Using finance as a tool for social change
Leveraging each investment for good
Bay Area Medical Academy
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
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.
Impact America Fund
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.
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. We are proud to be celebrating our first anniversary in February 2015. Come on by to 2323 Broadway!
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.
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.
Kiva is an easy way to get started in conscious investing. We like the transparency of being able to choose the specific entrepreneur as well as the type of business or industry you want to support. We LOVE that anyone can make a 0% interest loan starting at $25.
Kubé Nice Cream
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.
The Lei Company
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.
MCE Social Capital
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.
People's Community Market
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.
STEP into a Job!
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.