In previous episodes of I Want Her Job: The Podcast, we’ve explored the world of impact investing, a field that combines financial returns with social impact. As conscious women, we’re excited by this industry that places emphasis on initiatives deeply valued and dear to our hearts, like the environment and health care. In 2016, impact investing was a $60 billion marketplace, and it’s only continuing to grow.
In episode 20, Podcast Editor Polina Selyutin speaks with Victoria Fram, managing director of impact investing firm Village Capital. The organization believes in creating opportunities at a local level for entrepreneurs in underserved markets. Their focus is twofold, with emphasis on economic inequality for startups – increasing access to affordable healthcare, education and financial services – as well as on sustainable agriculture and energy.
It’s Victoria’s job to work with investors who wish to align their investments along with their values. A particular emphasis is placed on early-stage companies. What sets Village Capital apart is their approach. Entrepreneurs in their portfolio constantly evaluate one another, giving each the opportunity to, “Hear candid viewpoints from [their] peers,” Victoria says.
Over the last 6 years, Village Capital has overseen more than 40 programs, investing in 70 companies with over 500 entrepreneurs, ranging in investments from $70,000 to $500,000. Investments in these programs totaling $3 million has resulted in a 15 to 1 return for investors. And while many investment firms chase the same markets, Village Capital is seeing great success in other areas, including ed tech startups in New Orleans and agriculture in Kentucky.
“The best entrepreneurs are not the ones in Silicon Valley who are creating an app that will make life a little easier – or fleetingly more fun … The best entrepreneurs are out there in cities and towns across the country, disrupting the world’s toughest problems, creating good paying jobs and strengthening their communities,” Victoria says. Read more at www.iwantherjob.com