Fall / Winter Investments

All Town Logo

Theodat Insurance was the first Haitian insurance agency in Boston and for 38 years built a profitable relationship-centered insurance agency in Dorchester. The founder is passing his business on to his daughter, Marie-Armel Theodat, who has the opportunity to acquire clients from All State and form the new All Towns Insurance. Boston Impact Initiative provided Marie-Armel with a loan to help her acquire this book of business and keep ownership and employment in her community.



Chocolate Therapy is a Black-owned chocolate shop dedicated to providing customers with locally produced chocolates in innovative flavors, including a special handmade collection. Through the dark chocolate superfood, Chocolate Therapy treats the body and soul. Boston Impact Initiative provided a loan to help Chocolate Therapy to reconfigure their Framingham location to maximize production. Learn more





City Feed and Supply is a neighborhood market/café/deli that reflects and serves the needs of the community that sustains it. City Feed seeks to have a positive influence on its community of customers, employees and suppliers through healthy food, enjoyable and competitively compensated jobs and strong relationships with local suppliers. The Boston Impact Initiative provided a second loan to City Feed for new equipment and server and technology upgrades. Learn more



Green City Growers transforms unused space into thriving urban farms, providing clients with immediate access to nutritious food in Boston and New England. The Boston Impact Initiative provided a loan for infrastructure investment to enable Green City Growers’ plans for growing their business. Learn more



M.S. Peltier Insurance is a Black-owned business with expertise in construction, marine, real estate, and transportation industries. It plans to grow its workforce, which it aims to be comprised by at least 50% employees of color within a year. M.S. Peltier Insurance is committed to Dorchester and Caribbean communities. Boston Impact Initiative provided a loan to support business acquisition and establishment.


Tremendous 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 are intentional about hiring workers who are disadvantaged and have received accolades for their businesses’ impact in low-income neighborhoods. Tremendous Maid was ranked best maid service in 2013 by the prestigious Boston Magazine. The Boston Impact Initiative provided a growth capital loan to stabilize financing and expand services. Learn more

Introducing Xau Ying Ly

xau yingThe Boston Impact Initiative is excited to introduce Xau Ying Ly as the newest member of the staff team. Xau Ying Ly is a first generation Chinese-Vietnamese American from Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to joining BII, she was one of the developers of the City of Richmond’s progressive program for environmental justice, health equity, and anchor-based economic development in California. She is interested in community wealth building through economic democracy models, and has experience with local government, social enterprise, and not-for-profit groups. Xau Ying recently completed a Master in Urban Planning degree at MIT. She is active in Asian American, women’s, and LGBT advocacy. She speaks Brazilian Portuguese and Cantonese.

dorchester co-op logo

Spring / Summer Investments

 http://bostonimpact.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/DorchesterCoopLogo.jpg  Dorchester Co-op

The Dorchester Community Food Co-op is an initiative to build a community & worker-owned cooperative market that provides economic opportunity and healthy affordable food. The Co-op will be a community asset, providing space for education and cultural activities, and will be a dynamic center for healthy eating and sustainable living that celebrates the rich diversity of Dorchester. The Boston Impact Initiative provided grant funding to support the completion of a feasibility study. Learn more


fields-corner-business-lab  Fields Corner Business Lab

FCBL is a coworking space that brings together entrepreneurs, small businesses and community development organizations to advance one of Dorchester’s most promising business districts. With easy access to the Red Line and affordable, flexible membership options, FCBL is focused on creating a productive, healthy and synergistic environment for its entrepreneurs and the Fields Corner community. Boston Impact Initiative provided a grant to FCBL to sponsor free office space for a Dorchester based, social entrepreneur of color. Learn more



Jubali is a brand embodying the desire to transform through vitality. They believe that food is a crucial element of the more beautiful world in which we want to live and which we are working to create — a world of vibrantly healthy people living on an ecologically thriving planet. Jubali’s goal is to make the healthiest, most delicious food and drinks they can while making a positive social and environmental impact. They started out as a couple of guys renting out a local café’s kitchen when it closed for the day and quickly grew from there. There mantra is: Our food links our personal health to the kinds of ecosystems we support. Through our social-impact campaigns, Jubali gives you the opportunity to nourish your body and your world. Learn more

http://bostonimpact.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Lady-Dye-Yarn-150x132.jpgLady Dye Yarns

Lady Dye Yarns is an eco-friendly yarn business that creates vibrant and colorful hand-painted yarns and accessories that are inspired by street art and city living. Lady Dye Yarns unique designs and colorways draw inspiration from contemporary, urban culture and street art. The Boston Impact Initiative provided an early loan to help scale national marketing and sales. Learn more

salamander logoSalamander Cafe

Salamander’s Café will open later this year on River St. in Hyde Park. This cozy café will serve gourmet coffees, espresso, lattes, and smoothies. Pastries, baked in-house and at a local bakery, will vary seasonally and breakfast and lunch will be served everyday. Boston Impact initiative provided a loan to help the cafe relocate from East Boston to its new location. Learn more


http://bostonimpact.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/smarterinthecitylogo.jpgSmarter in the City

Smarter in the City is the first high tech startup business accelerator in Roxbury. At the center in Dudley Square, SITC supports local entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities in the tech sector to advance their technology-focused businesses. Boston Impact Initiative provided early stage operating grants to help SITC serve local tech entrepreneurs of color. Learn more

2014 Annual Report

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 10.58.51 AMBoston Impact Initiative is pleased to release our 2014 Annual Report, including Portfolio Highlights, an Investment Overview and Special Project updates.

Download: Boston Impact Initiative Annual Report 2014

Introducing Glynn Lloyd

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 10.08.01 PM

The Boston Impact Initiative is excited to introduce you to Glynn Lloyd, the newest member of our team. As the founder and former CEO of City Fresh Foods, Glynn brings over 20 years of entrepreneurship, leadership and business acumen to his role as the Managing Director of our fund. He has a deep commitment to building wealth in Boston’s urban communities through enterprise development that is rooted locally and is ecologically sustainable.

As we welcome Glynn, Aaron Tanaka will be transitioning from the day-to-day management of our fund to developing a new initiative that advances the Boston Impact Initiative’s research and development, thought leadership and field-building activities. You’ll be hearing more about his plans for the BII Institute later this summer.

Meantime, we’d like to remind you that our fund is open for business! The Boston Impact Initiative continues to support strong, local entrepreneurs seeking capital to expand their businesses. Entrepreneurs can go to the  Contact Us page where they can begin by filling out the “Tell Us About Your Business” form. We look forward to connecting soon. For further questions or referrals, please reach out to Glynn at glynn@bostonimpact.com.Warmly, Deborah Frieze

Fall / Winter Investments

The Boston Impact Initiative closes our first equity deal! City Fresh Foods is a 20-year-old, nationally acclaimed enterprise that delivers fresh, wholesome meals to charter schools, eldercare facilities and other organizations throughout the Boston area. As one of Roxbury’s major employers, City Fresh is respected as a “triple bottom line” business that brings returns to people, planet and profits. City Fresh plays an anchor role in Boston’s burgeoning urban food movement, serving major customers such as Meals on Wheels while sourcing from area producers and advocating for increased local food production. BII partnered with Cienega Capital, an impact fund from California, to make this investment.

Renew Energy Partners is a Boston-based energy efficiency project development firm that specializes in major commercial retrofits in New England. BII joined as an anchor investor in Renew’s collaborative project with HEET, a local non-profit that focuses on bringing efficiency upgrades to underserved markets. The joint program will bring upfront financing and project management to retrofit Greater Boston’s non-profit buildings and historic houses of worship to reduce energy costs and use across the sector.

Fresh Food Generation is a local food enterprise that brings healthy, affordable and culturally relevant cuisine to Boston’s low-income communities of color. After receiving a $5,000 prize from BII through Future Boston Alliance’s Accelerate! program, Fresh Food Generation is growing from a local catering company to launching a food truck. Housed inCrop Circle Kitchen’s Pearl facility, FFG is bringing its mission to nourish and uplift the community to neighborhoods across Boston. BII is now making a follow-on loan to help secure FFG’s food truck.

Social Good Marketing Wins Prize in Dorchester

from left: Nene Igietseme (BII), Deborah Frieze (BII), Michelle Miller (SGM), John Maudlin (FCBL), Travis Lee (FCBL)


The Boston Impact Initiative was proud to sponsor a social impact prize for a local enterprise to receive free office space in the new Fields Corner Business Lab co-work facility. Founded by Michelle Miller, Social Good Marketing was chosen from a competitive field of dynamic businesses for its mission to bring effective and affordable marketing services to small businesses and non-profits. We were impressed by SGM’s commitment to empowering local entrepreneurs and engaging a diverse network of young consultants. We congratulate SGM and FCBL for their role in growing a more resilient economy in Dorchester and beyond.

Summer/Fall Investments

  Deborah Frieze, Tony Williams, and Alison Moronta of JPNDC closing the deal

Deborah Frieze, Tony Williams, and Alison Moronta of JPNDC closing the deal

Tony Williams Dance Center is a studio in Jamaica Plain dedicated to providing quality dance instruction to Boston’s diverse urban community. From ballet to salsa to hip hop, TWDC boasts one of the most diverse class offerings, faculty, student and parent populations in the Greater Boston Area. TWDC produces the highly acclaimed Urban Nutcracker, and has helped hundreds of Boston youth develop physical and mental discipline and emotional confidence through the arts. We provided TWDC with a loan to create more student scholarships and hire additional staff.

88 Acres88 Acres is an artisan food enterprise, producing healthy snacks free of the top eight food allergens. 88 Acres seeks to craft foods with the simplest & most sustainably sourced ingredients, create transparency throughout their supply chain and promote healthy living and food awareness among consumers. 88 Acres is manufacturing at the new Pearl facility of Crop Circle Kitchen (also a BII portfolio group), creating over a dozen new jobs in Dorchester. We made a convertible debt investment to help 88 Acres secure equipment and launch operations.

fieldscornerlogoThe Fields Corner Business Lab is a shared workspace in the Fields Corner neighborhood of Dorchester. FCBL offers affordable pricing, flexibility and convenience to small business owners and nonprofit organizations that need it most. FCBL seeks to create a productive, healthy and synergistic environment for its members and, ultimately, foster economic development for the community. We made a grant to FCBL to sponsor office space for a social enterprise with exceptional community commitments.

smarterinthecitylogoSmarter in the City is a tech accelerator based in Dudley Square, Roxbury. Smarter in the City provides opportunities for local entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities to develop their programs, apps and companies, while advancing technical and business skills. A select group of start-ups from Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan and neighboring communities will have access to workspace, a well-connected network of high tech and business mentors, and will be showcased to investors and companies. We made a grant to Smarter in the City to support its first year of operations.

CERO Starts Operations, Raises DPO Funds

CERO Co-founders and worker-owners Timothy Hall and Josefina Luna

CERO Co-founders and worker-owners Timothy Hall and Josefina Luna

The Boston Impact Initiative is a proud early investor in CERO, a nationally recognized worker-owned recycling and hauling company based in Dorchester. A recipient of Boston’s Greenovate Award and one of Sharable.com‘s 16 “Most Exciting Co-ops,” CERO is a green, multi-racial, democratically managed social enterprise that embodies localist values.

After crowd-sourcing $17,000, CERO officially launched its Direct Public Offering (DPO) this fall. DPO’s are an increasingly popular tool for raising community capital by allowing non-accredited investors to purchase stock in small businesses. CERO’s use of a DPO reflects its vision to build a company that is supported by and accountable to the broader community. The Boston Impact Initiative is pleased to be one of CERO’s first DPO shareholders.

Starting in October, CERO officially launched operations, renting a truck and providing waste and composting services for five America’s Food Basket grocery stores. We invite you to learn more about CERO’s business model and inspiring story.

Financing the New Economy

Self Help Credit Union, used as a case study

Self Help Credit Union, used as a case study

This summer, the Boston Impact Initiative was proud to convene the Boston Community Finance Study Group in partnership with the Center for Economic Democracy and City Life Vida Urbana. The study group brought together some of Boston’s most dynamic organizers, co-op developers and alternative finance practitioners for eight sessions to explore community controlled financial institutions that could help meet the economic development needs of Boston’s low income communities of color. We studied a range of models, including community loan funds, community development credit unions and community equity funds that are well-suited to finance such non-traditional enterprises as worker-owned cooperatives and community-owned land trusts.