For over a decade, Living Cities’ impact investing work has helped us test innovative approaches to spark and accelerate social change. Our commitment to using capital to achieve better outcomes for people in US cities, is aligned with our organizational priorities and reflected in our race-centric impact strategy. That’s why we are thrilled to announce that the Catalyst Fund and the Blended Catalyst Fund have been selected to the ImpactAssets 50, a publicly available showcase that recognizes a diverse group of impact investment fund managers who demonstrate a commitment to generating positive social, environmental and financial impact!
With record applicants from a variety of sectors, this year’s showcase includes eleven impact funds with more than $1 billion in assets under management and a list of emergent impact managers with a tracked record of exploring alternative approaches to advance social change. This recognition is not only a testament of our commitment to using capital as catalyst for change, but an opportunity to share proof points on what it takes to invest in closing the racial wealth gaps, with the impact investing field.
Through our impact investments, we drive more capital to founders and fund managers of color to influence how the field assesses risk and shift the entities and individuals who get to access wealth-building opportunities. By testing innovative investing approaches and exploring alternative underwriting methods, the Blended Catalyst fund aims to disrupt racial income and wealth disparities that have been 400 years in the making.
The Catalyst Family of Funds
The Catalyst Fund and Blended Catalyst Fund are structured debt funds that advance Living Cities' programmatic initiatives. Through the Catalyst Family of Funds, we have deployed approximately $57 million and our 29 investments have leveraged over $1 billion in additional financing. Our second fund, the Blended Catalyst Fund (BCF), is in its deployment period and is actively seeking new investment opportunities.
Below are two examples of recent transactions:
UP Community Fund: The BCF made a $2.6 million loan to Up Community Fund, a lender that provides technical assistance and flexible capital in the form of loans ranging between $250k - $2mm to businesses owned by entrepreneurs of color in the Southeast. The $19.5mm Fund is focused on addressing the capital gap experienced by founders of color, which among many other factors, contributes to the staggering racial disparities in income and wealth.
The Massachusetts Pathways to Economic Advancement PFS Project (“MA Pathways”): The BCF made a $650,000 investment in the first Pay For Success (PFS) initiative in the nation to be focused exclusively on workforce development. Through the provision of vocational English classes, skills training and job access, this $12.43M Pay for Success project improves economic outcomes for approximately 2,000 English language learners living in low-income neighborhoods in the Greater Boston area.
We are especially honored to be part of such extraordinary group of leaders in the impact investing field this year, as we continue to implement our race-centric impact strategy. We are certain that we will continue to learn from their investing experience and commitment social and environmental impact.