The Boston Impact Initiative seeks to invest in organizations and initiatives—both for-profit and not-for-profit—that are committed to creating a better future for Boston’s youth and families. Unfortunately, the businesses that we most want to succeed often suffer from a lack of access to capital. Banks are unwilling to take risks on urban entrepreneurs with weak credit histories. Venture capitalists aren’t interested in funding community-oriented start-ups that intend to stay small and local. Philanthropists direct their capital to social service agencies and other non-profit activities, unwilling or unable to help capitalize urban entrepreneurs.
We believe that we can best support the creation of resilient local economies by using a range of integrated capital tools: loans, credit enhancements, equity investments, royalty finance, direct public offerings, crowd-funding, grants and more. By using this “whole portfolio” approach, the Boston Impact Initiative is able to choose the best capital instrument for the age and stage of each organization we invest in. That means sometimes we make grants to for-profit businesses, loans to non-profits, equity investments in cooperatives, and so on—all of which allows us to harness the power of private enterprise for public benefit.