Vote with Your Investment Dollars: And Other #GoodReads

Vote with Your Investment Dollars: And Other #GoodReads

This week’s round-up of articles, videos and other timely information covers promising ideas and fresh perspectives on capital innovation.

This week, our reading recommendations focus on putting the power of capital – private, public and philanthropic – to work as a tool to dramatically improve the lives of low-income people. At Living Cities, we work to develop, implement and test new capital strategies. We’re also on the look-out for innovative practices, new ideas and fresh perspectives from sources across the country and the globe. Today’s #GoodReads blog covers a few of those ideas and perspectives:

CEO Suggestion

Op-Ed: When Will Candidates Start Talking about The Economy? – By Mohamed A. El-Erian, The New York Times

Recommended by Ben Hecht, President and CEO, Living Cities

This op-ed, by Mohamed A. El-Erian, examines the economy’s stagnant recovery, the pressures on the Federal Reserve system, and the need to lay a groundwork for high, long-term and inclusive growth.


Filling the Funding Gap in ‘Pay for Success’ – Eileen Neely, Next Billion

Recommended by Nadia Owusu, Assistant Director of Strategic Communications and Storytelling

At Living Cities, we are exploring new ways to unlock private capital for social good, harnessing the collective power of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and institutions to develop, implement and evaluate strategies geared toward improving the lives of low-income people in America’s cities. Our Director of Capital Innovation, Eileen Neely wrote a blog for Next Billion that discussed one innovation that we are advancing in collaboration with Third Sector Partners: The Pay for Success “Construction Loan” is a first-of-its kind loan product designed to cover the upfront costs of constructing Pay for Success projects. Pay for Success works by allowing private and philanthropic funders to invest money in preventative social programs with the government only repaying them for successful outcomes. This allows governments to be more responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars by only funding projects that work.

How the Twin Cities Are Financing Immigrant Entrepreneurs – by Oscar Perry Abello, Next City

Recommended by Tiffany Ferguson, Associate, Public Sector Innovation

As our country’s demographics continue to rapidly shift, there will be more conversations about how best to support and serve the needs of an ever-diversifying populace. Minneapolis might have some ideas about small business development for immigrant entrepreneurs. This article highlights some great work being done to provide small business loans to thriving businesses led by Minnesota citizens of African origin.

TedTalk: Why we need to prioritize investing for social change – By Audrey Choi, Morgan Stanley

Recommended by Elizabeth Vargas, Associate, Strategic Communications and Engagement

I’ll leave you with this provoking TedTalk that explores whether capital in the hands of individuals can become a catalyst for social change? In her talk, Audrey Choi, CEO of Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing and Living Cities Board Member, asserts that you should, “Vote with your investment dollars the way you do with your lattes.”


Latest Articles

How 2020’s “Year of Reckoning” Shaped What Comes Next for Closing the Gaps

In 2020, Living Cities launched the  “Closing the Gaps” Network, paired with a cohort of cities participating in a “Year of Reckoning” initiative. This foundational year brought together leadership in six cities–Austin, Albuquerque, Memphis, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Rochester–to interrogate how racism has shaped their cities, to organize together to implement policies and practices that would build wealth for BIPOC …

Wealth Beyond Survival

People of color are reported to be on track to become the country’s new majority by 2045. Knowing this, government leaders, private investors and philanthropic funders need to have a more comprehensive understanding of the challenge ahead: For people of color, starting a business, though a risky endeavor–especially compared to the experience of white entrepreneurs–is only the beginning of the …

Supporting and Growing Overlooked Entrepreneurs with Urban Innovation Fund

In 2012, Julie Lein and Clara Brenner started Tumml, an urban ventures accelerator with a mission to empower entrepreneurs to solve urban problems. Through their experience with Tumml, Julie and Clara saw how investors can overlook certain types of entrepreneurs, mostly women and people of color. Building on their experience, Lein and Brenner founded Urban Innovation Fund (UIF) as first-time …

1863 Ventures Seeks to Close the ‘Friends and Family’ Financing Gap for New Majority Entrepreneurs

Melissa Bradley understands how barriers to capital for entrepreneurs of color hurt our economy and our communities. “There is clearly a cost if we do not invest in diversity,” said Bradley, founder of 1863 Ventures. “We miss out on great returns when we are not inclusive in our investment theses. There are opportunity costs for all of us.” She cites …

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