Word on the Street October 2017

word on the street| october 2017

street impact

Client Spotlight: Pacific Community Ventures

Next Street recently worked with Pacific Community Ventures (PCV), a California-based nonprofit social enterprise that engages small businesses, impact investors, and policymakers to build an economy that works for everyone.

PCV serves as a CDFI small business lender with an impact investing research and consulting arm, and operates BusinessAdvising.org — a national small business mentoring platform that matches entrepreneurs with volunteer advisors drawn from corporate, institutional, and independent professions.

Over the next several years, PCV is looking to strategically connect its Business Advising program with innovative small business lenders and both public and private economic development initiatives in place-based and national footprints. Our team worked closely with PCV to evaluate the pace and nature of shifts in each sector, to define the value proposition and delivery model for each audience, and to plan the operating, organizational, and financial model to support expansion.
We took an in-depth look at the rapid changes in online and alternative lending for small businesses. This included looking at the main drivers of value for lenders, and the emergence of new partnerships and referral pathways where loans are being made – or businesses are being referred for additional support pre-loan. We also analyzed the range of place-based and national efforts focused on entrepreneurship and small business development, and the capacity and needs of both funders and local business support organizations to cost-effectively meet the needs of small businesses across sectors, stages, and demographics for advice and mentorship.

Our work resulted in a multi-year plan for PCV to prioritize opportunities, refine its operating and organizational model, and pilot and partner in new ways across multiple audiences. The plan is supported by a dynamic financial model that will enable PCV to run forward-looking operating and growth scenarios that tie directly back to its enterprise-level financials.

street smarts

CUMU 2017 Conference

Earlier this month, the Next Street team attended the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) Conference, for which over 400 academics, practitioners, thought leaders, philanthropists, and community engagement pioneers in the field of higher education descended upon Denver, Colorado. This year’s theme – “The Urban Advantage” – provided a heightened level of energy, particularly in light of the national discourse on race relations and disparities among urban communities. We were among those presenting this year, detailing an approach through which we supported long-standing client The University of Chicago. Our presentation, “Getting Creative to Buy and Hire Local:  Meeting Anchor Goals through Food Service Contracts,” discussed the ways in which the University of Chicago levered a major outsourced contract to meet their local economic development and employment goals. Click here to learn more about the conference and Next Street’s key takeaways.

Next Street’s Jonathan Salzman presents alongside University of Chicago’s Alyssa Berman Cutler at the CUMU 2017 Conference

Scaling Impact with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
Next Street Co-Founder and CEO Jon Aram was delighted to participate in the Scaling Impact Investing in Austin: Insights from National Thought Leaders event hosted by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation on September 29th in Austin, Texas. The event convened approximately 50 local thought leaders and practitioners in the impact sector that are focused on different strategies to scale impact investing in the region. Next Street was invited to participate as a national thought leader that has helped catalyze place-based impact investing initiatives in other cities around the country. Other panelists included Ross Baird, President of Village Capital and Amy Bell, Senior Director at Tideline Advisors, as well as a presentation by Hannah Schiff, Research Manager at GIIN. The panel discussed how various funds/models could be applied to the City of Austin, one of the most dynamic and fastest growing cities in the United States. Next Street was proud to be included in such an important and interesting dialogue.

Next Street Co-Founder honored at ICIC Conference
On October 3rd, the Next Street team attended the 2017 Inner City 100 Conference and Awards, hosted by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. The IC100 Awards celebrate the successes of the fastest growing companies in America’s Inner Cities.

This year’s conference was particularly memorable for Next Street, as our Co-Founder Tim Ferguson was recognized for his incredible 12+ years of board service to ICIC, and for his broader leadership commitment to the revitalization of America’s inner cities through Next Street, ICIC, and many other activities and organizations. Click here to read more.

new on the street 

Western New York Impact Fund Launched

In 2015, Next Street worked with the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo to conduct a feasibility assessment to identify the capital needs of the Western New York Region, and determine the level of appetite in the region for a new impact investing entity. Through an extensive interview program with community stakeholders and both local and national investors, we identified over 35 investable opportunities and gauged the interest of investors in supporting a new impact investing entity.

We are proud to share that last month the Community Foundation officially announced the launch of the Western New York Impact Investment Fund, “an innovative for-profit investment fund featuring collaboration between corporate, private and philanthropic investors who pooled their capital to seek both measurable financial and social return.”

heard on the street 

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