Since 1995, as part of its mission to promote and celebrate the achievements of women, YW Boston has held the Academy of Women Achievers celebration. This is an event through which they recognize and honor some of Boston’s brightest, boldest, bravest and most influential women. BII’s CEO Betty Francisco was among the Honorees for the 26th Annual Celebration in 2021.
Caribbean Integration Community Development (CICD) is a non-profit housing and community development organization that creates and maintains affordable housing in areas of Boston with large numbers of people of Caribbean descent. The organization’s first affordable housing development is Cote Village in Mattapan, which will be permanently affordable and meet LEED Silver Sustainability Standards. In 2021, BII extended a line of credit to CICD to smooth cash flows and facilitate its growth. Learn more
Caraballo Accounting provides accounting and HR services and training to Latinx small business owners in Eastern MA. Through cultural competence and Spanish-language instruction, they are addressing barriers for local entrepreneurs looking to launch, grow or expand their businesses. They have partnered with various Latinx organizations to address the need for advisory support and small-business coaching and serve the communities of Lowell, Lawrence, and Worcester. In 2021, BII made a loan for expanding the team and building out an online training platform. Learn more
Roundhead Brewing is the first Latinx-owned craft brewery in Massachusetts. The solar-powered brewery will open in 2021 in Hyde Park. The brewery aims to be a community space that will sell a variety of craft beers and fresh pizza in the taproom and beer in cans to-go. In 2021, BII invested in a term loan as part of a larger equipment financing facility in partnership with RSF Social Finance to purchase electric brewing equipment. Learn more
Waku produces and sells horchata lojana, an ancient Andean herbal beverage that promotes a healthy gut. A Latinx-owned business, Waku sources its herbal ingredients from small-scale indigenous farmers in Ecuador at fair prices and has pursued organic certification for many of its ingredients. After producing and bottling its products in Ecuador, Waku distributes them in New England stores and through its website direct to customers. In 2021, BII provided a line of credit to support the company’s continued growth in the years to come. Learn more
Boston Impact Initiative published its 2020 Impact Report highlighting the resilient community of small businesses in Eastern Massachusetts and nascent economic justice investment funds across the country. 2020 was no ordinary year! The COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, paired with the renewed struggle for racial justice, made 2020 particularly challenging for BIPOC leaders. Through the generosity of supporters, we came together to provide BIPOC small businesses and workers with much-needed assistance by disbursing grant funds, putting in hundreds of hours of technical assistance and collaborating with partners to advocate for the needs of BIPOC-owned small businesses.
“Despite the odds, our portfolio companies demonstrated courage and resilience by creatively pivoting business models, relentlessly pursuing relief funds, and surviving–until they can once again thrive. Amid the uprisings in their cities, [fund-building] cohort members demonstrated leadership and engaged new and broad-based support for investing with a racial justice lens. We are living through a defining moment, and our collective ability to act with care, generosity and justice is being tested.”
– Excerpt from the letter from BII President and Founder, Deborah Frieze
In the BII Fund, our impact continues to have a positive effect on the community:
- The portfolio is majority run, governed and staffed by people of color;
- Total compensation in the portfolio was $28.5 M;
- The portfolio pays the vast majority of its workers above living wage; and
- Despite the pandemic, most companies grew revenue and raised follow-on capital.
We invite you to read more here.