99 episodes

Investing in Impact interviews impact investors, General Partners, and VC's from around the world on their individual journeys and to connect impact entrepreneurs with insight into funding, scalability, and insights to inspire more impact companies around the world.

Investing in Impact | Impact Investing Causeartist

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 14 Ratings

Investing in Impact interviews impact investors, General Partners, and VC's from around the world on their individual journeys and to connect impact entrepreneurs with insight into funding, scalability, and insights to inspire more impact companies around the world.

    Building a Sustainable Family Office: Scott Saslow, Founder of One World Investments

    Building a Sustainable Family Office: Scott Saslow, Founder of One World Investments

    In episode 74 of the Investing in Impact podcast, I speak with Scott Saslow, Founder of ONE WORLD Investments, on his journey into impact and sustainable investing, family offices, and his new book.
    About Scott:
    Scott is an accomplished entrepreneur and impact investor with a proven track record of developing successful businesses and products. He is the founder ONE WORLD Investments, and had key roles at The Institute of Executive Development, Microsoft, and Siebel Systems, among others.
    Scott is the author of the book, "Building a Sustainable Family Office: An Insider's Guide to What Works and What Doesn't," published by Greenleaf Publishing Group and available on Amazon.
    As an impact investor, advisor, and consultant, Scott works with both for-profit and non-profit social enterprises. He founded ONE WORLD Investments, an organization that provides training and investment capital to social impact enterprises in the Bay Area, aimed at improving lives globally.
    About ONE WORLD Investments:
    ONE WORLD Investments leverages its Silicon Valley base to offer innovative and profitable approaches to increasing social impact. The organization supports a diverse network of entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate professionals, and provides capital through various investment vehicles to early-stage companies, impact private equity and venture capital funds, and public markets, all aimed at scaling social impact.
    About the episode:
    Scott discusses his journey into impact investing and the importance of building sustainable family offices. He explains that family offices are the infrastructure created to manage wealth and philanthropy for wealthy individuals and families. However, many family offices are not sustainable and fail during generational transitions.
    Scott emphasizes the need for a new model in managing family offices to ensure their longevity and impact. He also explores the role of family offices in impact investing and the ripple effect their failures can have on society.
    Family offices are increasingly interested in sustainable and impact investing, but many are still in the early stages of incorporating these strategies. The younger generation within family offices is often the driving force behind these initiatives, as they have a socially minded approach and a desire to make a positive impact.
    While many family offices already engage in philanthropy, there is an opportunity to go beyond traditional giving and use investment capital to address social and environmental concerns. The change towards more sustainable and impact-focused family offices can come from both the principles themselves and the non-family professionals they work with.
    This content is for informational and entertainment purposes only, you should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

    • 40 min
    Andrea and Jessica La Mesa // Co-CEOs of The Life You Can Save - Generated $100 million in donations to high-impact charities.

    Andrea and Jessica La Mesa // Co-CEOs of The Life You Can Save - Generated $100 million in donations to high-impact charities.

    In episode 73 of the Investing in Impact podcast, I speak with Andrea and Jessica La Mesa, co-CEOs of The Life You Can Save, on their journey into the philanthropic sector and the mission of the organization. Since 2013, the organization has catalyzed $100 million in donations to high-impact charities.
    They share their backgrounds and how they transitioned from their previous careers to dedicating their time to philanthropy.
    The Life You Can Save focuses on connecting donors with effective nonprofits in the global health and development space.
    They curate a list of organizations that have been independently verified and offer donors confidence in the impact of their donations.
    The La Mesas emphasize the importance of strategic and evidence-based philanthropy and the need for ongoing funding partnerships with nonprofits.
    About The Life You Can Save

    The Life You Can Save was founded in 2013 by philosopher Peter Singer and former executive Charlie Bresler.
    The organization was born out of Charlie Bresler's personal quest for impact, inspired by Peter Singer’s book The Life You Can Save. Charlie, a psychologist and business executive, reached out to Peter, and together they formed an organization dedicated to spreading Peter’s ideas and encouraging effective philanthropy.
    Over the past decade, their collaboration has inspired global change, resulting in over $100 million in donations to high-impact charities.

    • 37 min
    Alix Lebec // Founder & CEO of LEBEC Innovative Finance & Philanthropy

    Alix Lebec // Founder & CEO of LEBEC Innovative Finance & Philanthropy

    In Episode 72 of the Investing in Impact podcast, I speak with Alix Lebec, Founder & CEO of LEBEC, on helping visionary founders, funders, and investors maximize value creation and scale solutions that address the world’s most pressing challenges.
    LEBEC is a pioneering women-owned and led firm that specializes in innovative finance and philanthropy. With a strong presence in both the U.S. and Europe, LEBEC is dedicated to helping visionary founders, funders, and investors maximize value creation and scale solutions that address the world’s most pressing challenges.
    About Alix
    For over 20 years, Alix Lebec has been advising and growing organizations across the philanthropy and sustainable finance ecosystem.
    As a member of the founding and executive leadership team at WaterEquity, alongside co-founders Gary White and Matt Damon, Alix spent the past decade building this high-performing global asset manager that invests in water, women, and sanitation in emerging markets.
    She has also worked at the World Bank in Paris and Southeast Asia, the Clinton Global Initiative, and Water.org, where she mobilized $260 million in capital and built winning teams.
    In 2020, Alix launched LEBEC to support philanthropists, investors, and entrepreneurs worldwide and to shape a paradigm shift in our global financial ecosystem. She is also a Limited Partner and impact advisor at Polymath Ventures, a member of 100 Women in Finance, and a co-founder of the World Climate Tech Summit in Miami.
    Alix serves on the Board of iDE Global and is a regular media contributor on philanthropy, innovative finance, and investing in women in emerging markets.
    Catalytic Philanthropy: Accelerating Impact
    In this interview, Alix emphasizes the concept of catalytic philanthropy—a method that accelerates impact by leveraging philanthropic funds in innovative ways.
    She identifies key strategies for philanthropists and investors to dramatically increase their impact beyond writing a check:
    Guarantee First Loss: Utilize philanthropic funds as a cushion for investors, encouraging them to engage in high-impact projects.Engage in Impact Investing: Direct capital towards ventures that not only promise financial returns but also generate social and environmental benefits.Foster Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships: Collaborate across sectors to pool resources, expertise, and networks, maximizing the scale and sustainability of interventions.Measure and Manage Impact: Employ robust impact measurement and management practices to ensure transparency and guide continuous improvement.Reimagining Global Capital Markets for Good
    At Lebec, the belief is that it’s critical to think bigger and reimagine how global capital markets can be a force for good—with the goal of unleashing systems change.
    The opportunities to donate, invest, and do business in a sustainable manner are vast, ranging from achieving gender, racial, and income equality; addressing climate change; solving the global water crisis; elevating dance and the arts; to ensuring quality education and healthcare for all.

    • 45 min
    Kirsten Dueck // CEO of NESsT - Investing in Front-Line Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Futures

    Kirsten Dueck // CEO of NESsT - Investing in Front-Line Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Futures

    In Episode 71 of the Investing in Impact podcast, I speak with Kirsten Dueck, CEO of NESsT, on breaking the cycle of poverty by investing front-line entrepreneurs.
    About Kirsten
    As the CEO of NESsT, Kirsten Dueck fosters trust-based relationships to accelerate impact for corporate, philanthropic, nonprofit, and community stakeholders. In her role, she drives strategy and operations for a leading global impact investor and venture philanthropist.
    As CEO of NESsT, she drives strategy and operations for a leading global impact investor and venture philanthropist that has invested more than $30M and trained and supported over 30,000 entrepreneurs across 50 countries, accelerated and financed 243 enterprises sustaining more than 100,000 formal jobs and improving the lives of 1.6million people from the most marginalized communities around the world.
    Addressing the Urgency of Poverty
    Since its inception in 1997, NESsT has been investing in front-line entrepreneurs, catalyzing impact-driven enterprises, and shaping sustainable and equitable futures, especially in emerging market countries.
    A significant portion of the global population still grapples with extreme or moderate poverty, while nearly half face low incomes and challenging working conditions.
    NESsT recognizes the inherent dignity in providing access to good jobs and reliable income, not just as a means of sustenance but as pathways to empowerment and community upliftment.
    Invest, Accelerate, Transform: NESsT’s Approach
    NESsT's strategy revolves around three core pillars:
    Invest, Accelerate, and Transform.
    By leveraging donations and patient capital, NESsT channels resources into social enterprises that prioritize creating dignified jobs for those most in need.
    These investments are not merely financial; NESsT commits to these enterprises for several years, offering tailored financing and hands-on business development support to navigate the challenges of scaling.
    Through this dedicated support, NESsT empowers social entrepreneurs to not only build successful businesses but also to transform communities.
    By providing essential skills, technology, and ongoing support, these enterprises become catalysts for sustainable change, fostering economic resilience and fostering dignity.
    The Power of Social Enterprises
    At the heart of NESsT's philosophy lies the recognition of the unique role that social enterprises play in driving positive change.
    Unlike traditional businesses, social enterprises are deeply embedded within their communities, earning trust and understanding local needs intimately.
    They align their business interests with the well-being of their communities, ensuring that economic growth is inclusive and sustainable

    • 27 min
    Brett Hagler // CEO and Co-founder of New Story Homes - Solving Global Housing: The Balance of Philanthropy and Market-Based Solutions at New Story Homes

    Brett Hagler // CEO and Co-founder of New Story Homes - Solving Global Housing: The Balance of Philanthropy and Market-Based Solutions at New Story Homes

    In episode, I speak with Brett Hagler, CEO and Co-founder, of New Story Homes, on using philanthropy and market-based solutions to solve the global housing crisis.
    The global housing crisis is a staggering issue, affecting 1.6 billion people who live without adequate housing. This crisis stifles the potential of millions of families, particularly women and children, across the globe.New Story Homes, a nonprofit organization, has set out to tackle this problem through a unique blend of philanthropy and market-based solutions.
    By integrating innovative technology with community-focused strategies, New Story Homes is revolutionizing the path to homeownership for vulnerable families.
    Takeaways
    New Story's journey began with a mission to help vulnerable families access life-changing housing, leading to a decade-long evolution of its strategy and model.The transition to a market-based solution involved challenges, resistance, and a two-year metamorphosis, resulting in a hybrid model that combines philanthropy with profitable financing and lending.The future of New Story involves executing its model to attract large pools of capital, focusing on creating a product that customers love, and building a track record for accessing significant funding.The conversation highlights the potential of market-based solutions in the nonprofit sector and the importance of addressing important social problems through innovative approaches.Sound Bites
    "I think you learn by doing.""I would love to try to help as many people as possible have life-changing housing."
    Empowering Through Land Ownership
    At the heart of New Story Homes' mission is the concept of land ownership. In many parts of Latin America, securing land is the first critical step towards economic stability and homeownership. New Story Homes helps families purchase land, build creditworthiness, and unlock home financing. This approach shifts families from being mere beneficiaries of charity to active participants in their journey out of poverty.
    By developing and selling land equipped with essential municipal utilities—water, sewage, electricity, and roads—at affordable monthly rates, New Story Homes ensures that these properties are not only accessible but also sustainable and integrated into the local urban context.
    Innovative Housing Solutions
    One of the standout innovations of New Story Homes is the use of 3D printing technology to build homes quickly and cost-effectively.
    This method significantly reduces construction time and expenses compared to traditional building techniques, making it possible to provide immediate relief to families in need.
    Beyond construction, New Story Homes focuses on the entire community-building process, developing housing products that meet the unique demands of local regions.
    Families can use their land as collateral to secure first-time home financing, allowing them to either purchase one of New Story's housing prototypes or self-build the home that best suits their needs.
    The Role of Philanthropy and Impact Investments
    New Story Homes recognizes that addressing the housing crisis requires a multifaceted approach. Philanthropy plays a crucial role in funding the initial stages of projects, allowing the organization to acquire land and develop infrastructure.
    However, to achieve scalable impact, New Story Homes pairs philanthropic funds with impact investments.
    This blend enables the organization to extend its reach further down the market, serving families who are often excluded from traditional housing solutions.
    By focusing on sustainable, market-based solutions, New Story Homes ensures that its initiatives not only provide immediate relief but also foster long-term economic growth and stability in the communities it serves.
    Success and Future Innovations
    The success of New Story Homes can be seen in the thousands of families who now live in safe, affordable homes in countries like Haiti, El Salvador, Mexico, and Bolivia. Each project is a testa

    • 30 min
    Zoila Jennings // Impact Investment Lead at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

    Zoila Jennings // Impact Investment Lead at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

    In Episode 70 of the Investing in Impact podcast, I speak with Zoila Jennings, Impact Investment Lead at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, on poverty alleviation and systems change through targeted community financing.
    Subscribe to our Causeartist newsletter here.
    This content is for informational purposes only, you should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.
    Sound Bites
    "The limit does not exist in philanthropy. I think with banks, they're highly regulated, and it does limit what they can do in terms of flexible financing.""We're a systems level investor. So I don't say, oh, I'm focused on housing or small business. On the community development side, I say, where is the capital now going and where are places that we should really pilot, test, bring in other investors to join."About ZoilaZoila Jennings joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2021, bringing her career focus on social justice and poverty alleviation—through targeted community financing—to her role as an impact investments officer. Prior to this, Zoila served as a senior relationship manager with U.S. Bank, the fifth largest commercial bank in the United States, as part of its Community Development Corporation.
    In this position, she sourced, structured, and underwrote loans and equity investments for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). She also developed and executed investment initiatives aimed at addressing racial inequities, including a $25 million fund to support women of color microbusiness owners and the first CDFI-issued racial equity bond for targeted investments in underserved communities of color.
    Before joining U.S. Bank, Zoila spent a decade at JPMorgan Chase in New York, taking on various roles, including vice president for Community Development-New Markets Tax Credits.
    Here, she utilized tax equity to structure community development transactions. As a credit underwriter, she managed a credit portfolio that encompassed lending, from small working capital lines to large syndicated tax-exempt debt obligations, to nonprofit hospitals, higher education institutions, and social services agencies.
    In other roles, she founded a consulting firm specializing in credit underwriting, loan structuring, and financial due diligence for loans and investments benefiting low-income communities.
    Zoila holds an MBA from Kellogg School of Management and a BS in Business Economics with a concentration in Catholic Studies from Fordham University.
    The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
    The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is a force in the realm of philanthropy, employing a multifaceted approach that includes grantmaking, policy change, and impact investing to dismantle barriers to health and wellbeing.
    At the heart of RWJF's mission is the belief that everyone in the U.S. should have the opportunity to live their healthiest life possible. Achieving this goal requires equitable capital flow to communities historically deprived of investment due to generations of racist policies and structural racism.
    About RWJF Impact Investments
    RWJF stands as a national leader in philanthropy, committed to transforming health across the nation within our lifetime. Through impact investments—which encompass deposits, loans, equity investments, and guarantees—RWJF collaborates with both public and private sector investors to channel more capital into underinvested communities.
    The foundation's vision encompasses flourishing communities where clean, safe drinking water and stable housing are accessible to all, jobs pay a living wage, and everyone has a fair chance to thrive.
    Since 2010, RWJF has allocated $625 million to impact investments, addressing structural barriers that perpetuate health inequities.
    These barriers include historical and ongoing disinvestment in housing, jobs, water infrastructure, and other critical community conditions. RWJF's investments target improving health

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

Kevin Iraheta ,

Great storytelling!

Podcast interviews leaders in the impact investing space! In the podcasts you get to hear the “why” behind why people do the work they do, which is uncommon in podcasts.

straderp ,

Love the conversation

Amazing conversation about social impact investing. Grant interviews some amazing people. Inspirational!!!!

jstra19 ,

Exciting

I can’t wait to listen. All of Causeartist shows have amazing insight and inspiration.

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