US Economy

Impact Funding: Leveraging Private Capital to Address Complex Societal Issues

November 12, 2020  • Socrates Program

The COVID pandemic has not only revealed pressing inequalities and weaknesses in our healthcare system, but also larger societal ills such as racial injustice and inequity and the disparate impact of climate change. These longstanding issues have been heightened and brought to the fore by the pressures of the pandemic. Public policy and governmental efforts have failed to close these gaps and create sustainable solutions and many are realizing that without the investment and commitment of the private sector, change will continue to be illusory. Answering the call, private funds are stepping up to address how they can leverage the capital they hold to address these society-wide issues. One such effort, the $200 million Impact Fund recently launched by Citi, is making investments in double bottom-line startups with an emphasis on women and minority entrepreneurs. This is the largest fund of its kind to be launched by a bank using its own capital. Big challenges require an “everything on the table” approach, which requires ideas and participation from diverse founders, leaders, workforces and customers.

Bruce Schlein, Director of Impact Investing and Resource Efficiency Finance at Citi was joined by Antwanye Ford, President and CEO, Enlightened, Inc, to discuss how business leaders and fund managers can leverage their real and social capital to effect change on complex society-wide issues where public policy responses are not sufficient. How can private capital partner with public entities to maximize impact and effect real change?

You can revisit the conversation by watching the video. Please see the references below to learn more about the Citi Impact Fund and Enlightened, Inc.