EdTech Startup, AllHere, Receives Equity Financing from BII

We’re proud to announce an equity investment in AllHere, a software startup founded and headquartered in Boston that combats absenteeism in public school districts through technological services. Founded by Joanna Smith, a woman of color and a former district attendance and family engagement coordinator for the Boston Public Schools, this platform helps educators document absences, recognize patterns of absenteeism, and create action plans. AllHere’s products have been shown to successfully recover 47% of truant students, reduce chronic absenteeism by 30%, and improve the attendance of 83% of all students!
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, these services are more vital than ever. In the words of founder Joanna Smith, “Equity is absolutely at stake. When school returns this fall, there will likely be an increase in distance or remote learning, or blended in-class and remote learning, and with that, students of color and students in Boston whose families are facing economic challenges will need our collective support, more than ever.”
We look forward to supporting AllHere’s indispensable work in our schools and communities.

BII is hiring an Investment Director

JOB DESCRIPTION

Investment Director

Location: Boston, MA

Industry: Non-profit / Financial Services

Employment Type: Full-time

 

Contact:  Please send a resume and cover letter to jobs@bostonimpact.com

Please include INVESTMENT DIRECTOR in the title of your email. 

 

Overview

The Boston Impact Initiative Fund is an impact investing fund dedicated to closing the racial wealth divide. We invest integrated capital (equity, debt and grants) in regenerative local enterprises that restore the productive capacity of communities of color in Eastern Massachusetts. We are a 501(c)3 charitable loan fund that has raised $7M from values-aligned accredited and non-accredited investors.

We are seeking a full-time Investment Director to partner with our Impact Director in developing and managing a strong and vibrant portfolio. We are seeking someone who shares our beliefs that:

  • Current capital markets aren’t working
  • Investment decisions should not be strictly financial
  • We have much to learn from emerging models of impact investing, solidarity economics and justice movements

As Investment Director, you’ll identify innovative and inclusive opportunities for lending and investing, manage and monitor portfolio performance, and build partnerships with local organizations. The successful candidate has experience in deal origination, financial analysis, capital structuring and portfolio management, and a willingness to apply those skills in directing capital toward racial justice.

The Investment Director will maintain good relations and integrity in the community and in transactions with prospective and completed investments. We are committed to healthy, long-term relationships with our portfolio companies, providing technical assistance so we can support their efforts to grow their business and deepen their social impact. An essential responsibility of this position is to model what can be done with capital and partnerships to help build a resilient and equitable local economy.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Serve in a high-visibility leadership role to help transform local economy investing practices
  • Identify opportunities for investing, lending and grantmaking
  • Perform robust investment analysis, due diligence and market research
  • Select and present investment opportunities to investment committee
  • Coordinate closing process, including impact covenants and capital disbursement
  • Maintain healthy relationships with all portfolio organizations by supporting them in increasing financial resilience and social impact
  • Measure and track portfolio companies to ensure they meet impact and financial targets and reporting obligations

DESIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE

  • Minimum 5 years’ experience in lending and/or investing
  • Demonstrated interest in and understanding of economic justice, racial justice, gender equity, sustainability, and/or related topics
  • Possess analytical skills and an interest in financial markets, public policy and social and environmental issues
  • Excellent skills in quantitative analysis and creative approach to structuring debt and equity investments
  • Ability to be self-directed; entrepreneurial experience a plus
  • Willingness to continuously learn and adapt
  • Resourceful, proactive, able to prioritize and navigate in a fast-paced team-oriented environment.
  • Strong project management skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills including verbal and written communication
  • Excellent organization, attention to detail and follow-through.
  • Experience living and working in Boston a plus
  • Bilingual in Spanish a plus

The Boston Impact Initiative Fund is an equal opportunity employer. Boston residents, women, people of color, immigrants, queer and gender nonconforming people strongly encouraged to apply.

BII Releases its 2019 Impact Report

In the first quarter of 2020, 25 of BII Fund’s portfolio companies completed their impact assessments, providing data and analysis on how effective they were at increasing wealth and power for communities of color. Here are a few highlights from what we learned:

The portfolio is majority governed, run and staffed by people of color. It pays the vast majority of its workers well above a living wage, and even the average hourly wage paid to lowest paid employees far exceeds the living wage. Wages are equitably distributed-the ratio between highest and lowest paid worker is only 2.2 to 1, and there is no gender wage gap. The number of jobs in the portfolio increased by 150% over 2018.

Read the full impact report here.

Nonprofit Futuro Media Group Receives BII Loan

Futuro Media Group creates multimedia content for and about underrepresented narratives in an increasingly diverse world. Founder Maria Hinojosa is an award-winning news anchor and reporter who has covered America’s untold stories for over two decades.

In 2019, BII provided a bridge loan to cover costs until a MacAurthur Foundation grant was paid. In 2020, BII provided a term loan and a line of credit for growth and navigation of funding cycles. We are thrilled to be working with this innovative and diverse organization again!

Quality Interactions receives second BII Investment

Quality Interactions is an e-learning platform that provides cultural competency training for healthcare professionals. The platform helps healthcare providers reduce unconscious bias and as a result improve health outcomes for patients of all cultural backgrounds, including people of color, immigrant, bilingual and LGBTQ patients, and those who are uninsured. The company’s clients include Mass General Hospital, Aetna, and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. In 2019, Quality Interactions partnered with the Mayo Clinic on a large deal that has set the company up well for the next stage of growth.

In 2018, BII Fund made a convertible debt investment to support product development and growth. In 2020, BII Fund made a second loan to support company growth as they service larger contracts and expand content. We are happy to be supporting them through this stage of their business!

BII Co-Founder Pens Article on the Power of Philanthropy

Deboarh Frieze, BII Board President and Co-Founder, co-authored an article with Tyler Nickerson of Amalgamated Bank in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Financial Leaders at America’s Foundations Have the Power to Reshape Philanthropy

“[I]t’s imperative that foundations unite their assets to advance goals for social change. More and more, chief financial officers and investment officials are joining forces with those who make grants to advance the cause of economic justice. But we need far more action because the money that asset managers control — already tax-advantaged, uniquely flexible, and approaching 1 trillion dollars in value — can transform our society.” Read the full article. 

BII Seeks Marketing and Impact Investing Interns

Boston Impact Initiative is looking for two interns for 2020 Spring and Summer. These are unpaid internships, but we can provide support needed to get school credit. See the descriptions below and email jobs@bostonimpact.com with a resume and brief cover letter if you’re interested! Deadline for applications for Spring is Feb 21.

Marketing Internship

BII is seeking a resourceful marketing intern at our South End office for 10 to 15 hours per week to write content for our website and social media channels and help with occasional event planning.

About you: Must have a demonstrated interest in social entrepreneurship, social justice, and/or impact investing. Can be studying communications, marketing, entrepreneurship or a related field. Must be an excellent writer, self-directed, and a quick learner.

Finance Internship

BII is seeking a motivated finance intern at our South End office for 10 to 15 hours per week to conduct financial research and analysis on small businesses in a variety of sectors.

About you: Must have classroom, internship or work experience conducting financial research and analysis. Can be studying business, economics, or math. Must have an analytical mind and experience with small businesses or social enterprises is a plus.

BII Fund-Building Cohort Featured in Next City

The BII Fund-Building Cohort was featured in Next City:

Sharing a Legal Template for Investing in Racial Justice by Oscar Perry Abello

“When Deborah Frieze goes out in search of new investors for the Boston Impact Initiative Fund, her pitch starts out with some pretty lofty goals, but then it goes a few degrees beyond some of the loftiest-sounding investment funds out there.” Read the full article.

BII Launches National Fund-Building Cohort

Seven years ago, we started the Boston Impact Initiative with a hypothesis and a dream. The hypothesis was that it was possible to create an integrated capital fund deploying equity, debt and grants to close the racial wealth divide in our extremely unequal community of Greater Boston. The dream was that if we were to prove this model out, we’d be able to share it with communities around the country who could, together, building a thriving national network of place-based funds dedicated to racial and economic justice.

Since then, we’ve put more than $6M to work at over 50 enterprises in Eastern Massachusetts that are majority governed, run and staffed by people of color, pay the vast majority of their workers well above a living wage and are building wealth for communities of color through enterprise ownership.

And now, we are embarking on the adventure of building the dream. This spring, 27 cohort members representing 12 communities will be joining the “BII Fund-Building Cohort,” an 18-month program through which existing and prospective fund managers from 12 communities will develop the financial rigor and multi-stakeholder engagement processes to structure, raise and manage a blended capital fund. The purpose of these funds is to build sustainable, inclusive and equitable local economies that restore the productive capacity of communities of color.

While each fund will be legally independent, uniquely designed to best fit its region and governed by community leaders, the funds will share core values, learning and relationships. They will opt in to share such tools and services as due diligence, impact assessments, impact covenants, investment management and fund accounting. They will be run by fund managers of color and women. Through this network, investors and philanthropists will be able to move hundreds of millions of dollars toward economic justice.

To learn more about these 27 extraordinary pioneers, please visit the BII Fund-Building Cohort page on our web site. Want to support this effort? We’re looking for co-investors, funders and partners both locally and nationally. We’d love to have you join us in this work.

Nonprofit EVKids receives BII investment

EVKids is a Boston-based nonprofit that matches area college students with school children to provide them with academic tutoring and mentorship. The organization’s summer camp also provides an opportunity for inner-city children to experience the outdoors. The nonprofit has experienced great success, with 100% of its students in the tutoring program graduating from high school, compared with just 72% of Boston public school students. Historically, all EVKids graduates go on to college or other post-secondary program. In 2019 BII provided a line of credit that will help EVKids navigate funding cycles. We are excited to welcome EVKids to the BII portfolio!