Missed the Regenerative Harvest Portfolio info session? See the recording and slides here.
The best anti-racism advice I’ve gotten so far is from my teammate Louise Jordan: Whatever we do, we have to stop recreating the same narrative. Unfortunately, many of the actions we White people take end up reinforcing existing power dynamics and telling the same, false story—that Black people and people of color have inherent risk and problems and that White people must “save” them from themselves.
The inaugural cohort of Community Finance Fellows—Louise Jordan, Andrew Moncada, Benson Ochira, Essence Rodriguez, Crystal Sevilla— impress and inspire us every day and it’s not fair to keep their wisdom to ourselves. So we invited them to share their thoughts on how finance can invoke true racial and economic justice. The fellows’ perspectives and lived experiences give us invaluable insight into how we can use finance as a tool for real impact.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated the effects of centuries of racist policies. If we don’t act fast, this crisis will rob our communities of vibrancy, diversity, and strength for many generations to come. The current global recognition of the deep roots of racism reinforces how critical it is to use all the tools in one’s toolbox to advance racial justice. As such, finance can and should be used as a tool for change in advancing economic and health equity in our communities. Together, we can turn the tide.
During times of crisis, it’s even more critical to uphold our values and stand up for those who are denied the right to stand up for themselves. Join our fight for immigrant rights by joining the Freedom100 Circle, a one-year commitment where members engage with Freedom for Immigrants and Mission Driven Finance to launch and grow our Freedom100 Bond Fund, while educating the public about the U.S. immigration detention system and community-based alternatives to detention.
WES Mariam Assefa Fund, one of the visionary supporters of the Community Finance Fellowship, spotlights Mission Driven Finance.
The San Diego County COVID-19 Small Business & Nonprofit Loan Program (SBNLP) is designed to help the small businesses and nonprofits at the heart of our community get back on track.
While sheltering-in-place during a pandemic, we welcomed five Community Finance Fellows to our team in March to begin learning in a virtual environment: Louise Jordan, a renewed San Diegan with a legal background who moved back from Virginia to join us; Andrew Moncada, a financial analyst from Florida who wants to run his own impact investment firm one day; Benson Ochira, a refugee from Uganda with a degree in business management; Essence Rodriguez, an undergrad research fellow with the U.S. Immigration Policy Center; and Crystal Sevilla, an executive assistant from San Diego with a deep interest in economics and finance. See how they are learning during a pandemic.
The COVID-19 crisis has forced small businesses and nonprofits around the world, including our Advance borrowers, to forget business as usual and respond in creative ways to best serve their community and survive—quickly. From delivering essential household goods and locally sourced food to staying connected with families by livestreaming nature walks, these businesses and organizations demonstrate the flexibility, resilience, and heart that make small businesses critical for communities to thrive.
The Way Back uses trauma-informed care in its client activities—clinical groups, education groups, mindfulness meditation, relapse prevention groups, codependency groups, anger management, emotional regulation, and individual psychotherapy. “We are training men to be better fathers, better husbands, better employees, to stay out of prison, to work, to communicate,” says The Way Back Executive Director Chris Thomas, a licensed therapist who has been sober for 25 years. “Men are an important part of family structure, and addiction is a family disease.”
We’re sharing with you—our community—the same message for small businesses and nonprofits that we provided to our active borrowers. During this challenging time, stay true to your values and support each other. None of us will come out of this unchanged. See our COVID-19 resources for small businesses and nonprofits.
In our quest to increase economic opportunity for underestimated groups, we knew we’d want to emphasize supporting women and girls. With a diverse and largely female team, empowering more women has always felt natural to us. We’ve long wanted to connect the resources and needs of our community in new intentional ways that make a real impact on gender inequality.
Mission Driven Finance has been named as an Emerging Impact Manager in ImpactAssets’ IA50 2020, a publicly available, online database for impact investors, family offices, financial advisors and institutional investors that features a diversified listing of private capital fund managers that deliver social and environmental impact as well as financial returns.
The best way to celebrate Black History Month this year? Shop at local Black-owned small businesses.
If your business is too big for microfinance and SBA loan but too small for traditional banks, our impact-based loans can fill the gap.
With 2019 officially behind us, our team took a second to celebrate our favorite wins, which helps us to also look forward and set goals for 2020.
Impact investing can unlock urgently needed finance quickly by using a catalytic model. The Freedom100 Fund combines the power of impact investing with Freedom for Immigrants’ proven national bond model to give immigrants a fighting chance at freedom by paying their bond and reconnecting them with loved ones and legal services, at no cost to the family.
The following handpicked businesses are sure to satisfy everyone on your list while supporting local business owners who care about our community.
By focusing on underinvested communities, the Community Finance Fellowship is an accessible on-ramp for a traditionally inaccessible sector.