ImpactPHL wants to better represent the diversity of the Philadelphia region - Generocity Philly

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Aug. 1, 2016 12:45 pm

ImpactPHL wants to better represent the diversity of the Philadelphia region

Last month, we wrote about how the impact investing organization's launch party lacked diversity. Here's the group's formal response.

A map of impact funders in the region.

(Photo by Tony Abraham)

Our mission at Generocity is to help make the impact economy and the community that fuels it be better. To do that, there needs to be diversity and equitable representation of that diversity among stakeholders.

That’s why two weeks ago, we called attention to the fact that newly-launched impact investing organization ImpactPHL‘s launch party was lacking in diversity.

Founded by leaders from Investors’ Circle, SustainVC, Halloran Philanthropies, Dilworth Paxson, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, the Economy League and more, the nonprofit aims to bolster the impact economy by educating regional funders on a mission-driven funding strategy called impact investing.

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We noted there’s a severe lack of people of color and women in the venture capital world. Still, we see that inadequacy as an opportunity for ImpactPHL to lift Philadelphia up as a true leader in impact investing by making the organization better reflect the racial demographics of the area it represents.

Late last week, ImpactPHL executive chair John Moore emailed us a written statement from the group, which we’ve published below (and added links for context).


“At its core, ImpactPHL was developed to support two unique ideas:

  1. The published fact that returns on investments in for-profit social entrepreneurship businesses — those that have success metrics of both profits to shareholders and returns to community stakeholders — are similar. Diversifying the capital that invests in such ventures can too grow greater independent businesses that work to fulfill societal needs, while driving the growth of our region.
  2. In Philadelphia, there already exists a strong impact-minded community of entrepreneurs, investors, business growth intermediaries and a marketplace of customers and clients. Yet community feedback suggested that it needs to be better connected if it’s going to grow. It needs an easier point of access: an open “front door” to engage all interested interested individuals and organizations, and set the table for discussions.

In response, ImpactPHL was formed as much to identify a movement in Philadelphia as to highlight and develop opportunities to invest in the region. As such, it poses a significant logistic challenge to suggest that the fullest intent for this initiative was or should have been completely represented through attendance on a hot summer afternoon. ImpactPHL is for all of us, not just those who were able to make it to a launch party.

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But Tony’s observation was extremely important: to better represent our region, there needs to be greater diversity within our investment and entrepreneurship communities, including ImpactPHL. We aim to recruit everyone in the region into the exciting movement of impact investing, and Philadelphia’s impact economy. Please join us and help us.”

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