Every year, B Lab, the nonprofit that certifies B Corps, celebrates “Best for the World” companies—those that score in the top 10% of B Lab’s Impact Assessment. They also analyze investment funds. This year, 28 funds representing $1.3 billion in assets under management made the list of “Best for the World” funds; eight of them US-based. One of them is Impact America Fund. Below, Kesha Cash, founder and general partner of Impact America, talks about the fund, its investment philosophy and impact. (Read the full version on B the Change here.)
Running a tech-focused venture fund is similar to writing speculative fiction: While authors imagine a future filled with the technologies of tomorrow, tech funds invest in the people and technologies that bring about tomorrow.
We, too, wrestle with a vision of the future. So when author William Gibson writes “The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed,” we believe that it’s up to us to do something about it.
From the vantage point of Impact America, a fund focused on elevating economic power within low- to moderate-income and disenfranchised communities, the future is definitely already here. It’s the future that says America will be minority-majority by 2043, but that, if current financial trends continue, the median wealth for black American households will drop to $0 in 2053, with Latinos joining them in 2073.
And it’s a future where a shrinking number of 25- to 54-year old whites without college degrees don’t feel comfortable claiming that their standard of living is “much better” or even “somewhat better” than that of their parents.
It’s a future that’s bad for all of us — and it’s what Impact America is actively working to disrupt by investing in founders who use technology to better the lives of society’s “have nots,” instead of using it to exploit them in service to the already comfortable.
Our portfolio companies are led by entrepreneurs whose commitment to the communities they serve are genuine and comes from having lived or worked within them. A majority of them are people of color or women. However, we didn’t invest in them because of their race or gender; we invested in them because they had valuable lived experience — and that is the standard that has consistently translated into success for us.[…]
The full and original article can be viewed on Locavesting.com
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