Blending Capital for Impact

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Dear Impact Aficionados,

Join us for our next NEIII event on Thursday, March 30 from 6-8pm at the Legatum Center at MIT in Cambridge.

We are thrilled to welcome three pioneers in impact investing as our guests; Deborah Frieze from the Boston Impact Initiative (http://bostonimpact.com/), Jessica Brooks from Boston Community Capital (http://bostoncommunitycapital.org/), and Lor Holmes of CERO (http://www.cero.coop/). They will lead us through a provocative discussion on our local impact economy and the necessity of using blended finance to achieve their impact objectives.

As with all of our events, this one will be interactive. The workshop will take us through a real-life case study, giving participants an opportunity to step into the role of impact investor or entrepreneur. We will have three impact investing vignettes, each focusing on a different stage in an organization's lifecycle of growth. Groups will have an opportunity to analyze each scenario, present their recommendations, and receive feedback from the panel about what actually occurred.

Following the case study, we will open the floor for a deep-dive conversation on the challenges and opportunities around impact investing and the role of blended capital. The goal of the workshop is to help answer the following questions:

* What does the phrase "blended capital" mean?

* Why do we need blended forms of capital in impact investing?

* How do different types of organizations use blended capital to implement their impact objectives?

About our guest speakers:

Deborah Frieze (http://deborahfrieze.com/#about) is the co-founder of The Boston Impact Initiative (BII) and is a pioneer in her beliefs about community and capital. BII’s goal is to fill a desperately needed funding gap in Boston’s most underserved neighborhoods by investing in organizations and initiatives, both for-profit and not-for-profit, that are committed to creating a better future for Boston’s youth and families. Deborah is an author and entrepreneur. She is well known in the Boston community for her work as an activist for social and economic justice. She will discuss BII’s use of “integrated capital” and share some of their success stories including their investment in CERO, a food waste composting cooperative.

Lor Holmes (http://www.cero.coop/meet-the-team.html) leads venture development and capitalization strategies for CERO. Lor shares a passion for sustainable economic development and democratic models of community ownership. She will speak about the impact that blended finance has had on CERO's business model.

Boston Community Capital (BCC) is a nonprofit community development financial institution. Founded in 1985 by a group of individuals from Old South Church with $3,500 in start-up funds, BCC had a vision of an organization that would stand at the intersection of downtown expertise and community values, bridging gaps between people and places to build a better world. Jessica Brooks (http://www.bostoncommunitycapital.org/about-us/bcc-staff) is the SVP of Development and Communications for BCC and has a wealth of experience in the social impact arena. She will talk about BCC's record of impact investment - over $1 billion in projects that provide affordable housing, good jobs, and new opportunities in low-income communities, connecting these neighborhoods to the mainstream economy.

Following the event, please join us at Commonwealth Market (http://commonwealthcambridge.com/dinner/) for complimentary appetizers and to further the conversation. This is a great way to meet and to get to know people involved in our local impact community.

We look forward to having you join us!

Thank you,

Brian Waldner

**For NEIII event announcements, reminders, and interesting articles, please follow us on Twitter @NEImpInvIni (https://twitter.com/NEImpInvIni)