Category Archives: Featured

In Chicago, Boosting Entrepreneurial Opportunities While Saving Manufacturing Jobs

In greater Chicago, most owners of manufacturing companies are not only white, but also are retirement-age and lack a succession plan. Their kids don’t want to take over or they lack the skills to do so. The likeliest fate for those businesses is to be bought by private equity firms that fire the employees, sell […]

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Impact Investors are not Funding the Patagonias of Tomorrow—and That’s a Problem

The impact investing community does not always agree on everything. But ask any impact investor who the figureheads of the environmental movement that they look to for guidance are, and they’re likely to answer “Patagonia,” without skipping a beat. Patagonia is a global apparel brand with roughly $1 billion in annual revenue and considerable environmental street […]

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Impact Investors are not Funding the Patagonias of Tomorrow—and That’s a Problem

The impact investing community does not always agree on everything. But ask any impact investor who the figureheads of the environmental movement that they look to for guidance are, and they’re likely to answer “Patagonia,” without skipping a beat. Patagonia is a global apparel brand with roughly $1 billion in annual revenue and considerable environmental street […]

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Why Low Minimum Funding Targets Hurt Investment Crowdfunding

Many businesses raising money under Title III of the JOBS Act are setting “target amounts” as low as $10,000. I understand the motivation, but I’d urge issuers and the platforms to think twice. Background In Title III Crowdfunding (also known as “Regulation Crowdfunding” or “Regulation CF” or simply “Reg CF”), the business (known as the […]

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The Year in Community Capital: Coops, Crowdfunding and Other Coups

It’s been a head-spinning year. But amid the chaos, a lot of good progress was made in the community capital field.  Here are some of the top stories of 2018: 1. Coops Rising The United Nations designated 2012 the International Year of Cooperatives, but we would argue 2018 was the year that cooperatives really began […]

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Crowdfunded Companies Find Success With Follow-On Funding

Who says crowdfunding will scare off follow-on investors? Quite the contrary, it seems. Businesses are finding that a successful investment crowdfunding campaign can pave the way for follow-on  funding from angels, venture capitalists, banks and other institutional investors. The latest—and largest—example to date: Beta Bionics, the maker of a “bionic pancreas” that was among the […]

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Two Coops Focused on Community-Owned Housing and Solar Take Root

A pair of cooperatives aiming to put affordable housing and renewable energy in community hands made their official debut on Wednesday in Oakland, Calif. The groups, the East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative and People Power Solar Cooperative, were incubated out of the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC), a nonprofit that has nurtured many of […]

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An Accelerator Aims to Restore Dignity and Livelihoods to Migrants and Refugees

The world is grappling with a refugee crisis of massive proportions. More than 65 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes, including 22.5 million refugees. One person is displaced due to conflict or persecution nearly every two seconds, according to the United Nations. As the Trump administration battles a caravan of migrants seeking a […]

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With a New Fund, Evergreen Cooperatives Looks to Spread the ‘Cleveland Model’

Since their inception ten years ago, the Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, Ohio have served as a promising model of economic development in a post-industrial city. The three worker cooperatives—an industrial laundry company, a green energy services contractor, and a hydroponic greenhouse (pictured above)—collectively employ over 200 individuals, many of whom have become worker-owners. In a […]

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Canada Earmarks $800 Million for Social Impact Fund

This past week, while Americans were preparing for Thanksgiving, the government of Canada made a landmark commitment to social finance that we should all be thankful for. In its Fall Economic Statement, the federal government earmarked an unprecedented $805 million to advance social and environmental solutions, as part of its broader push to invest in middle […]

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