Ignite Capital - Fiscal Year 2021 Impact Report

Page 1

FY 2021

IMPACT REPORT


Introduction In furtherance of its mission, in February of 2020, Innovation Works (IW) founded Ignite Capital, a Maryland nonstock corporation. Formed to build out and focus a social enterprise lending program, Ignite Capital is designed to empower Baltimore residents in economically distressed communities by providing the resources required to spur economic activity and rebuild their neighborhood economies through entrepreneurship. After deploying the first investments and hosting the first annual Investor Showcase before the end of FY20, Ignite Capital was able to focus FY21 on expanding operations and widening our investment portfolio at the benefit of pursuing our mission and goals. To date, Ignite Capital and our CoInvestor Network have financially supported 10 Baltimorebased social enterprises with a total of over $1 million in lowinterest investment capital and micro-grants. Patti Chandler, a member of Ignite Capital’s Board and Investment Committee, described the fund saying,

“Ignite Capital is the first joint program that says, we will work with you through the technical assistance program, but then we are going to take what you have learned and bring you into a funding opportunity. It creates a very fluid world for entrepreneurs where they don’t have to go to five different places because we are bringing the community to them.” In the upcoming year, Ignite Capital looks forward to continuing our mission alongside IW to reduce the barriers that communities of color face by offering inclusive, accessible resources to social entrepreneurs (SEs) in historically disinvested Baltimore communities.

IGNITE CAPITAL FY21 IMPACT REPORT


THE CHALLENGE

Perception of SEs as a high-risk investment

Knowledge gap regarding social enterprise business models

Lack of investment in minority-owned small businesses

THE OPPORTUNITY

Investing in Baltimore SEs living in and working for economically distressed communities

Supporting efforts to strengthen the overall market viability of communities

Elevating neighborhood economies to be autonomous participants in the formal economy

UNIQUE DIFFERENTIATORS Stage Based

First-In Capital

Patient Capital

Place Based

Long-term IW Support

Multi-Stage Capital Stack

Investor Network


MILESTONES


KEY METRICS INVESTMENT TO ENTERPRISES $1,053,000 Total Commitments $375,000

$640,000

$38,000

Ignite Capital Investments

Co-Investor Investments

Micro Grants

10

23

Social Enterprises Supported

Jobs Created via Investments

via Investments & Micro Grants

$1,000,000

20%

Grants

C OMM

Grants $346,000

$1,000,000 0% Interest 10 Year Notes

80%

Notes

$2,000,000

$1,375,000

00

D

IN

GOALS

TMENT VES S

I TT

E

IGNITE CAPITAL CAPITALIZATION

$1,7

, 1 2

0

2% Interest 10 Year Notes


IG NI TE CAPI TA L PO RT FO LIO

I N VE ST M E N T S

Infinite Focus Schools is a mindfulness and emotional health software with the mission to reduce the impact of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders in youth.

Jazmine Kionna designs luxury, contemporary shoes that are on-trend, chic, and so comfortable you'll want to walk in them all day long.

Learning How!, Inc. is a state-of-the-art academic learning facility that offers hands-on experiences through purposeful play.

Lifting Labels employs formerly incarcerated men and women to manufacture ceremonial apparel, including church pulpit apparel, clergy robes, choir robes, graduation gowns, and judicial robes.

Parity acquires and rehabilitates abandoned properties in West Baltimore to create affordable homeownership opportunities.

SewLab USA’s mission is to provide personalized, conscientious service and top-quality products that are locally made and sustainably crafted.


I GNITE CAPI TA L PO RT FO L IO F E AT U R ED M IC R O GR A NTS

Black Girls Cook is a non-profit organization with a mission to teach adolescent girls of color self-actualization techniques and life skills through the use of culinary arts and edible gardening.

MOMCares serves under-supported mothers with NICU experience in Baltimore City by providing postpartum doula care including transportation, childcare, advocacy, self-care opportunities, and nutritious meals to mothers and their families.

Plantation Park Heights Urban Farm’s mission is to spread love, support the community, and bring healthy food to the city. They are creating an inter-generational volunteer workforce, enabling the community to thrive and feed those who face food insecurity every day.


Method of Investment: Loan

PORTFOLIO IMPACT

PARITY Founder:

Bree Jones

Parity is an equitable development company based in West Baltimore that acquires and rehabilitates abandoned properties by the block to create affordable homeownership opportunities. Our investment into Parity was explicitly to participate in the city's tax lien process to acquire the liens to an estimated 42 properties in the project's geographical footprint.

As of today, Parity: has acquired 11 properties to renovate in West Baltimore has 25 people committed to purchasing their renovated properties has 70+ people on the waitlist for future properties hosted a groundbreaking ceremony in October 2021 is in the process of hiring three new staff member and setting up HR/People systems to increase organizational management

Jobs Created

4

Area of Impact

Sandtown-Winchester & Harlem Park Sector(s)

Economic Development, Community Development, Housing IW Pipeline Stage

3 – Create https://www.parityhomes.com/

Innovation Works and Ignite Capital are crucial to the social entrepreneurship ecosystem because they are working to shift systems and remove barriers that stifle Baltimore's high-impact social innovators.


Method of Investment: Loan

PORTFOLIO IMPACT

LIFTING LABELS Founder:

Chester France

Jobs Created

6

Area of Impact

Baltimore City Sector(s)

Economic Development, Manufacturing, Returning Citizens IW Pipeline Stage

3 – Create https://www.liftinglabels.org/

As a participant in IW’s Boost Program, I learned about what’s important in terms of the partnerships that you have, as well as how to make your case for support in the form of funding. Participating in Innovation Works programming set my business up for success and opened up the door to receive funding from Ignite Capital.

Our investment into Lifting Labels was to launch its training program– more specifically to hire and train returning citizens to begin making clergy apparel, hire consultants to design and deliver the training, set up operations, and start laying out a marketing/sales strategy for the project.

As of today, Lifting Labels: has launched operations at the manufacturing space, 1100 Wicomico, in the Pigtown neighborhood has completed hiring of 4 returning citizen employees and a head of sales to focus on building a sales pipeline and strategy launched a public fundraising campaign to raise $20K, which has been reached through online donations, Ignite Capital's co-investor network, and the board of directors has received a second investment from Ignite Capital


Method of Investment: Line of Credit

PORTFOLIO IMPACT

LEARNING HOW! Founder:

Nkenge Yasin

Learning How! is a childhood education center that integrates physical, social, emotional, and intellectual experiences for individual growth and development. Our investment into Learning How! was to open a new, larger facility in the Belair-Edison neighborhood.

As of today, Learning How: has moved into their second location with a capacity of 100 children has a waitlist of 44 children hired 7 teachers across both locations uses Infinite Focus Schools software to manager children's emotional and mental health

Jobs Created

7

Area of Impact

Hamilton & Belair-Edison Sector(s)

Childcare, Youth Development IW Pipeline Stage

4 – Grow https://www.learninghowmd.net/

Ignite Capital means an opportunity to inspire others with my lived experiences to be open to seeking support beyond their comfort zone.


Method of Investment: Convertible Note

PORTFOLIO IMPACT

INFINITE FOCUS SCHOOLS Jobs Created

3

Area of Impact

Baltimore Metro Region Sector(s)

Education, Youth Development IW Pipeline Stage

3 – Create https://www.infinitefocuschools.org/

The transformative and powerful aspect of [Ignite Capital], for me and my company, is the support system, the network, and the care of the Ignite Capital team. Ignite Capital wants to see me and my company win, and offers us resources, not just money, to realize it. This is invaluable.

Founder:

Ashley Williams

Our investment into IFS was to launch a marketing and sales campaign to acquire 500 paid users (teachers) on its wellness platform over six months. Funds were also to be used to develop an impact dashboard on teacher usage.

As of today, Infinite Focus Schools: is in the process of hiring two new staff members and setting up HR/People systems to increase organizational management recently closed out a $350K round of investments in the form of grants and convertible notes has extended its contract with the development team behind the platform to ensure continuity of the systems and ongoing maintenance to ensure a smooth user experience


NEWS & EVENTS FROM FY21

The Inclusive Access to Capital webinar was a unique collaboration between Innovation Works, Ignite Capital, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. In this webinar, we introduced and engaged community stakeholders in a discussion that explains and explores the community economic development model developed by Miller Center and modeled in Baltimore through Innovation Works and Ignite Capital.

Ignite Capital and Innovation Works continue to position ourselves as social innovation thought leaders locally and across the nation. Over the last year, Ignite Capital and our portfolio of enterprises have been featured in publications including Baltimore Business Journal, Technical.ly, The Baltimore Sun, and The Washington Post.

Innovation Works and Ignite Capital hosted our first Investor Showcase in FY21. The showcase featured nine of our most developed social enterprises who pitched to our Investment Committee and wider Co-Investor Network. The event served as an introduction to some of Baltimore's most promising mission-driven, sustainable businesses.

Ignite Capital hosted an informational session for members of the Innovation Works community. The event focussed on Ignite Capital's mission, impact, opportunities for investment, and the people working behind the scenes.


LOOKING AHEAD In FY22, Ignite Capital will continue pursuing new and innovative social enterprises to fund and support. Coming down the pipeline are enterprises within new industries, as well as enterprises already being supported by IW's Strategic Initiatives.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVES IW's Strategic Initiatives' focus on particular economic sectors where Baltimore has unique assets that could help increase economic activity, create new livable wage jobs for underserved communities and generate new social enterprises led by people of color.

NATURE'S COLORS

URBAN WOOD

MANUFACTURING

In FY21, IW conducted research and development for three primary strategic initiatives. In the upcoming year, social enterprises within each of these industries will receive tailored support from IW, including opportunities for partnership and potential funding from Ignite Capital.

INDUSTRIES Additional industries Ignite Capital has in the works to support through social enterprise investment in FY22

COMMUNITY HEALTH

YOUTH WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT


CO-INVESTORS We understand that investing directly into Ignite Capital is not the right financial decision for everyone, which is why we have created the Co-Investor Network. Our Co-Investor Network is a network of independent impact investors who have partnered with Ignite Capital by investing directly into the social enterprises in our pipeline.

To date, our co-investors have invested $640K into enterprises supported by Innovation Works and Ignite Capital.

Thank you to our

CO-INVESTORS

For information on joining the Co-Investor Network, email admin@ignitecapital.org.


PEOPLE STAFF

JAY NWACHU

GREGORY HUNTER

President, Ignite Capital President & CEO, Innovation Works

Funding Coordinator, Ignite Capital

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

MURRAY DALZIEL

FR. RICHARD MCGOWAN

Dean, School of Business, University of Baltimore

Treasurer, USA Northeast Province of Jesuits

PATTI CHANDLER

VP of Finance & Admin, Baltimore Community Foundation

JAY NWACHU

President, Ignite Capital President & CEO, Innovation Works

DAN RIZZO Founding Chief Innovation Officer, Inovalon

CHRIS GRANT

BREE JONES

KEN MALONE

Investment Manager, Blueprint Local

Founder & CEO, Parity

Co-Founder, Early Charm Ventures

INVESTMENT COMMITTEE


Ignite Capital 1400 Greenmount Ave, Ste. 101 Baltimore, MD 21202 ignitecapital.org admin@ignitecapital.org FY 2021 IMPACT REPORT


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.