The Impact Investing Podcast

Interviewing the leaders in Impact Investing and Social and Environmental Entrepreneurship to help build and strengthen communities by sharing the best practices and inspiring stories of these amazing problem solvers.
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Aug 15, 2017

Rehana Nathoo joined the Case Foundation in 2016 as part of the Social Innovation team. She serves as Vice President of Social Innovation, focusing specifically on the Foundation’s efforts around Impact Investing.

A self-identifying New Yorker, Rehana previously worked at the Bank of New York Mellon to help design the firm’s Social Finance program. specifically working closely with the Wealth Management business to build internal expertise around Social Finance, and creating a prototype for the firm’s first Impact Investment Fund.

Most recently, an Adjunct Professor of CSR and Social Finance at NYU Wagner School of Public Service, and also worked and honed her skills a program associate at The Rockefeller Foundation, helping to manage the thought leadership efforts around Impact Investing and Innovative Finance.

Rehana and I have a wide ranging conversation, but dig in deep on the Case Foundations newest project, the Impact Investing Network Mapp. Fueled with publically available data, it's the first attempt to put all of the data around impact deals into one visual tool.  It's a bold new project, currently in the final leg of its open feedback period, after you listen to the podcast, make sure you go check out the map. Play with it, dive into it. What do you love about it, what's missing, and what potential do you see?  For me, I'm excited to see where impact deals are happening outside placed like the Valley and New York. Maybe we'll find some unlikely hotspots of impact. I'm also excited to see the definition of an "impact deal" continue to evolve and be solidified. I'm of the firm belief that there are far more "impact" companies out there that "non-impact" - and this map will be a tool to help increase and expand the public awareness of the space. 

Show notes and resources



Feb 28, 2017

For the past several years, John has been Director of Impact Capital at Santa Clara’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship and has also been a mentor to social entrepreneurs at the Global Social Benefit Accelerator.  In 2011 he authored a report on impact investing entitled Coordinating Impact Capital: a New Approach to Investing in Small and Growing Businesses and recently co-authored a chapter on equity investing in New Frontiers of Philanthropy (Oxford Press-2014).  He is now pioneering a new investment vehicle – the Demand Dividend - that presents investors with a ‘structured exit’ alternative to equity.  In addition, he is co-founder and Director of Toniic, a syndication network of impact investors.

John manages investments through Redleaf Venture Management, a venture capital operating company founded in 1993.  John's earlier background includes twenty years of executive level positions at Hewlett Packard, Silicon Graphics, Convergent Technologies and Unisys.  He was one of the founding executives at Netscape Communications. He led investments at AdRelevance (JMXI), Mosaic Communications (TWX), NetGravity (DCLK), RedCreek Communications (SNWL), and Wireless Online.  John serves as a board member at PACT, an NGO based in Washington D.C.  He received his bachelor’s degree concentrating in international economics from UCLA and completed executive programs at Wharton and Stanford business schools. Over the last 15 years, he was a managing member of the UCLA Venture Capital Fund and still serves on the UCLA Sciences Board of Visitors. Other recent advisory committees include the World Economic Forum, and HUB Ventures. 

John has a vast wealth of knowledge when it comes to financing early stage companies, and he is now applying his skill set to helping social entrepreneurs build investment ready companies at the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University. It's not often you get to have discussions with someone who launched the first micro VS firm back in 1993, and is now applying lessons learned from tech investing in Silicon Valley to the companies and entrepreneurs who are trying to build businesses addressing climate resilience, bottom of the pyramid customers, and is financing them through innovative means. Rather than always taking equity, there are alternative ways to fund social enterprise startups that align long term goals of both the investor and the company, and create a more sustainable model, and John is at the forefront of these methods.

 Show Notes and Resources:

Feb 1, 2017

"The capacity for truly independent thought is first of all rare, and second of all lonely. And so to pursue that as an investor is critically important, yet really, really difficult."

Matthew Weatherly-White is the co-founder and Managing Director of the CAPROCK Group. A multi-family office based in Boise,ID with over 2 Billion dollars under management.

Matthew has accomplished a ton, but maybe most interesting about him is his philosophical approach to investing, and the numerous mental models he applies to the endeavor.

If you’re interested in exploring philosophical questions within Impact Investing, this is the episode for you. From applying mental models to your investment approach, to evolution, tribalism and Adam Smith, to shareholder activism, opting out, and why true impact investors are still so rare, and what it takes to develop the required skills to be one - this episode is designed to make you think deeply about impact investing, and how the markets, and the people working in them, operate as a whole.

"If the enemy of the good is perfect, then capital doesn't flow for fear of being wrong or unprofessional, or years later being looked back at with derision."

Shaping The CAPROCK Group’s initiative in Impact Investing, Matthew is a sought-after speaker and thought leader in the discipline. In addition to keynoting the 2013 European Commission's Annual Award for Social Innovation, Matthew has guest-lectured on sustainable business management and non-financial value creation at Harvard, Tuck, Kellogg, Booth and the American University in Paris business schools, has presented at conferences throughout the US and Europe, serves as a strategic adviser to several Impact Investing funds, and has been quoted in Barron's, International Business Daily, Bloomberg Business Week, Forbes and The New York Times. More recently, he successfully shepherded two pieces of legislation through the Idaho Statehouse, the first authorizing Pay For Success Contracting and the second awarding legal status to businesses structured as Benefit Corporations.

Prior to co-founding The CAPROCK Group, Matthew was a partner in The Owyhee Group, a boutique advisory team within Smith Barney. During his fourteen years with the company, he was a member of Citigroup’s elite Leadership Development Program and helped craft the firm’s Private Wealth Management platform. Matthew graduated from Dartmouth College, has competed internationally in five different sports and continues to serve as a Director for the Lee Pesky Learning Center, an organization he helped launch nearly 20 years ago. When not working, Matthew can usually be found outside, running, skiing, mountaineering, cycling... and generally encouraging his daughter to enjoy wilderness with the same irrational exuberance as her father.​

Show Notes and Resources:


Dec 31, 2016

Kusi joined Global Partnerships June 2015. He is responsible for identifying and researching social impact and financial return potential of new investment initiatives, refining existing investment initiatives as well defining GP’s overall investment strategy. He also GP’s lead for agriculture and health sectors. Prior to joining GP, Kusi worked three years as a management consultant for Bain & Company in South America and five years as an Investment Officer for the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

In both roles he has published numerous papers on private sector development and impact investing. He also has extensive experience presenting at international forums such as the UNCTAD Global Conference on Trade and Investment, Latin America’s Impact Investing Forum and World Bank Groups FPD Forum. He holds a B.A. with honors in economics from the University of Pennsylvania, an MPA/ID from the Harvard Kennedy School where he won both Center for International Development (CID) and ICICI Bank fellowships; and an MBA from INSEAD Global Business School in Singapore where he was Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellow. Kusi is also co-leader of the Harvard Kennedy School Network for Washington state, a member of the Impact Hub global community, and serves as an adviser to various social entrepreneurs around the globe.

In this episode, Kusi takes us through a deep dive into his career path of economic development and impact investing, and discusses the great work Global Partnerships is doing to expand opportunity for people living in poverty in Latin America, the Caribbean and East Africa.

Show Notes and Resources:

Twitter: @impinvpodcast

Nov 9, 2016

Mark Horoszowski is co-founder and CEO of, a global platform that helps people volunteer their expertise with social impact organizations around the world, on their own or through corporate-sponsored programs. Since its launch in 2011, has already helped unleash over 5 million dollars worth of professional skills to social enterprises around the world and is the originator of the term, Experteering. Mark holds a Master's in Accounting and a BA in Business from the University of Washington, serves as a volunteer co-chairing the American Cancer Society's National Volunteer Leadership Team, and is a contributor at Huffington Post Impact.

Moving Worlds is also a B-corp that has taken investment from the impact investing group,  Investors Circle, and has gone through the challenges in taking a social enterprise from idea, to market, and scale.

In this interview, Mark and I dive deep into the hard and soft skills that are most needed in emerging markets, and the ones that can have the biggest impact in your impact career. Things like accounting, sales and marketing, and technical know-how are highly coveted skills abroad, and MovingWorlds gives individuals the opportunity to volunteer their unique skillsets to help social enterprises around the world solve their grand challenges.  Most importantly, Mark and I discuss the need for empathy when helping others, how to develop empathy, and how to make sure your impact is lasting, even after you’ve returned home from experteering.

Volunteering can change the direction of your career, and open doors you never would've imaged possible. It has played such a large role in Mark's life, and mine as well, so I cannot stress its importance enough. It's something I continue to do through organizations like SCORE and Maine Startup and Create Week, and I highly encourage anyone listening to find ways you can volunteer. Whether you go on an experteering trip with Moving Worlds, or just find an organization or cause in your local community. Volunteering can have a massive impact on not only your life, but the people you’re volunteering for. I believe the quality of our life is greatly influenced by the quality of people in our lives, and volunteering is a great way to exponentially increase both.

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Oct 12, 2016

Jean Case is the CEO of the Case Foundation and Chair of The National Geographic Society Board of Trustees. Currently an actively engaged philanthropist, investor and pioneer in the world of interactive technologies, her career in the private sector spanned nearly two decades before she and her husband, Steve Case, created the Case Foundation in 1997. A passionate believer in all things digital and the amazing potential of technology to change the world for the better, the Case Foundation is recognized for its innovative efforts to address significant social challenges, harnessing the best impulses of entrepreneurship, technology and collaboration to drive exponential impact.

In addition to her role as CEO of the Case Foundation and Chairman of the National Geographic Society Board of Trustees, Jean also serves on numerous other boards around the globe, all focused on the forefronts of innovation, diversity and the education of our emerging leaders. Jean has also repeatedly been recognized for her incredible work by a wide variety of organizations, receiving accolades such as top Business Women, "Most Admired Nonprofit CEO, and "one of the 9 Most Generous Tech Entrepreneurs" by Fast Company. Jean is also an active contributor to civil causes and Government. In June 2006, she was appointed by President George W. Bush to chair the President's Council on Service and Civil Participation, and the Case Foundation is known for their work promoting an inclusive society.

This conversation is a absolutely fantastic, as Jean and I talked about diversity in social entrepreneurship and impact investing, failure, innovation in government, the rise of conservation technology, the impact of millennials and much, much more.  To anyone looking for a role model on how to think about impact, how to lead, or how to leverage your work for the greatest good, Jean is your woman.





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Aug 31, 2016

Songbae Lee is a Senior Investment Officer at the Calvert Foundation, which is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), connecting individual investors with organizations working around the globe, developing affordable housing, creating jobs, protecting the environment, and working in numerous other ways for the social good.

Maybe the coolest part of Calvert Foundation is their community investment note run through - an investment vehicle open to anyone in the world with just $20. The investment is applied to Community Development Partners working with Calvert to lend to entrepreneurs who are growing their companies and projects focused on social good. And because I know many of you are wondering about it - yes, there is a financial return on investment. O

Prior to Calvert, Songbae worked abroad in numerous developmental finance roles, helping bring financial services to the under served, and using finance as a means to improve the quality of people’s lives. A main function of his job is to conduct due diligence on potential borrowing companies, as well as oversee Calvert’s international portfolio.

Songbae is the kind of guy you could talk to for hours, learning something insightful from him every five minutes. This episode is wide ranging, and is the most story packed interview to date. Filled with valuable advice on how to pursue your career in impact investing, the skills you need to develop to succeed in any professional endeavor, as well as stories of microfinance in domestic and foreign applications, what is was like working in the financial industry during 2008, how other parts of the world view American finance, and personal tales of failure, exploration and success.


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Twitter: @impinv



Twitter: @calvert_fdn




Jul 7, 2016

Jack Knellinger is the Principal and co-founder of Capria, the world's first VC accelerator focused on training the emerging wave of new impact investing fund managers.

Capria focuses on bringing in teams from developing nations, and teaches them how to operate fundraise and launch their impact focused VC firms in countries that traditionally don’t have experienced investors or a breadth of investors looking to invest in companies that are focused on social or environmental good. Capria also has a really intriguing model which does things such as allowing these emerging investors to put their investments on Capria’s balance sheet, which is incredibly helpful for these first time fund managers.

Led by an experienced team who also runs Unitus Seed Fund, Jack and the team at Capria are doing incredibly important work to spread the influence and implementation of impact investing globally. If you have any interest in launching your own fund, impact investing in parts outside the US, or are intrigued by the idea of an accelerator program for VC fund managers, this episode is a must listen.

Just one quick little side not for everyone listening before the start of the interview...Seattle has got a lot going on in the world of impact investing and for those of you who are unaware, I highly suggest poking your head around either in person or online and getting familiar with the work being done in the area. I think there are a lot of people and companies and names that over time will rise to the top and be some of the most recognizable in the industry.




Jack Knellinger


May 5, 2016

Clara Miller is President of the Heron Foundation, which helps people and communities help themselves out of poverty. Prior to assuming the foundation’s presidency, Miller was President and CEO of Nonprofit Finance Fund which she founded and ran from 1984 through 2010. In addition to serving on Heron's board, Miller is on the boards of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and she is a member of the U.S. Advisory Committee to the G8 on Impact investing, named in 2014. From 2010-2014 Miller was a member of the first Nonprofit Advisory Committee of the Financial Accounting Standards Board.

Ms. Miller speaks and writes extensively and has been published in The Financial Times, Stanford Social Innovation Review, The Nonprofit Quarterly and the Chronicle of Philanthropy, and her newest essay is titled Building a foundation for the 21st Century.

In 2015, Miller and Heron were named Investor of the Year by Institutional Investor Magazine in the category "small foundations."​ In 2014, Miller and Heron received the Prince's Prize for Innovative Philanthropy from the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the “Shining Star Award” from New York City performance space, PS122. She was awarded a Bellagio Residency in 2010 by The Rockefeller Foundation and was named to The NonProfit Times “Power and Influence Top 50” for the five years from 2006 through 2010.

Twitter: @ImpInvPodcast

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Clara Miller:

Apr 20, 2016

This Podcast is sponsored by Maine Startup and Create Week. This years conference is June 20th to 26th in Portand, ME and is going to be amazing! This year’s conference is focused on design and innovation. They’re bringing in some of the best minds to discuss and teach how entrepreneurs can use the skills that accompany great design and design thinking to help build better companies, products and solutions to the world's most pressing problems? Panels will cover topics ranging from a mixture of Biotech, Agricultural tech and innovation and environmental technology to health-care, disruption of the insurance industry, industrial 3D design and lessons from failed startups.

Keynote speakers so far for this year include Mike Perlis (president and CEO of Forbes Media), Heather Stephenson (Head of Brand Strategy at Super) and Peter Roper (Head of Mobile Brand Strategy at Google).

Last years conference drew over 4000 attendees and had 215 volunteers contributing over 10,000 hours.  Check out for more information. If you want to volunteer, attend or think you know a good speaker for the topics at this years conference, let them know.


Enter Michael “Luni” Libes

Michael Luni Libes is one of the most brilliant early stage impact investors. He’s also been known to play ahead of the curve (tablets and smartphones) and see the trends and revolutions coming, albeit sometimes he gets there too early. He also sees things differently and has been at the forefront of early and seed stage impact focused support and investing and for years. He’s a serial tech entrepreneur turned impact investor and ecosystem builder.

His company, Fledge, is an innovative model for all forms of accelerator and incubator programs, and are one with a model that allow companies to continue to receive support from the accelerator once their cohort graduates. Fledge’s innovative for-profit investment thesis allows companies to focus on the most important metric to their success - getting customers - while using a small portion of their revenues to gradually buy back equity from its investors. This models provides investors with a 4x return on their investment, and makes the ROI comparable to tech investing.

With the launch of Aviary, Luni has now built three major required pieces of a startup ecosystem. A pre-accelerator, an incubator/accelerator program, and now a seed stage impact investing fund. In this episode, Luni will give you the blueprint for how you can join him and start building an impact focused startup support ecosystem in your city.  

Admittedly Michael “Luni” Libes is one of the biggest reasons for my entry into the field of impact investing. He was an early influence when I first got involved in the space back in Seattle, and was one of the people that gave me the opportunity to start learning and developing my understanding of impact investing and conducting due diligence on social good startups. It is because of all of these reasons that I am so excited to bring you this episode and share with you a glimpse into how seed stage impact investors see the world of social enterprise and startups.

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Michael Libes: ttps://

Apr 7, 2016

This Podcast is sponsored by Maine Startup and Create Week. This years conference is June 20th to 26th in Portland, ME and is going to be amazing! This year’s conference is focused on design and innovation. They’re bringing in some of the best minds to discuss and teach how entrepreneurs can use the skills that accompany great design and design thinking to help build better companies, products and solutions to the world's most pressing problems? Panels will cover topics ranging from a mixture of Biotech, Agricultural tech and innovation and environmental technology to health-care, disruption of the insurance industry, industrial 3D design and lessons from failed startups.

Keynote speakers so far for this year include Mike Perlis (president and CEO of Forbes Media), Heather Stephenson (Head of Brand Strategy at Super) and Peter Roper (Head of Mobile Brand Strategy at Google).

Last years conference drew over 4000 attendees and had 215 volunteers contributing over 10,000 hours.  Check out for more information. If you want to volunteer, attend or think you know a good speaker for the topics at this years conference, let them know.


Enter Benjamin Stone:

Ben started his career in 2004 as a corporate litigator at a big international law firm in NYC, until 2008 when he and his college buddy (also an attorney) decided to start and scale Indego Africa, a social enterprise and lifestyle brand now partnering with more than 1000 women entrepreneurs in Rwanda and Ghana. Ben then spent some time at American Express leading programs to help small business owners in the U.S. prosper. He now serves as Managing Director & general counsel of the impact investing firm MCE Social Capital, which was just honored as an ImpactAssets top 50 firm for the fourth year in a row.

In his free time, Ben serves as vice chairman of Indego Africa and is a term member on the Council on Foreign Relations, where he often guest writes for the Development Channel, their blog on international economic development. Last year he co-founded Dollar a Day, a web platform that makes it easy for people to discover and support amazing nonprofits. Ben is also a regular speaker on a social innovation, careers, leadership, law, and entrepreneurship.

MCE Social Capital  is powered by its innovative Guarantor model, and with a special commitment to empowering women, MCE Social Capital (MCE) makes loans to organizations helping people living in poverty improve their lives.

MCE is a nonprofit impact investing firm that recruits trail-blazing individuals, foundations, and other entities to back loans to MCE from institutional lenders. MCE uses its Guarantor Model to fund loans to qualified Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) and other financial providers that serve a high percentage of women, operate in rural communities, and offer health, education, or business training programs in the developing world. Since MCE commenced operations in 2006, it has issued over USD $100 million in loans to more than 50 organizations reaching hundreds of thousands of people in over 30 countries across four continents.


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MCE Social Capital

MCE Social Capital Guarantor Model

Indego Africa HBS Case Study

Ben Stone

Indego Africa


Ben’s talks

Dollar a Day

Mar 23, 2016

Sponsored by Maine Startup and Create Week

This Podcast is sponsored by Maine Startup and Create Week. This years conference is June 20th to 26th in Portand, ME and is going to be amazing! This year’s conference is focused on design and innovation. They’re bringing in some of the best minds to discuss and teach how entrepreneurs can use the skills that accompany great design and design thinking to help build better companies, products and solutions to the world's most pressing problems? Panels will cover topics ranging from a mixture of Biotech, Agricultural tech and innovation and environmental technology to health-care, disruption of the insurance industry, industrial 3D design and lessons from failed startups.

Keynote speakers so far for this year include Mike Perlis (president and CEO of Forbes Media), Heather Stephenson (Head of Brand Strategy at Super) and Peter Roper (Head of Mobile Brand Strategy at Google).

Last years conference drew over 4000 attendees and had 215 volunteers contributing over 10,000 hours.  Check out for more information. If you want to volunteer, attend or think you know a good speaker for the topics at this years conference, let them know.

Enter Bryan and Wunder Capital

Helping folks understand what Wunder Capital is up to and how it can help is what Bryan Birsic thinks about more than anything.

Bryan is the CEO of Wunder Capital and brings extensive finance and capital raising expertise to Wunder. From private equity investing at Bain & Company to financing online commercial lending companies at Village Ventures. Notably, Bryan's firm led early investments into commercial lending market leader OnDeck Capital. Along with his finance background, Bryan has built and led several companies that bring software approaches to new markets, most notably and recently SimpleReach, where Bryan was President and which has raised more than $15mm.

Wunder Capital develops and manages solar investment funds by leveraging its national partnership network, tested processes, proprietary underwriting framework, and best-in-class online investment portal. Wunder actively manages everything, from the sourcing of commercial solar opportunities, to the underwriting, contracting, and construction of each project. Once a system is live, Wunder manages the ongoing operation and maintenance of the array, bills the energy customer, and distributes proceeds to investors.

Wunder is a financial technology company that is based out of Boulder, Colorado. Founded in 2013, Wunder won the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2014 Sunshot Challenge, as well as COSEIA’s 2015 Summit Award. Wunder also participated in the Techstars technology accelerator program. Although Wunder’s solar funds are capitalized by accredited individuals, trusts, family offices, foundations, hedge funds and pension funds, the parent company and the operator of each of Wunder's solar funds - The Wunder Company - is backed by venture capital

Twitter @WonderCapital / @birsic

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Mar 9, 2016

If you’re involved in building companies or investing in New England - you’ve heard of Charlie Spies. If you’re involved in developing rural communities, you’ve definitely heard of CEI and CEI Capital Management (CCML).

Charlie is CEO of CEI Capital Management LLC, one of the nation’s leading allocatees of federal New Markets Tax Credits and a wholly-owned subsidiary of CEI, Inc. In this position, Charlie oversees the company’s capital sourcing and deployment, project sourcing and investment recommendations, and program compliance. CEI Capital Management has placed nearly $850 million in New Markets capacity in more than 80 projects nationally that help create and preserve jobs and improve quality of life with a focus on rural, low-income communities. This experience has earned Charlie a seat on the board of directors for the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition, a national association of practitioners.

Prior to joining CCML in 2006, Mr. Spies served as COO for the Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System. Through creative and strategic management, he successfully led the organization through a 73% cut in federal funding by diversifying revenue sources, and growing an individual membership program, as well as securing direct funding from the State of Maine, including with a $500,000 emergency appropriation. He has also served as CEO for the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) and President and CEO of the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds. As one example of his capital raising experience, Mr. Spies established and secured funding at FAME for a $150 MM secondary market for student loans. While managing the Small Enterprise Growth Fund at FAME he also raised and invested over $9M in funds for seed-stage venture capital investments from both public and private sources.

Mr. Spies currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Board the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition.  He received his B.S. in Forest Utilization and his M.S. in Forest Entomology from the University of Maine, as well as his M.B.A. from Southern New Hampshire University.


CEI’s philosophy and mission are rooted in the civil rights movement. Since its inception in 1977, CEI has grown and adapted to changing markets and new possibilities, always focused on helping people, especially those with low incomes, reach their full potential. Targeted sectors have included:

  • value-added fisheries, farms and forest projects
  • microenterprise development
  • targeted job creation
  • the creation of supported, rental and privately-owned housing
  • assistance to women business owners
  • child care facility development and
  • support for refugees and new immigrants

…all to achieve social and economic justice within sustainable communities.

CEI lends and invests money and provides business counseling services to companies in Maine and New England. Company sizes vary from one employee to 500, in stages from start-up to mature. CEI also has a robust policy arm, through which it works legislatively and with its partners to meet its goals.

Through its business support and policy activities, CEI employs a holistic approach to address the complex, interwoven issues inherent in poverty alleviation, rural development and environmental sustainability. As a practitioner of sustainable development, CEI demonstrates methods that help businesses, individuals and communities achieve tangible changes that result in enhanced personal or community assets.

CEI impact to date:

  • 2,555 businesses financed
  • $1.19 Billion financed
  • 49,786 people counseled
  • 33,103 jobs created see all of CEI’s incredible impact go to



CEI Capital Management LLC (CCML) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CEI that deploys capital under the U.S. Treasury Department’s New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program and the Maine New Markets Capital Investment (NMCI) program. CCML has placed $869.6 million of NMTC/NMCI capacity in 88 projects, triggering total private capital investment of over $2.3 billion in low-income communities. 

The federal New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program was designed to stimulate investment and economic growth in low-income communities that are typically overlooked by conventional investors. The program attracts investors to low-income areas by offering a 39 percent federal income tax credit over a seven-year investment period. The tax credits are allocated by Community Development Entities (CDEs), like CCML that apply for the authority to select projects and allocate the credits. The U.S. Treasury’s CDFI Fund has granted CEI and CCML a combined allocation of $858 million in NMTC tax credit investment capacity to deploy over the past ten years. CCML works with investors (banks and equity providers) and borrowers (project sponsors) to meet their needs while satisfying the NMTC program requirements and CCML’s own “3-E” investment strategy.

CCML impact to date:

CCML has placed $869.6 million of NMTC/NMCI capacity in 88 projects, triggering total private capital investment of over $2.3 billion in low-income communities.

  • Created/Preserved: 4,553 permanent full-time jobs
  • Created: 3,130 construction jobs
  • Developed: 1,593,860 sq. ft. of property
  • Protected: 855,596 acres of land placed under protective easements
  • Generated: 77 MW of renewable electricity capacity and 1,195,000 GLs/year of alternative fuels
  • Capitalized: $8,230,000 of targeted loan funds, $1,000,000 of employee training, and $1,730,000 educational programs
  • Developed: 524 units of Affordable Housing

To see more of CCML’s impact go to:


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Twitter: @CEIcapital



Feb 24, 2016

Flory Wilson is the Director, International for GIIRS at B Lab.  She joined B Lab in April 2010, working on the core team that has launched the Global Impact Investing Rating System (GIIRS) Ratings & Analytics.  Flory chairs the Emerging Markets Standards Advisory Council that crafted the GIIRS rating methodology, and led a beta-test of the GIIRS assessment in early 2011 that involved over 200 companies and 25 leading impact investing funds in 30 different countries.   Flory also focuses on business development, working with emerging market based mission-driven enterprises, investment vehicles and impact investors who are using GIIRS Ratings & Analytics, and GIIRS’ communications efforts.

Furthermore, as the Director of Analytics at B-Lab - the non-profit behind B-Corps - Flory has oversight of the B Impact Assessment, which is the responsibility of B Lab's Standards Advisory Council, an independent committee of 20-22 members, each respected in the field for their wisdom and with deep industry or stakeholder expertise. The Standards Advisory Council is divided into two subgroups — one to oversee the content and weightings for the version of the B Impact Ratings System that is appropriate for companies and funds in developed markets; the other for the version that is appropriate for companies and funds in emerging markets.

Previously, Flory was a Senior International Economist in the Office of Investment Policy at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in Washington, D.C.  At OPIC, she focused on measuring the developmental, social and environmental impacts of private sector-led investment across OPIC’s $12 billion portfolio. Prior to OPIC, Flory established a new protocol for tracking international remittances from the U.S. to developing countries as an economist in the Balance of Payments division at the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Department of Commerce. Ms. Wilson holds a M.A. in international relations from Johns Hopkins Nitze School for Advanced International Standards (SAIS), with a concentration in economics, and graduated cum laude from Colgate University with a B.A. in History and EconomicsShe


What is the Global Impact Investing Rating System (GIIRS)? GIIRS Ratings are the gold standard for impact measurement in impact investing. GIIRS Ratings are rigorous, comprehensive, and comparable ratings of a company or a fund’s social and environmental impact.

How does GIIRS work?

Find Companies & Funds - GIIRS rated companies and funds are highlighted in the search features of B Analytics as being best in class in terms of measurement practices.


Measure & Evaluate - Gain a holistic picture of a company’s or fund’s impact through a GIIRS rating, not just a component of their model or operations.


A GIIRS Rating is comprised of a Fund Manager Assessment Rating and two Investment Roll-Up Ratings: an Overall Impact Business Model (IBM) Rating and an Overall Operations Rating. The Investment Roll-Up Ratings are weighted averages of the portfolio companies' impact business model and operations ratings based on the amount invested in each company.


Criteria to Get a GIIRS Fund Rating

  • Funds in Formation can become GIIRS rated by committing to being rated for the life of the fund. Until 25% of capital is deployed, initial GIIRS Fund Impact Rating Reports will only feature the fund manager's assessment score and each portfolio company will receive an individual company rating (no portfolio aggregation rating is generated).(1)
  • Actively Investing Funds can receive a GIIRS Fund Impact Rating once 25% of capital(2) is deployed. A typical fund is required to have at least 75%(3) of their portfolio companies complete the rating process in order to receive a GIIRS fund rating.
  • Fully Invested Funds can receive a GIIRS Fund Impact Rating using the standard fund rating methodology, though at least 80% of the total portfolio (in terms of capital deployed) must receive a company rating in order to receive a fund rating.


How can you use B-Analytics to research companies?

  • Find Companies & Funds - Conduct research on the 1400+ individual companies and funds in B Analytics.

  • Follow Trends - Track market trends in the impact investing space.

  • Measure - Collect impact data on the companies and funds in your portfolio, platform, supply chain, or association. B Analytics offers you the flexibility to measure what matters to you.

  • Benchmark - B Analytics houses the largest database of social and environmental performance data on private companies globally. Use B Analytics to benchmark your portfolio’s impact and easily export data for reporting to stakeholders.

  • Improve - Through B Analytics companies can access “do-it-yourself” consulting tools to improve their impact.



GIIRS Ratings are the gold standard for impact measurement in impact investing. They are rigorous, comprehensive, and comparable ratings of a company or a fund’s social and environmental impact. The GIIRS Rating is powered by the B Impact Assessment. It measures the overall impact of a business on all of its stakeholders. The B Impact Assessment has been accessed by over 15,000 users in 57 countries in 176 industries. Learn more about the B Impact Assessment.


Impact Business Models: Specific models designed to create social and/or environmental impact through a company’s products or services, target customers, value chain, ownership or operations.

Operations: Impactful practices, policies and achievements related to a company's: Governance structure, Workers, Community, Environmental footprint.

Each company receives an overall score and two ratings; one for its impact models and one for its operations.

Feb 11, 2016

Matt Davis is the Founder and Partner of RENEW - an impact investment and advisory firm that manages and serves the Impact Angel Network, which is a global network of investors who seek to make both social impact and financial returns on their investments in Africa. RENEW’s largest office is in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

RENEW likes to invest in companies within the “missing middle” space. Companies that are too big for traditional seed stage investing, but too small for bank loans or traditional financing. The company focuses on Individual investments of $100K - $3M for expansion/growth capital in high growth, domestic firms, with a full exit in 3-7 years via a management buyback; target IRR greater than 25%.

RENEW reduces the costs and risks of investing in developing and emerging countries by partnering with the development community, having a dedicated presence on the ground, managing an exceptional local network, using innovative structures and investment instruments, and providing hands-on consulting to their investments.

Matt has extensive experience working with U.S. and African government leaders and facilitating international business investments. He has traveled and lived in Africa and Latin America. As a management consultant he has advised large U.S. corporations, U.S. government leaders, African governments and African businesses. He specializes in strategic planning, and designing and implementing international investment strategies. Prior to founding RENEW LLC, Matt worked as a principal consultant at the Touchstone Consulting Group, a strategy and management consulting firm for the U.S. government. He has advised executives and government leaders on strategies for environmental sustainability, international development, health policy, information technology, and finance.

Matt's story is one of  perseverance, recognizing opportunity and investing in areas that others are overlooking. If you have any dreams or desires of ever starting your own impact investing firm, or making angel investments to develop essential companies in third world countries, this is an episode for you. 


Jan 20, 2016

Amy Novogratz is a Managing Partner of AquaSpark - the world's first aquaculture-only venture investment fund.  Founded in 2013, AquaSpark invests with a focus on sustainable aquaculture businesses around the world. The small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) they invest in are working toward the production of safe, accessible aquatic life - such as fish, shellfish and plants, as well as innovations in fish feed and technical systems; all which operate in ways that do not harm the planet's oceans. The funds investors value the fact that each investment aims to create triple impact—specifically, each investment is chosen for its potential to generate significant financial returns while also activating positive environmental and social outcomes.

Specifically, Aquaspark chooses SMEs that meet the following three principles of sustainability;

  • Economic sustainability—the business generates enough cash to be able to reinvest in its own growth and provide an equitable return to its stakeholders;
  • Environmental sustainability—the business sets high standards of environmental management and seeks to maintain or enhance ecosystem services; and
  • Social sustainability—the business creates jobs, reduces poverty, empowers the underserved, and helps to strengthen communities*;

Their investments start at $250,000, and the fund purposely does not seek controlling stakes in thier investments. The team at AquaSpark prefers to be a minority investor holding between 20-49%, alongside other investors. Every business they invest in is a reflection of their trust in the entrepreneur to lead their companies’ development and growth in the most effective way.

Prior to AquaSpark, Amy was the Director of the TED prize for 8 years, leading more than twenty global collaborations across a broad spectrum of sectors, including healthcare, education, science, technology, conservation, art, and activism.

On top of her work at AquaSpark, Amy is also working alongside Sylvia Earle and her project “Mission Blue.” The project aims to educate the world on the importance of ocean conservation and how much we depend on the marine ecosystems and how important they are to our planet’s survival. As well, the overarching goal of the Mission Blue project is to establish a global network of protected areas in the ocean - Hope Spots – special places that are vital to the health of the ocean – through the creation of a global network of marine protected areas to safeguard 20% of the ocean by 2020.”

As some of you may have figured out by now, I'm wildly bullish on aquaculture. In the past it has been associated with environmental harm rather than doing good, but as our climate changes, our fisheries are subject to the "tragedy of the commons," and our resources decline - aquaculture is becoming a necessary solution and one that can have many positive impacts while limiting the negative. It is projected that we will need to increase our food production by 60% by 2050 to feed a world population of 9.5 Billion people. Current agriculture methods aren't going to - and can't - make it happen. We're going to have to start looking to the ocean. This mean conservation, strict regulation, and innovative ways to grow and harvest aquaculture related products such as kelp, shellfish, sea cucumbers and fin fish.  If you are an early stage investor or interested in investing in food systems or environmentally conscience companies - aquaculture is an area I would look long and hard at.

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Dec 30, 2015

A end of the year inbetweenisode where I discuss books that have influenced my thinking this year, trends and areas of impact investing I want to explore in 2016, and some of my views and opinions of the field of #impinv as a whole.  

Twitter @impinvpodcast

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Dec 10, 2015

Impact beautifully distills the insights and deep wisdom of one of the world’s great social innovators. Etmanski’s book is far more than a practical guide: it’s an invitation to re-imagine possibilities for our lives and for the world we create.”
David Bornstein, author “How To Change The World”

Al Etmanski is a community organizer, social entrepreneur and author. He is a founding partner of Social Innovation Generation (SiG) and BC Partners for Social Impact. Previously he co-founded Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN)with his wife Vickie Cammack and Jack Collins. Al is an Ashoka fellow, and a faculty member of John McKnight’s Asset Based Community Development Institute (ABCD). 

Al Etmanski is helping to alleviate the financial and social challenges commonly faced by peoples living with disabilities by working directly with families. PLAN is a family-led organization founded to secure the future for people with disabilities and helps to develop personal networks and provide advice, assistance and advocacy on government benefits, home ownership, and legal and financial solutions for persons with disabilities. Al successfully initiated the world's first Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) to benefit 500,000 individuals with disabilities, and the organization has mentored over 40 similar organizations worldwide. It is the first and only program of its kind, and is a life changing social financial innovation that is currently running only in Canada.

Al Etmaksi’s new book: Impact6 is about the six different pattern areas you can identify to spread your social idea and change. It’s a blueprint and action plan for innovators, entrepreneurs and change-makers looking to have a social impact in their community and country.

Pattern One: Think and Act like a Movement
Pattern Two: Create a Container for Your Content
Pattern Three: Set the Table for Allies, Adversaries and Strangers
Pattern Four: Mobilize Your Economic Power
Pattern Five: Advocate with Empathy
Pattern Six: Who Is as Important as How

Impact6 explores the difference between short term success and lasting impact. It’s for those who have wondered why, despite our best efforts, talent and money we have not made as big a dent in our social and environmental challenges as we’d like.

Impact6 profiles more than 50 Canadians who are achieving lasting social impact, looking past quick wins and surface-level victories, and paying attention to the deeper patterns of change. Al’s hope is that this book will shine a light on the good work Canadians have done, are doing and will do to move the dial, change a paradigm, tip a system and achieve lasting social impact.

The book also explores the three different types of innovators Al says are necessary to create lasting and high impact social change. Receptive Innovators, Bridging Innovators and Disruptive Innovators

As many of you know, I think it is important to not only interview impact investors, but also the entrepreneurs who are doing the kind work that aligns with impact investors goals and values.
Al’s lifetime of work and social contribution comes in a field that is far too often not discussed in the fields of social enterprise and financial innovation –but is in my opinion very important and in a realm very worthy of discussion and highlighting.

This interview is more of a conversation and philosophical exploration than an informational interview. Al takes his time and makes sure to answer thoughtfully and deeply, speaking as though he was talking to an old friend.


BONUS: The entire first chapter of Impact is available on Al’s website and is chalk full of resources and bonus material!

Twitter: @aletmanski


Nov 25, 2015

This is the second episode of the "Sonen Series."

Sonen Capital is one of the top Impact Investing management firms in the United States, and is consistently at the forefront of thought leadership for Impact Investing in Public Markets and projects. 

Raúl Pomares is the Founder of Sonen Capital LLC, where he operates across the firm’s overall business activities, while focusing on client management, business development and industry leadership. He is a member of the firm’s investment committee.

Raúl is an internationally recognized speaker and author on sustainability and impact investing. He is the co-author of Solutions for Impact Investors: From Strategy to Implementation, published in 2009 by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. He is supporting author to Promoting Sustainable Food Systems through Impact Investing, published by the Springcreek Foundation in June of 2011. Raúl is editor and co-author of Evolution of An Impact Portfolio: From Implementation to Results. In addition, he is an advisor to the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) Impact Base, an initiative to assemble a global comprehensive database of impact investments and to EKO Asset Management Partners, an environmental market focused asset manager. 

This interview with Raúl was great, and I have so much respect for Raul and the entire Sonen Capital team.  They are a class act organization. In this episode we talk about Raúl's beginnings in investing and impact investing, the process of founding a Certified B-Corp investment management firm, the future of public market based impact investing, Raúl's philosophy of investing and much more. One of my favorite aspects of both interviews has to be the shared views between myself and Will and Raúl in that Impact Investing is a methodology - not just an asset class - and can be done in a variety of styles and market types. 

It is my hope that in all every interview on the Impact Investing Podcast that you are able to find areas and aspects that you can relate with as well, and are able to add more tools and mental frameworks to your investment analysis and decisions. 

Thanks for listening, and enjoy!

Twitter @SonenCapital

Raúl Pomares via LinkedIn:

Twitter @ImpInvPodcast

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Nov 12, 2015

I've had the great pleasure of speaking with many incredible people since I started this Podcast, and this month is no different. I'm calling it the Sonen series – and both episodes this month will be with leaders from Sonen Capital – an impact investing firm based out of San Francisco that I have great respect for.  

Sonen Capital is a specialized investment management firm dedicated to investors seeking financial returns with lasting social and environmental impact. They offer multi-manager, multi-themed investment solutions via pooled vehicles, portfolio strategies and customized mandates.  Sonen is also a certified B Corp and GIIRS certified. 

Furthermore, they share an incredible amount of information and in my opinion, are top thought leaders in the public impact investing field. With quarterly market reports, white papers and investing strategy frameworks being published on their website – Sonen Capital aims to share their knowledge with all who want to learn. 

Our first episode this month is with Will Morgan -  the Senior Impact Analyst at Sonen Capital who leads the effort to define, evaluate and report impact across Sonen’s public and private market investment strategies, and for some of Sonen’s most highly targeted and customized impact investment portfolios. Will provides top-down impact frameworks that inform the investment underwriting process, focusing on identifying thematic social and environmental outcomes and how those outcomes can be achieved through specific investment activities.  

As part of communicating the results of Sonen’s investments, Will works with underlying investments and managers to improve impact evaluation and measurement systems and processes to enhance the quality and depth of impact data reported to clients. Under Will’s leadership, Sonen integrates third-party ESG data into public markets investment impact evaluation, as well as other emerging industry standards such as GIIRS and the Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS).  

He was also one of the earliest practitioners of IRIS, and has helped some of the largest US and European-based foundations integrate IRIS into internal impact evaluation systems for both grant-based and corpus-based impact portfolios. 

​In this episode we dive into wills background and how he go to where he I now, how it influenced his investment frameworks and decision processes, and how he is leading the way In defining and integrating impact investing into mainstream finance and much more.  

If you want to learn more about how to conduct impact investing through public markets – or are looking for some rock solid advice on being involved in the impact field, this interview is a must listen.  


Sonen Capital

Impact Investing Podcast

Oct 28, 2015

This episode is with Bessi Graham, CEO and Co-founder of The Difference Incubator (TDi) out of Melbourne, Australia. 

TDi is developing investment-ready enterprises that create positive social impact and are financially sustainable. This initiative will alter the social economy of Australia and open a new market for impact investors.

By focusing on coaching, clinics, consultation and incubation - TDi is applying the principles of Business Model Generation when working with social enterprises to develop innovative business models that will help entrepreneurs build companies that have lasting durability in their pursuit of Blended Value.  TDi is also bridging the gap between impact investors and startups by bringing investors to the table and looking at business creation through an investor's lense to help bring suitable dealflow to the areas impact focused investors.

If you want to learn more about the power of coming up with new business models for social enterprise, or want to learn more about what to look for when conducting due dillegence on a potential impact investment, this is a great episode for you. And as a bonus - you'll also finally learn what the difference is between and incubator and an accelerator program!

Oct 13, 2015

This episode is with social entrepreneur Jesse Richardson – the President and Co-Founder of MPACT Project. 

MPACT Project is building a movement of influencers that want to generate social change with business. Together they will mobilize people, communities, and resources to combat poverty, lack, and hopelessness.

Jesse Richardson and Eric Welch became business partners with a vision to effectively solve social problems with the power of business. MPACT Project was founded to create sustainability for both villagers in Guatemala around the world. The direction of MPACT Project was sealed after a summer trip to Guatemala.

MPACT Project is a social enterprise founded to create sustainability for both villagers in Guatemala and the contributors around the world. MPACT Project created the marketplace to generate sustainable change and help you, help the people living in poverty.

MPACT Project allows you to choose a product that could massively impact and help people and a village in Guatemala. You “purchase” it, and then the product is made and deployed in the village. The products range from nutritional products, education, cook stoves and water filters. The best part is, the more you purchase and the more you share, the bigger an impact you can have.

There are many ways to contribute and be involved in impact investing. Not everyone is a fund manager or an angel investor. MPACT Project is a way for the majority of people to get involved in using their money to have an impact in other parts of the world. 

As well, social enterprises such as MPACT Project are the types of companies that early stage impact investing can have a big impact. At #SOCAP15 – early stage impact capital was one of the most talked about and discussed “needs” in advancing the field.

Social entrepreneurship is the other part of the #impinv equation. It is the business model that can have the biggest positive effect on the future.

If you learn more about opportunities to use your money to have an everyday impact in South America, want to learn more about building a #socent or being a social entrepreneur, this is a great episode to check out.

Twitter @mpactproject

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Twitter @impinvpodcast

Sep 30, 2015

In this episode I talk with Tom Dawkins, who is a serial social entrepreneur and the Australian co-founder of StartSomeGood. He previously founded award-winning Australia non-profit Vibewire and was the first Social Media Director at Ashoka. He has worked with numerous non-profits, associations and government entities to help them tell their stories and build community. He’s founded a film festival, opened Australia’s first co-working space and set-up a Burning Man Theme Camp with his wife Kate.

Tom is one of the most impressive and effective social entrepreneurs out there. If you are looking for inspiration to help you launch your own social venture, this is the podcast for you! You'll also here Tom's origin story, how StartSomeGood got started, and Tom's personal tips and strategies for successfully funding of your own crowdfunding campaign. 

Tom can be found on Twitter @tomjd

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Twitter @impinvpodcast

Sep 16, 2015

Nancy Pfund is a legend and expert in Venture Capital, Renewable Energies and Impact Investing. She has been in the field for over 20 years and is widely cited in her writing and speaking about the importance in renewable energy.  Her fund, DBL Investors just finished closing a new $400 million fund - which is now the largest social impact fund ever raised.

DBL Investors assists its port­fo­lio com­pa­nies in achiev­ing a “dou­ble bot­tom line”: that is, strong long-​​term finan­cial suc­cess as well as pos­i­tive social, envi­ron­men­tal and eco­nomic impact in the local com­mu­nity. We have found that dou­ble bot­tom line prac­tices that com­pa­nies choose to adopt can be sig­nif­i­cantly ben­e­fi­cial to the fis­cal bot­tom line both via direct ben­e­fits of cost sav­ings and value cre­ation, and via indi­rect ben­e­fits of cre­at­ing good­will with their mar­ket, cus­tomers and com­mu­nity, and enhanc­ing employee morale and retention.

Nancy can be found on Twitter @NancyPfundDBL

Go to to learn more about Nancy and DBL investors, as well as find many of the reports Nancy has written about venture capital, renewable resources and solar energy. 

Sep 2, 2015

Mark Tercek is the President and CEO of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the author of the book Nature's Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature. In our conversation we talk about the different ways TNC is investing in nature, it's latest programs and strategies to preserve precious land and marine resources, as well as how impact investors can become involved and begin to think about how to invest in the environment. We also talk about some of Mark's personal stories, travels, and two book that had a massive influence in his life.  

When I read Mark's book Nature's Fortune, it was very intuitive and obvious to me. Nature has been evolving ways to handle and address all of the same issues that humans are facing today in regards to clean water, floods, and erosion.  Since then, I have found myself thinking deeply about how can we get investment dollars into environmental conservation and restoration efforts. How can impact investors leap frog past technologies and practices to encourage and deploy sustainable development and biodiviersity preservation?  These are some of the biggest things on my mind, and in this conversation I had the opportunity to hear from one of the biggest names in the game, some of the different ways groups are using innovative finance to approach these issues.  

Links to the shownotes and resources discussed in the conversation can be found at 

on Twitter @ImpInvPodcast 

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