The “Force for Good Fund,” a project of Community Ventures with support from LIFT Economy, invests in women and people of color-owned businesses that are creating an outsized positive impact on society and the environment.
The Force for Good Fund (http://www.lifteconomy.com/forceforgood) announced today that it has raised $1M to nurture, grow, and launch women and people of color-owned, “Best for the World” B Corporations (i.e., companies that score in the top 10% of B Corps worldwide). The fund is designed to demonstrate that a more diverse and inclusive economy is possible–where enterprises can provide needed goods and services while creating outsized beneficial impact for people and planet.
The Force for Good Fund is important because it is incredibly difficult for early-stage, socially and environmentally responsible businesses run by women and people of color to access capital.
“We are incredibly excited to launch this project,” said Jenny Kassan, President of Community Ventures (the non-profit that hosts the Force for Good Fund). “We believe that this is an innovative opportunity to support female entrepreneurs with the guidance, access to capital, and connections they need in order to be successful,” said Kassan.
The Force for Good Fund initially raised over $400,000 from 100 investors during an investment crowdfunding campaign in the Fall of 2016. This fundraising campaign was conducted under a new federal crowdfunding exemption created under the JOBS Act. An additional $600,000 was raised from accredited investors by the end of July 2017. Clearinghouse CDFI, a Best for the World B Corporation, was the largest investor with a $100,000 investment.
“Our mission is to finance economic opportunity and improve lives in low-income and distressed communities,” said Doug Bystry, President and CEO of Clearinghouse CDFI. “We are pleased to invest in the Force for Good Fund, which will provide opportunities for women and people of color-owned businesses. We hope this fund can serve as a future model for B Corps to invest in small businesses benefiting these underserved populations.”
LIFT Economy, another Best for the World B Corp, has partnered with Community Ventures to help manage the Force for Good Fund, vet prospective investees, and provide technical assistance to entrepreneurs who are successfully admitted to the program. Ryan Honeyman, Partner at LIFT Economy and author of The B Corp Handbook, said “Our ultimate goal is to create an economy that works for the benefit of all life. We don’t believe this is possible without more women and people of color in charge.”
The Force for Good Fund plans to make a total of ten $100,000 investments. Some of the early investees include Spotlight:Girls, whose mission is to educate, inspire, and activate girls and women to take center stage; The Town Kitchen which delivers chef-crafted meals and employs underserved youth in Oakland, CA; and Community Services Unlimited, South Los Angeles’s first organic produce market and local food hub.
To learn more about the Force for Good Fund, visit: