Aardvark is an early stage medical device company focused on sinus and nasal health. They also are developing a device for accurate, quick and easy flu testing, which we all can see being a game changer for home, schools, and airports. The founder is an Oakland emergency room pediatrician.
I invested in Aardvark because I knew the entrepreneur and his work at Oakland Children's Hospital. I like that the team is introducing new and safe respiratory strategies for use with young children that will help keep families out of the ER, lowering their stress and medical bills, as well as increasing health.
Awaken Cafe is becoming an institution in Oakland. At its core, an espresso bar, organic cafe, performance & event space, live music venue and art gallery in the heart of the new downtown, with the mission of bringing people together to launch movements. Social movements often start at a table over a shared meal. Awaken serves as a nurturing meeting spot for entrepreneurs, artists and change makers all coming together to share ideas and strategies for revitalizing our Oakland neighborhoods. I like that Awaken is committed to local, organic and community, and honestly, it’s fun to be an investor in an awesome local gathering spot!
Bay Area Medical Academy provides job-oriented training in high-growth, high-demand areas of the healthcare field, fulfilling the workforce needs of the medical facilities in the Bay Area. BAMA prepares individuals (predominantly women) from different socio-economic, cultural and educational backgrounds for successful, long-term careers in the field. When I first met Simonida, I was thoroughly impressed with her mission to educate and help find employment for some of the Bay Area’s least advantaged women. I was blown away by the care and the professionalism with which she treats each of her students, as well as her dedication to building relationships with large hospitals and care centers. As an immigrant woman herself, Simonida has had many barriers to overcome and at the same time is effectively helping other women succeed.
Better Ventures is a venture fund for technology startups building innovative solutions to big and important problems, from work and education to health and sustainability. Wes and Rick are currently pursuing opportunities in three investment themes:
Better Access - Companies leveraging technology to democratize access to essential services that equalize opportunity, including education and employment;
Better Information - Companies utilizing data analytics to produce positive societal outcomes, ranging from health & well-being to environmental sustainability;
Better Business - Companies building sustainable and ethical supply chains, including product re-use & up-cycling and sustainable production.
I met Wes when I first got involved with the HUB in 2010. I wanted to support his efforts and his fund of innovative tech startups.
The Boston Impact Initiative invests in enterprises throughout Eastern Massachusetts that address the growing wealth gap and ecological challenges of our times. They believe that there won’t be any change in the fundamental conditions that contribute to persistent poverty and injustice until and unless we create the opportunity for people to own and control their future. Their ambition is to build a model that other investors can contribute to in Boston, as well as to share their learning with communities elsewhere.
Capital Sisters International was created as a platform to advance economic justice and financial inclusion for marginalized women entrepreneurs in the informal sector. The mission of Capital Sisters International is to connect impoverished women in developing countries who need tiny business loans with investors willing to provide them. Capital Sisters delivers its mission through two programs, an Investment Program and an Advocacy Program. The Investment Program provides capital to microfinance institutions in developing countries. The Advocacy Program works to raise awareness about the need for more enabling public policy on financial inclusion.
Certifiably's mission is to make it easier for like-minded, certified, values-based businesses to connect, because the more successful each becomes, the greater impact each can have. Their dream is that someday every business purchase made will be measured by the impact that purchase can have in making progress against the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals.
Change.org is the world's largest petition platform, empowering people everywhere to create the change they want to see.
I met Ben years ago and have been following his progress as well as participating on the site. I wanted to help support the notion of non-profits becoming sustainable businesses that no longer rely solely on donations and grants. I also am fully on board with platforms that empower everyday citizens to take action in the areas they care about.
Formerly known as Ethical Electric, CleanChoice Energy is an innovative energy company that does good by offering choice. They seek to power as many American homes and businesses as possible with 100% clean energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar. Their plan is to use profits to fund causes that benefit our planet and advance equality, peace, justice and opportunity.
I know and respect the founding team. I like that these guys are thinking inventively to bring clean energy options to the market, with the "Credo/Working Assets" values of transparency and community activism. Once we all experience choice in utility providers, I believe the dial will move toward renewable.
CNote is an award-winning investment platform where you earn a better return while investing in the causes and communities that matter to you. CNote was founded on two core principles. That everyone deserves a shot at financial freedom and that each of us can play a part in building a more equal world.
Conscious Company is the first print and digital, nationally distributed publication in the US to focus solely on sustainable business and business as a force for good. By leveraging the power of storytelling and great design, Conscious Company aims to broaden the conversation about using business as a force for good. They believe that a new definition of success in business is emerging — a definition that is motivated by a growing dissatisfaction with the "status quo," an overall shift towards a values-driven economy, and one that is ultimately centered on a company’s ability to have a positive effect on society and the environment — taking all stakeholders into account — in addition to turning a profit. They want to celebrate these businesses by featuring the stories of companies that operate consciously, by providing their leaders with a megaphone to inspire other businesses to do the same, and by showing the world just how powerful business can be when used in a positive way.
Crowdfund Mainstreet is all about bringing a new type of investor to the table. Until recently, investing in private businesses was mostly limited to wealthy, accredited, investors. This put a lot of pressure on small businesses and startups in particular to either “bootstrap it” (self-finance) or woo a very small group of professional investors with promises of rapid growth. The JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act went into effect in 2016, creating new rules which allow companies to raise capital from anyone through crowdfunding. Now regular people—not just wealthy or professional investors—can more easily invest in the small businesses they want to see prosper.
CEC is developing innovative financing tools and entity structuring that help preserve mission and goals for new companies raising money. Nia's investment supports CEC to develop software that will bring down the cost and streamline the process of direct public offerings for small and medium sized businesses, allowing them to grow with mission intact.
I love Jenny and her women led team at CEC. I love that they are right here in Oakland, working with our local businesses to build and expand this space of conscious investing by developing the software and legal infrastructure needed to raise smaller increments of capital from a broader range of investors.
The Ecosystem Integrity Fund is a venture fund focused on generating significant financial returns by investing in companies that enable greater environmental sustainability. The EIF team seeks to achieve this goal by identifying real businesses in mostly overlooked industry segments—businesses that have effective, in-demand, and scalable solutions—by providing these businesses with the capital, strategic perspective, and hands-on management they need to succeed.
I met Devin, co-founder of the fund, and found him to be full of integrity. I then looked at the companies chosen and was impressed with their choices, decision-making process, and spectrum of solution oriented thinking and products. Shortly after I invested, they launched their second fund, and I have invested in that as well.
Ecotrust Forest Management is a forestland investment management and advisory services company that manages land on behalf of investors and forestland owners to enhance forest health and productivity, and to produce a diverse array of forest products and services including timber, biomass, carbon, and improved habitat and water quality. Ecotrust Forests seeks to capture a wide array of funding sources — New Market Tax Credits, carbon credits, conservation easements, and restoration funding — to supplement private capital resources in the acquisition and management of forestland, while also creating reliable jobs for local residents and opportunities for local communities as a fundamental element of good forestry.
Managing our land well and sustainably is one of our biggest challenges as a society. I feel privileged to partner with EcoTrust in their clever multi-funding source approach to serving their mission of sustainability.
Emerging Women exists to support and inspire women to express themselves authentically through the work that they do. This awesome team provides the tools, knowledge, and network to help women lead, start and grow their businesses in a way that integrates core feminine values like connection, collaboration, intimacy, beauty and heart. They provide a platform for leaders and entrepreneurs to come together to explore and express their inner truths in the hope that women have a strong voice in the shaping of our world’s future.
Chantal is a force of nature and her leadership is exemplary. I was thrilled to become one of her investors on this path to empower women to be all they can be.
The Capay Farm Fresh To You Green Loan Program helps deliver organic produce to your home or office from local, family farms. This loan goes out to local farmers, and all clients of Capay are invited to participate, fostering community and transparency about what our money is actually doing.
Farmland LP is a private REIT, acquiring conventional farmland and converting it to certified organic farmland by using sustainable agriculture best practices. The regenerative land management techniques result in optimal soil and plant health obtained without using chemical inputs (fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, etc.), increasing the productivity of the land while keeping operational costs low for farmers. Its innovative business model allows Farmland LP to fulfill its mission of delivering solid returns to investors while helping build a sustainable, healthy, local food system for the future.
As a 5th generation Californian from a ranching family, I believe in sustainable farming practices. I was happy to find an investment where for profit dollars would be used to convert farmland using sustainable practices.
Fem Inc. engages all audiences with positive entertainment featuring strong female characters. Fem Inc. is a women-centered technology and entertainment company that powers digital entertainment networks, popular websites, and apps with a distributed video discovery experience that understands what drives engagement for diverse audiences.
I was inspired by Rachel, her drive and experience, and mission to increase the prevalence of strong female characters in our media.
The Force for Good Fund, from Lift Economy, nurtures, supports, and invests in women and people of color-owned, “Best for the World” B Corporations (i.e., companies that score in the top 10% of B Corps worldwide). This fund is needed because it is incredibly difficult for early-stage, socially and environmentally responsible businesses run by women and people of color to access non-extractive capital. The Force for Good Accelerator / Fund is an innovative opportunity to support these early-stage entrepreneurs with the guidance, access to capital, and connections they need in order to be successful.
HIP investor has created 4 products available through the Schwab platform. In addition to being an impact money manager, HIP has developed standards to quantify impact. Nia is currently invested in the HIP 100 Portfolio: a re-weighting of the S&P 100 for quantifiable sustainability according to proprietary HIP criteria and analysis. For investors and advisers applying the "new fundamentals of investing," the HIP 100 Porfolio can complement or replace the current U.S. based equity allocations; and the HIP Preferred Stock Portfolio: weights a basket of U.S.-listed Preferred Stocks using a rigorous, data-driven analysis of quantifiable human, social and environmental results. HIP Portfolios seek to outperform traditional investment benchmarks via this strategy, striving to achieve more positive human impact, lower risk, and increased financial returns. HIP products also include The HIP Sustainable Real Estate Portfolio and the HIP Global Dividends Portfolio.
Paul Herman and his team work diligently to make social and environmental concerns paramount to the traditional investing world. Paul is active in raising awareness, informing clients and building products that celebrate companies making sustainable and values based choices.
The HIVE is a real estate investment in the northern Uptown area of Oakland. A block that for years has housed closed and boarded up car dealerships, is now being transformed to include new community-oriented businesses and restaurants for a thriving Oakland.
I am excited to be a part of this revitalization of Oakland, the bringing together of socially-minded businesses all on the same block, creating and extending community as we go. I am the only female investor and the only investor currently advocating for mixed income housing on the block. Stay tuned.
Hub Cities is providing support to this social change incubation movement nationwide. We love that Impact Hubs are growing, sprouting up and are building a nationwide, and worldwide community of folks concerned about and working toward solutions to our world's greatest problems.
A physical space where community leaders and social entrepreneurs can join together, cross pollinate, bloom and thrive—creating an ecosystem that is bio-diverse, multicultural, and uniquely Oakland.
Hub Oakland is the first Hub to be founded by women and entrepreneurs of color. We are taking the Hub concept of supporting entrepreneurs working to move our city and our world forward to the next level. Beyond a beautiful shared workspace and event space, is a thriving community of change makers.
Illumen Capital provides a pathway for investors, foundations, and family offices to access the world's top impact funds and actively reduce bias throughout global financial markets. By partnering with Stanford University, Illumen Capital creates and applies bias-reducing interventions to help venture capital and private equity fund managers unlock latent financial return and impact, to create a more equitable, empathetic, and prosperous world.
Impact America Fund is a GIIRS rated private equity fund led by Kesha Cash. Its mission is to generate financial returns while enhancing the quality of life for underserved communities in America. IAF invests in high growth companies that are scaling solutions in the Health & Wellness, Education, Essential Services, and Financial Inclusion sectors.
ImpactAssets is a nonprofit financial services firm that increases the flow of capital into investments that deliver financial, social and environmental returns. Through their innovative Donor Advised Fund model, our funds are invested in Sevamob, Waste Capital Partners, and will soon be deployed into Clean NG, Lipisha, StreetOwl, and Save Energy Systems.
I have been impressed with Tim's trail blazing. I am honored to be investing in this DAF product that promises to revolutionize the way both individuals and institutions invest their charitable dollars. I also see great potential to channel more and diversified dollars to entrepreneurs doing good work. With a minimum investment of $2,500 per company, I see Impact Assests as lowering the bar to entry of impact venture investing, which is exciting.
Investibule opens the door to a diverse range of investment opportunities in your community—whether that's the place where you live or groups you care about. The universe of community-based investments is growing, but remains highly fragmented. Investibule solves that problem by gathering community-based investment opportunities spanning Kiva, Credibles, Direct Public Offerings and JOBS Act-enabled crowdfunding offerings onto one easy-to-use platform. Investibule supports all forms of community capital and partners with community-based financial organizations for mutual benefit and to grow the movement.
KETOS is on a mission to enhance global health through clean, healthful drinking water. KETOS provides the tools and insights needed to optimize water usage, ensure resource efficiency and provide water safety assurance, while making these tools affordable and accessible.
Kiva is a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.
Kubé Nice Cream is a local artisan-food-producer of raw, plant based, hand-crafted, coconut cream "nice cream" in the Bay Area, California. The standard international pasteurization process of coconut cream and milk uses a toxic preservative and bleaching chemical called sodium metabisulfite. Kubé is the emerging leader in harnessing the power of raw, unpasteurized coconut cream. Kubé believes that real, fresh and healthy foods, without chemicals, support healthier outcomes for all people and for the earth.
As the 1st Pasifika Worker-Owned Cooperative in the United States, the Lei Company Cooperative provides a year round and environmentally conscious avenue to purchase lei for a variety of occasions while evolving the craft of lei making and lei makers, and providing business ownership opportunities, training and employment to the Pasifika- melanesian, micronesian and polynesian community.
Liberation Capital is a Global Private Equity Fund specializing in Project Finance for small renewable energy, water and waste water projects. Their investment model centers on strategic partnerships with CleanTech technology firms and project developers with multi-project/multi-year investment horizons.
I invested in the Liberation team because I wanted to learn more about different approaches to renewable energy. I was particularly interested in a few of their projects, the recycling of tires made sense to me, as an example.
MCE Social Capital is a nonprofit impact investing firm that uses a pioneering loan guarantee model to generate economic opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people, particularly women, in more than 30 countries. More than two billion people in the world lack access to formal financial services—including savings accounts, insurance, and loans—and consequently must contend with financial insecurity on a daily basis. Small businesses also suffer from a lack of appropriate finance opportunities, despite their unique potential for transformative job creation and social impact. We help fill these financial inclusion gaps by funding: Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) that help people living in rural areas gain access to credit, savings accounts, insurance, healthcare and health education, business education, and technical assistance, and Small and Growing Businesses (SGBs) that create jobs, help smallholder farmers, facilitate clean water and energy, and increase household savings.
Located in Old Oakland and launched in 2012, Miss Ollie's is an Afro-Caribbean restaurant owned by an amazing Black woman, Sarah Kirnon, who has years of experience and is well-known in the Bay Area food scene.
Nia Global Solutions brings the concept of Impact Investing to public markets, offering investors a managed portfolio of publicly traded stocks that harness the innovative social purposes of capitalism. The portfolio is carefully constructed of companies that create meaningful outcomes, not only for its investors, but for people and the planet too.
I was drawn to create Nia Global Solutions as a way to bring conscious investing to the public markets. At Nia we engage in a very careful due diligence process looking at solution-driven products, run by diverse management teams. We are unique in that we bring activism into the public markets by engaging with both our chosen companies as well as those who do not make our buy list for the portfolio. NGS will also donate a percentage of profits to those non-profit organizations who are working on issues of corporate accountability.
PCM will be a small-format, full-service neighborhood food store, health resource center and community hub that supports West Oakland families to attain healthier and more socially connected lives.
Many areas of Oakland are "food deserts," where fresh, healthy food is difficult to access. People's Community Market is changing this landscape. What I particularly like about this business is that they are involving the local community as investors starting at $2,000, so that a wide variety of folks can invest in their own community.
Red Bay Coffee is building a global community through their commitment to sourcing, developing, roasting and delivering the best and most beautiful coffee to the people. They focus on creating opportunities within the community at large while fostering single origin, fair trade, direct trade, organic and sustainable coffees. They believe in the creation of a value chain emphasizing ethics and diversity, not just a supply and demand chain. They envision a world in which coffee is a vehicle for inclusion, social and economic empowerment, entrepreneurship, innovation, and environmental sustainability.
Renewal2 and Renewal3 funds are diversified social venture funds investing capital for the development of underfunded sectors that are critical to a sustainable economy. Renewal funds invests in change by supporting businesses at the forefront of social and environmental innovation, infusing both capital and operating guidance to the organic food sector.
I love both the concept of Renewal as well as the founding team and their long history of investing for social change and environmental sustainability. I am excited to be invested in both Renewal2 and Renewal3.
Root Capital is a nonprofit social investment fund that grows rural prosperity in poor, environmentally vulnerable places in Africa and Latin America by lending capital, delivering financial training, and strengthening market connections for small and growing agricultural businesses.
RSF Social Finance is a pioneering non-profit financial services organization dedicated to transforming the way the world works with money. In partnership with a community of investors and donors, RSF provides capital to non-profit and for-profit social enterprises addressing key issues in the areas of Food & Agriculture, Education & the Arts, and Ecological Stewardship.
I really love RSF for so many reasons. They are local and invest in and loan to the companies and organizations that I care about. Don Shaffer is a key leader in our economy by transforming the way we interact with money. Their transparent process of business is exemplary and as an investor I get to have a say in how much interest I am earning. Amazing.
Safer Made is a venture fund investing in companies and technologies that create safer products for people and the natural world. The start-up companies they invest in remove or reduce the use of harmful chemicals in products and manufacturing processes. The results are healthier people, cleaner waters, and more nourishing soils.
SJF Ventures is a venture fund focused on the resource efficiency, sustainability and technology-enhanced services sectors. Representative investment areas include efficiency and infrastructure, asset recovery including reuse and recycling, sustainable agriculture and food safety, health and wellness technology, education technology and digital media and marketing services.
Nia is invested with SJF because they are active in job creation.
Launched in 2011, Mosaic started by using crowdfunding principles to allow everyone to invest in clean energy. In 2014, they shifted towards residential solar financing with the help of third party capital partners. Now, with their home improvement lending program for the modern home, they are constantly pushing for new and exciting ways to make the benefits of clean energy and efficiency more attainable for everyone.
Spotlight:Girls is an Oakland, CA-based benefit corporation that celebrates and activates girls and women through multi-media learning experiences such as summer camps, after-school programs, educational products, and events.
While education is key to developing a vibrant American workforce, STEP into a Job! asserts that vocational training programs that include strong social supportive services, technical training, and direct engagement with employers provide the best results - measured in retention, graduation, and job placement rates. Their model consists of Social Supportive Services, Technical Training, Employer Engagement, Apprenticeships, as well as Placement Services.
“To|Someone – Good Email” is a startup revolutionizing the way we engage with email. To|Someone combines immediate real time events with rich historical data to help answer the toughest questions about retention, growth, and engagement, helping large organizations make informed decisions with historical & real time data.
Upworthy is a social media outlet with a mission to make meaningful stories go viral and boy are they doing just that.
I like the social media do-good concept. The Upworthy team is curating the best social justice content and circulating it via social circles. I love that activist moms in West Oakland, media savvy city entrepreneurs, all the way to progressive LGBT+ Millennials in Seattle, are all both engaged in and circulating Upworthy content. Yes.
Weal Life use technology to make it easier to care for one another, especially during a health crisis, aging or chronic illness. Weal Life crowdsources your care from people you know so you can heal and thrive. It leverages mobile technology to capture value from underutilized capacities of family, friends, neighbors and others who help streamline life logistics such as transportation, meals, errands or shopping for medical supplies.
World Tree’s programs invest in eco-timber farms across North and Latin America. World Tree invests in farmers and protects our forests, and investors get to share in any profits from the sale of the lumber.
Worth Financial Holdings, composed of digital platforms DailyWorth and WorthFM, marries one of the leading names in women's financial media with an automated money management service designed to increase a woman’s net worth as well as her knowledge about personal finance.