capital that produces a modest return so, ultimately, it can be self-perpetuating. With a $2 million initial investment from Eastern Bank, the goal is to grow the fund going forward. Access to growth capital is a cornerstone of the approach and early results are eye-opening. After only a year, the first 10 participating businesses have hired a total of 88 employees and added $11 million of revenue, in aggregate. Many have improved their organizational designs and created strategies to enter new markets or make acquisitions. “We know that, as these companies grow, they will not only thrive,” says Orlando Watkins, Boston Foundation Vice President for Programs, “they will employ more people and build more wealth for people of color. And that will lift everybody up.”
Business Equity Fund Investment Committee and Advisors (from left): Jared H. Ward, Anthony Rust, Demetriouse Russell, Corean Reynolds, Alfred F. Van Ranst Jr., Lizette Perez-Deisboeck, Antonio Lopez, Orlando Watkins, Glynn Lloyd and Greg Shell.