Photo showing group of food entrepreneurs smiling during a training session

Technical Assistance Helps Food Entrepreneurs Build Their Business Acumen

A strong local food ecosystem is essential to community health and economic prosperity — and in Washington, D.C., food deserts (areas without full-service grocery stores) in communities living with lower incomes are a significant factor in persistent food insecurity. Building local food businesses in underinvested communities can help support healthier neighborhoods, build economic prosperity, and increase access to high-quality jobs. 

In 2021, Capital Impact Partners and the Government of the District of Columbia – along with a group of partners – launched the Nourish DC Collaborative, an initiative that supports the development of locally owned food businesses in D.C. communities to create vibrant, healthy neighborhoods.

Nourish DC offers flexible loans, grants, and technical assistance to emerging and existing food businesses. While it serves the entire District, the collaborative focuses on supporting businesses in underestimated neighborhoods, which are more often owned or led by people of color.

In this blog series, learn how food business owners are supporting their local communities and how technical assistance offered through Nourish DC helped them create change.

Impact Investments That Support Companies Affecting Positive Change

By Ellis Carr, President and CEO of Capital Impact Partners and CDC Small Business Finance (each is part of the Momentus Capital branded family of organizations)

In 2022, a Fast Company piece by Porter Braswell released new statistics that painted a telling picture: in 2021, only 1.4% of Black founders received venture capital funds. That’s a stark number when you consider that more than 13 percent of the U.S. population is Black or African American. It is not surprising, however, given that Black investors only make up 3% of the venture capital industry. The numbers are similarly poor for women-led startups, which only receive 2.3% of venture capital funding, and whose leaders only make up 5.7% of venture capital partners. 

When you think that racial inequality, specifically as it relates to Black Americans, has cost our economy over $16 trillion over the last 20 years, it’s clear that our approach to investing in diverse entrepreneurs needs to change.

Impact Investing for Health Equity: Q&A With SameSky Health CEO Abner Mason

SameSky Health Founder and CEO Abner Mason is on a mission to advance health equity in communities

Abner Mason came up with the idea for SameSky Health in 2013 with a dream of creating a company that is on a mission to advance health equity. From its inception, SameSky Health has been focused on engaging and helping Americans who are marginalized or under-resourced.