Union shop, Synergy Contracting Receives Financing from BII

Synergy Contracting is a fully bonded, unionized, woman-owned construction company specializing in Environmental Remediation, Demolition, and Cleaning Construction Services based in Lawrence, MA. Jeysi Zuniga, the founder and CEO, is an immigrant from Guatemala and is determined to provide opportunities and entry points for women in the construction industry. In 2022, BII provided a line of credit to smooth cash flows as the company grows. Learn more

Our CEO, Betty Francisco was named among Boston Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Bostonians!

“Partnering with everyone from HBS to City Hall, Francisco continues to put her stamp on Boston while working to fulfill BII’s mission to close the city’s racial wealth gap.” Read more.

California-based impact investor Pacific Community Ventures includes a case study on BII as one of the most promising practices and resources

A new report from California-based impact investor Pacific Community Ventures includes a case study on BII as one of the most promising practices and resources that can help companies and investors integrate negative impact management into their impact measurement and management (IMM) approach. Read more.

Our founder and Board Chair Deborah Frieze spoke on an NPQ panel titled, What’s investment risk and who bears it?

Watch the recording to hear about strategies to shift risk to those who can bear it and build wealth-building in low-income communities. Watch here.

Honoring BII’s Black Business Owners

At BII, are proud to honor and celebrate the Black Business Owners in our portfolio for Black History Month! The present and former BII portfolio company leaders reflect the depth of talent across sectors that is present among Black businesses in Eastern Massachusetts. They range from food businesses to education technology startups, and construction companies to community centered nonprofits, among many others!

LEARN MORE ABOUT BII’S BLACK BUSINESSES

Joanna Smith-Griffin is the founder and CEO of AllHere, an AI-powered technology solution for K-12 schools to increase student participation in school, reduce the dropout rate, and build engagement.

Donald Donaldson is the founder and president of Beantown Builders, a general contracting firm that specializes in residential remodeling projects in the Greater Boston area

Helen Adeosun is co-founder and CEO of CareAcademy, an online education platform that provides caregivers with high-quality training to improve their skills and deliver the best care to older adults.

Donald Alexis is a community organizer and advocate for affordable housing in Mattapan. He founded CICD to work with municipalities and developers to provide affordable housing in communities of Caribbean descent.

Carlene O’Garro is owner of Delectable Desires Pastries, where she makes gourmet baked goods from scratch, specializing in special event cakes.

Kamaal Jarrett is the founder of Hillside Harvest, a condiment company making hot sauces and marinades inspired by Caribbean flavors.

Omo Moses is the founder of MathTalk PBC, a community-focused education technology company that aims to increase early math skills, especially among children of color.

Florence Furaha is co-founder and CEO of Meetcaregivers, a home healthcare business that connects families with pre-screened and qualified caregivers for their elders.

Michele Corton-Brown is board president and former CEO of Quality Interactions, an e-learning platform that provides cultural competency training for professionals in healthcare and other sectors.

Tartts Day Care Centers is a family-owned business that provides quality childcare services. Founded by African-American nurse Bessie Tartt Wilson in 1946, the company is now run by second, third, and fourth generation family members, Mary L. Reed (President), Wanda Geer (CEO), Ken Reed (COO), Nidia Wright Adjety (VP).

Malia Lazu is an award winning, tenured strategist in diversity & inclusion. She founded The Lazu Group to bring a new approach to DEI that helps people forge better connections, resulting in happier individuals and healthier companies.

Dr. Tariana V. Little is the co-founder and CEO of EmVision Productions. She developed the Social Impact Storytelling™ framework that helps businesses and organizations convey their value and values.

Cassandria Campbell is co-founder of Fresh Food Generation, a restaurant, food truck and catering business serving on-the-go real foods. The company sources ingredients from local farms and prepares meals inspired by Latin American and Caribbean cuisine.

JC Burton is the founder and CEO of Maven Construction, a general contracting firm that provides construction management services, while focusing on hiring diverse workers and subcontractors.

Teresa Maynard is a community activist and the founder of Sweet Teez Bakery, a nut-free bakery located in Commonwealth Kitchen in Dorchester.

Patricia Spence is the CEO of the Urban Farming Institute, located at the historic Fowler Clark Epstein Farm in Mattapan. It provides farmer training, creates green collar jobs and engages urban communities in building a healthy, local food system.

Hillside Harvest Receives Revenue-Based Loan for Growth

Hillside Harvest is a Caribbean-American natural condiment brand that sells at regional grocery stores, local farmers markets, direct-to-consumer on their website, and even at Fenway Park! Hillside Harvest has developed three hot sauce flavors and two Jamaican jerk marinades. Founder Kamall Jarrett’s vision was to create a brand that would bring the Caribbean flavors of his heritage out of the specialty international markets and into mainstream supermarket aisles. In 2022, BII partnered with other investors to make a loan to Hillside Harvest with a revenue-based repayment structure to fuel the company’s early growth. Learn more.

BII Extends Line of Credit to The Lazu Group

The LAZU Group is a DEI services firm that offers strategies for product development, marketing, talent recruitment and retention, and community engagement. They use a motivational-based approach designed with the principles of community organizing, traditional DEI, and mental health, to help people create better personal and professional connections, ultimately resulting in happier individuals and healthier organizations. In 2021, BII provided a line of credit to The LAZU Group to smooth cash flows as the company grows. Learn more

BII Invests in Lawrence Manufacturer, 99 Degrees

99 Degrees Custom is an apparel manufacturer in Lawrence, MA. With fast turnaround times and a skilled staff, they aim to produce performance activewear and wearable technology faster than any factory in western hemisphere. The company is dedicated to creating quality jobs for its 350+ employees by paying living wages with a path to $35/hour, providing frequent training, and benefits like health insurance, life insurance and paid vacation. In 2021, BII provided a subordinated loan to 99 Degrees Custom for expansion of the factory. Learn more

BII and Portfolio Company CASABE Featured on Chronicle 5

Boston Impact Initiative’s Impact Director, Aliana Pineiro was interviewed alongside entrepreneur and owner of CASABE Fruit Store & Deli, Wendy Luzon for a segment about Hispanic Heritage Month on Chronicle 5 on Sept 16th.

Watch here

Eastie Farm Receives Financing for Grants & Contracts

Eastie Farm is a community-based nonprofit focused on climate justice, food access, and building-community resilience. They address these issues through creating green spaces throughout East Boston. With the help of neighborhood volunteers, they have transformed several vacant lots into community gardens. In 2021, BII provided a line of credit to Eastie Farm to finance grants and contracts from city and state agencies, as well as foundations. Learn more