Ep 38 - Accelerating investment into diverse emerging fund managers
Don't miss the coming deadline for Spring Activator's Angels for Climate Solutions Startup & Investor Training Program!
Here’s what’s included in this edition of the newsletter:
Spring Activator’s Angels for Climate Solutions - Startup & Investor Training Program
Ep 38 of the podcast is live!
What I’m reading/listening to
What’s on tap
Help me build out an infographic on the Canadian Impact Investing landscape
Are you passionate about accelerating tech-driven climate solutions?
This is a crucial time to drive climate-focused innovation through impact investing, and Spring Activator has teamed up with Vancouver Economic Commission, Innovate BC, Volition, and Foresight Canada to help you make this happen. Angels for Climate Solutions—open to applicants from the Cascadia region—is a program where investors will navigate the ins and outs of early-stage investing while learning more about some of British Columbia's emerging climate-focused startups. At the end of this virtual, interactive program, investors will collectively award $100,000 to one winning business. Learn more and apply HERE.
Sponsored by Spring Activator
🎙 Ep 38 - Accelerating investment into diverse emerging fund managers
Today there is a growing recognition that we need to get far more capital into the hands of people who have been systematically excluded from entrepreneurship. Historically capital has disproportionately been allocated to a very narrow slice of entrepreneurs who are ivy league educated, white men. Meanwhile, women, people of colour, LGBTQ and Indigenous communities, and many others have been systematically excluded.
And while today there is a growing number of funds, incubators, and accelerators that have been established to get capital into the hands of a much more diverse group of entrepreneurs, we still have a long way to go.
According to RateMyInvestor and Diversity VC's second "Diversity in U.S. Startups" report, "VC-backed startups in the United States are still significantly male (89.3%), white (71.6%), based in Silicon Valley (35.3%) and Ivy-educated (13.7%)."
Part of the problem is that those who allocate capital to entrepreneurs (e.g. fund managers) are still mostly represented by wealthy white men. According to our next guest's research, of the roughly $70 trillion of investment assets in the United States, just about 1% is managed by diverse asset managers.
In this episode, we're joined by Bahiyah Yasmeen Robinson, Founder & CEO of VC Include. What distinguishes Bahiyah's efforts are that while others are focused on supporting diverse entrepreneurs, Bahiyah's efforts are focused on supporting diverse fund managers. Bahiyah's expertise in leading technology, investment, and social impact initiatives since the early 2000s culminated in her creating VC Include in 2018 to build platforms and programs for diverse emerging managers globally. VC Include was established to meet the market opportunity by building an ecosystem of women, Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ fund managers.
During the episode, we discuss who and why certain groups of people get systematically excluded from the private equity industry, conscious vs unconscious bias, the moral imperative, structural inequalities, and how VC Include supports diverse emerging fund managers to overcome the hurdles that prevent them from raising and managing more capital.
Resources from this episode:
Gender Lens Investing In and By Private Market Funds, During the Global COVID-19 Pandemic: a View from Capital Connect written by Bahiyah Robinson and Suzanne Biegel
Convergence State of Blended Finance 2021 Report Launch
Wednesday, Oct 27 (9am - 10:30am ET)
This year's report provides an updated analysis of the blended finance market, including blending approaches, sectors, regions and investor trends. For the first time, the report will also include a thematic focus on how to achieve scale in the blended finance market, highlighting key challenges and recommendations. The report will include guest op-eds from prominent stakeholders (e.g. BlackRock, USAID, IFC) in the blended finance market, including development agencies, MDBs and DFIs, think tanks, and private investors.
💼 Job Opportunities
Associate Director, Knowledge & Thought Leadership - Convergence Blended Finance (based in Toronto, ON or Washington, DC)
Investor Officer, Sustainable Energy - Deetken Impact (based in San Jose, Costa Rica or other locations in Central America, Mexico or Vancouver are possible)
Portfolio Manager, Olamina Fund - Candide Group (based in Oakland, CA but open to remote arrangements)
Chief Investment Officer - InBC (a newly created Crown corporation responsible for a $500-million strategic investment fund created by the government of British Columbia)
Director, Impact Investments - Social Finance Inc. (based in Boston, MA or one of a number of other US cities)
Mercy Corps Ventures Investment Principal (FinTech & Crypto) - Ventures - Mercy Corps (based in Washington, DC but can be based out of one of several offices)
📰 What I’m reading
Investing to Address Gender-Based Violence (Joy Anderson writing for Tiedemann Advisors)
Opinion: The Disbursement Quota Should Increase to 5% - But An Increase Alone Isn’t Good Enough (Sara Krynitzki & MJ Sinha for Future of Good)
7 Gender-Smart Ways to Invest in Men and Boys (Suzanne Biegel, LinkedIn)
🎙 Upcoming Podcast Episodes
Farahnaz Karim of Insaan Group (a boutique impact investment entity that allocates philanthropic capital to tackle poverty in the Global South) to discuss their work in catalytic philanthropy. The organization does this by using donations to invest in early-stage ventures that create employment and/or deliver a product or service relevant to the poor. It then re-invests all revenues from these investments in new ventures.
Denise Hearn, Founder, Advisor, & Author (check out her new blog Emodied Economics) joins us to discuss the problems with ESG and impact investing and more broadly, the market dynamics underpinning Capitalism itself.
💁♂️ Help me map out the Canadian impact investing landscape
I am building an infographic that maps out the lay of the land of impact investing in Canada. The infographic is designed to help viewers, in a single glance, get a handle on the major players across the impact investment landscape in Canada.
Keep in mind, this is a work in progress. There are three ways you can help:
Provide any feedback you have on how I’ve defined or organized the categories. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let me know if there are any great organizations you know of that I should make sure get added. Send to email@example.com.
If you represent an organization and would like to be included, please complete this form.