The California Bay Area has a well-developed impact investing ecosystem. But trace any one initiative, and chances are it will lead back to Kristin Hull. A Bay Area native and former educator, Hull drew on her insights from education, grad school and the family investment business to become an influential voice and leader in the impact field. She is a founder of HUB Oakland, an angel investor and an outspoken champion of women and entrepreneurs of color. We spoke recently with Kristin about her multi-pronged approach to investing for change.
How did you get into impact investing?
My dad started a trading firm in our garage. I wasn’t that interested in capital markets as I didn’t see the connections to everyday life, yet from age 14 I knew about buying low and selling high as often as possible in one day. I wanted to address our vast social inequities and became a teacher in urban schools, yet kept my involvement within the family business, including summers on the trading floor in Chicago.
In grad school at Cal I learned lots about systems change and identifying the core racial justice issues being re-created, perpetuated, and exacerbated within our largest institutions. I focused on how to address issues at the roots.
My world came full circle when I founded a charter school in Oakland. When it came time to purchase our building I helped cobble together our financing—loan guarantees, grants and partnerships from the city. I realized that in addition to teaching skills, financial skills were of great value.
I really got into impact investing in 2007, after we sold our family business and started a foundation. That year I attended my first philanthropy conference, and there was a session titled “Two Percent.” Several large foundations were arguing whether they could put up to 2% of their foundation endowments towards their mission. A light bulb went off for me. I thought, wait a minute, it should be 100%! I didn’t have any history in this field so I didn’t have any artificial hurdles or barriers to my thinking.
I left the conference and started moving that money—we took it out of the market in 2007 and put it in seven different community banks, all of which were addressing our mission in different ways, from local lending to fostering financial literacy. In 2008, our endowment was up about 2% when, nationwide, foundations were down 28%.
You have a number of investment vehicles, including Nia Community and Nia Global Solutions. Can you briefly describe them? What’s the common thread?[…]
The post For Impact Investor Kristin Hull, There Are Many Ways to Effect Change appeared first on Locavesting.
The full and original article can be viewed on Locavesting.com
Visit the Invest With Values - Resource Directory to access leading investor information, opportunities, organizations, events, groups and tools.