Investing In Companies For Social Impact – Meredith Shields, Citi Impact Fund

“We have an allocated pool of capital that we are investing in early stage startups that are solving some of the world’s most critical challenges. And…we care just as much about the financial success of the company as we do the impact that that company is going to make on the world. When I say impact… we think about that in two parts. One, who is running this company? Can we deploy more capital into diverse founders, meaning women, people of color, who have traditionally not received the investment capital that’s warranted? And the other impact lens that we take is what we would define as ‘thematic impact,’ which means, what social problems are we solving?…And again, we care about that just as much, if not more than the financial return.” Meredith Shields on Electric Ladies Podcast

To solve the climate and equity crises, we need funders who are willing to back innovative – aka risky – ventures by people who come from different backgrounds with different perspectives. Some big companies are stepping up with venture funds and the like.

One of them is Citi Impact Fund, which provides capital for early stage companies by a range of traditionally underserved founders whose companies are seeking to make a positive social impact. Listen to the head of that Fund, Meredith Shields, explain how they work and what they invest in – and much more – on Electric Ladies Podcast in this value-packed interview with host Joan Michelson.

You’ll hear:

“My advice is to get really clear about what you’re good at and what your functional skillset is, and what your managerial and or leadership skillset is. And then if you want to make a difference, think about where that’s needed….As the world has changed and as this notion of impact has changed, there’ve become more opportunities to use my skillset in different ways, like many different ways that didn’t exist previously. But I think you have to be open to that as a concept. And so just again, getting really clear on what are you good at and is that portable? And many, many things are in lots of different arenas.” Meredith Shields on Electric Ladies Podcast

Read Joan’s Forbes articles here too.

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