highly skilled at building organizations, strategic planning, conducting national field scans, executing field building strategies and designing comprehensive grant making initiatives.

An award winning activist and Harvard Loeb fellow, Alexie is executive director of Access Strategies Fund, Board Trustee at the Center for Action and Contemplation, Trustee of The Sister Fund, and Board Member of Sojourners.

Alexie is a Senior Advisor and Investment Committee member of the Boston Impact Initiative.

IMG_20161106_212230Afsana Jahan completed her MBA (cum laude) in social entrepreneurship and impact management from Heller School of Brandeis University. Over the last two years, during her MBA she worked as an intern with two impact investing firms, as well as a consultant for an apparel manufacturing social enterprise and as a fundraiser for non-profit organizations. She was also a sustainable, responsible, impact investing conference scholar 2016 and is a regional finalist in the Hult Prize 2017. Previously, she completed her bachelor in finance and accounting from North South University and worked in middle market financing and commercial banking research in the financial industry and program management in an international development organization.

Afsana is interested in entrepreneurship and economic development and has consulted and designed many social enterprises in various industries. She loves sun, beaches and music. She is a singer and regularly performs in Bangladeshi cultural programs in the northeast.

Afsana is the Senior Analyst of the Boston Impact Initiative.

Winter Investments

Please join us in welcoming Massachusetts Pathways LLC and Sunwealth to the BII portfolio. BII made a follow-on loan with Tremendous Maid.

 

JVS

Massachusetts Pathways LLC, a collaboration between Commonwealth of Massachusetts, JVS Boston, and Social Finance, is the nation’s first adult education/employment Pay for Success Bond in the country. This $15 million project will provide adult education and employment services to nearly 3,000 individuals across the greater Boston area, north shore, and metro-west. BII made an investment into the project that will be repaid based on successful social outcomes. Learn more

 

SunwealthSunwealth is a pioneering clean energy investment firm determined to unleash the power of commercial solar by delivering meaningful returns and tangible impact. Sunwealth’s Boston Interfaith Solar Project provides project financing and development of solar on houses of worship. BII provided a loan to help finance clean energy on three houses of worship in Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, and Roxbury, thereby reducing their energy bills. Learn more

 

TMTremendous Maid is a family-owned and operated residential and commercial cleaning business based in Dorchester. Dominican co-founders Rosa Tejeda, Victoria Amador and Nisaury Amador aim to increase employment and career opportunities for their community and have received accolades for their businesses’ impact in low-income neighborhoods. As a current member of the portfolio, BII made a follow-on loan to support business stabilization and growth. Learn more

 

 

Introducing Mark Watson

Mark Watson joins our team as Senior Advisor and Investment Committee member. Mark will help us develop the fund’s strategic direction, employ creative strategies to enable investment and improve return, and identify opportunities to strengthen and expand the portfolio.
Mark is 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. Previously, Mark served as President and Senior Portfolio Manager of The Kenwood Group, Inc., as Managing Director of Equinox Capital Management, LLC, and as Vice President, US Portfolio Manager/Analyst at PPM America. Mark began his career at the First National Bank of Chicago. He holds leadership positions with the Cape Development Partnership, the Triskeles Foundation, Fair Food Network, Museum of Fine Arts-Boston and The Highlands Center.

Fall Investments

We welcome COHIF, Delectable Desires Pastries, Good Clothing Company, and WeSpire to the BII community.

COHIFCoalition of Occupied Homes in Foreclosure (COHIF) works to stabilize the Greater Four Corners neighborhood of Dorchester by providing an innovative means for keeping residents of foreclosed properties in their homes, developing permanently affordable housing, and helping replicate those efforts in other Greater Boston neighborhoods. BII provided a loan to support COHIF’s Community Stabilization Pilot Project, advancing anti-displacement strategies.


Delectable Desires

Delectable Desires Pastries offers edible art in the form of cakes and pastries. Owner Carlene O’Garro, a Mattapan native, says that her Caribbean roots influence her use of ingredients and baking style. Forgoing law school to pursue her passion, Carlene has received numerous awards for Delectable Desires Pastries. BII provided a loan to support Delectable Desires in opening its second location at South Station.


Good Clothing CompanyGood Clothing Company is dedicated to rebuilding the U.S. apparel manufacturing industry. They work with emerging designers, eco-fashion pioneers and others looking for a local production partner to scale with them. Good Clothing Company aims to pay workers quality wages and use environmentally sustainable production practices. BII provided a loan to support growth of the company’s Fall River operations to meet rapidly increasing client demand.


WeSpireWeSpire is an employee engagement platform that empowers forward-thinking global organizations to enhance their results. WeSpire helps employees build awareness, take action and inspire others to participate in programs including sustainability, culture and team building. BII made an equity investment to support WeSpire’s growth and expand the platform’s diversity and inclusion offerings.