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May 2021 recap

We’re nearly halfway through 2021. This week marks one year since the murder of George Floyd and 100 years since the Tulsa Race Massacre. I don’t know about you, but my perception of time is completely arbitrary now.

One thing that helps me make sense of the passing of time is slowing down and reflecting in these community updates. I hope you get to take a breath and reflect on a truly transformative period in our collective history too.
The Freedom100 Fund has helped secure the freedom of 100 immigrants from detention. The 100th individual bonded out was Ariel (above right), an asylum seeker from Cuba. Having his bond paid means he can reunite with his spouse, and eventually be able to bring their children to join them.
What a month it has been.
  • The Freedom100 Fund, an investment strategy we created with leading nonprofit Freedom for Immigrants, recently hit the goal of bonding out 100 individuals from immigrant prison—less than a year since its launch last summer. That’s 100 people who got to reunite with their loved ones and support networks. For that, we are eternally grateful to Freedom for Immigrants and bond partners for demonstrating that we can treat immigrants and refugees with dignity rather than detention.
     
  • Louie Nguyen, our fearless Chief Investment Officer, was just appointed to the San Diego City Employees' Retirement Systems’ (SDCERS) investment committee. Thank you to the friends of the firm who recommended Louie for this service. We love to see it!
     
  • Microtek was recently recognized as the Most Innovative Asian Pacific Islander Business of the Year by the San Diego Business Journal and the Asian Business Association of San Diego.
     
  • Verity recently paid off their loan and has now graduated to become an alum portfolio company. Congrats as well to Kerri Leslie, founder and CEO of Verity, who got to pitch in front of angel investors at the final round of the San Diego Angel Conference and received $75,000+ in funding.
     
  • Orianna Bretschger, co-founder and CEO of another portfolio company, Aquacycl, is one of only three finalists for the Cartier Women’s Initiative’s new Science and Technology Pioneer Award. Being invited to join this 2021 cohort of impact entrepreneurs means Orianna and Aquacycl will have access to prize money, tailored personal business training, collective workshops, media visibility, and international networking opportunities.
Microtek, Verity, and Aquacycl are all addressing health and environmental outcomes—some of the most pressing issues of our time, and feature leadership consisting of women and people of color. These reasons and their tenacity make us proud and grateful to support them on their roads to greater success.

If you know of companies in Southern California and across the U.S. with a social impact mission looking for working capital, please put them in touch.
Stay well and take care of each other,
Lauren Grattan
Lauren Grattan
Co-Founder & Chief Community Officer

The financial systems, structures, and policies in America have both intentionally and unintentionally restricted access to capital and opportunity. The result is significant wealth inequality that hinders social mobility, dampens economic growth, and fosters conditions for political instability.

We are looking for a senior staff accountant who can help us change that. If you or someone you know can help us build a better world, learn more here.

Borrower Central

Loans for small businesses & nonprofits that support people on the move everywhere in the U.S.

The People on the Move program serves organizations across the United States that better the lives of immigrants, refugees, low-income economic migrants, and survivors of trafficking.

Quick links:
Learn More and Next Steps
Share This Program with Organizations Across the U.S.

COVID-19 loans for nonprofits in San Diego County

Dreams for Change programsInterest-free nonprofit loans are still available. Please share with nonprofit leaders in San Diego County!
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Know a small business or nonprofit doing great work but could use additional capital to have an even greater impact? ⤵
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Investor Central

Updates

The inaugural cohort of Community Finance Fellows (L–R): Benson Ochira, Essence Rodriguez, Louise Jordan, Crystal Sevilla, and Andrew Moncada
Now that the Community Finance Fellows have graduated, we are actively fundraising for the next cohort. In their time with us, the fellows moved more than $7 million into the community and taught us a thing or two about changing the face of finance, access to finance, and our own understanding of finance. Our goal is to launch the second cohort this summer. If you want to help make that happen, please reach out.
Thursday, May 27
Strategic Investments in Small Business to Sustain Resilient Communities

Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial CountiesIn this Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial Counties webinar, Lauren joins friends from Founders First Capital Partners and Mission Edge to share what it looks like to meaningfully support small businesses, especially those with diverse founders.
Sign Up
Zebras UniteTuesday, June 1
Collective Impact: Mobilizing Knowledge, People, and Capital at Planetary Scale

Join Lauren for this essential conversation exploring how to mobilize knowledge, people and capital at the speed and scale necessary through the development of global, distributed digital infrastructure.
Sign Up
David LynnWednesday, June 2
Transformative 25 Funds: Creative Financing Webinar

Learn from David and other fund managers how creative financing strategies create opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses.
Sign Up
Credit SipsThursday, June 10
Credit Sips: From Inclusive Theory to Inclusive Impact Investing

Join Lauren for a dynamic conversation with practitioners using impact investing tools to build an inclusive financial system by centering communities.
Sign Up

MDF in the headlines:

Updates from our portfolio:

What else we're reading:

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