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Insights and tips from remarkable women leaders and innovators - from business, policy, science, the arts - who are transforming our world - Energy and sustainability - Career advice too.

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Jun 8, 2023

Investing In Companies For Social Impact - Meredith Shields, Citi Impact Fund

We have an allocated pool of capital that we are investing in early stage startups that are solving some of the world's most critical challenges. And…we care just as much about the financial success of the company as we do the impact that that company is going to make on the world. When I say impact… we think about that in two parts. One, who is running this company? Can we deploy more capital into diverse founders, meaning women, people of color, who have traditionally not received the investment capital that's warranted? And the other impact lens that we take is what we would define as ‘thematic impact,’ which means, what social problems are we solving?...And again, we care about that just as much, if not more than the financial return.” Meredith Shields on Electric Ladies Podcast

To solve the climate and equity crises, we need funders who are willing to back innovative – aka risky – ventures by people who come from different backgrounds with different perspectives. Some big companies are stepping up with venture funds and the like.

One of them is Citi Impact Fund, which provides capital for early stage companies by a range of traditionally underserved founders whose companies are seeking to make a positive social impact. Listen to the head of that Fund, Meredith Shields, explain how they work and what they invest in – and much more – on Electric Ladies Podcast in this value-packed interview with host Joan Michelson. 

You’ll hear:

  • How Citi Impact Fund defines “impact” – and how it fits in their focus.
  • Tips for what to look for in investors for your entity – and why
  • What impact she thinks the SEC’s new climate risk disclosure rules mean.
  • What makes up the best board of directors to maximize today’s marketplace.
  • Plus, insightful career advice, such as…

My advice is to get really clear about what you're good at and what your functional skillset is, and what your managerial and or leadership skillset is. And then if you want to make a difference, think about where that's needed….As the world has changed and as this notion of impact has changed, there've become more opportunities to use my skillset in different ways, like many different ways that didn't exist previously. But I think you have to be open to that as a concept. And so just again, getting really clear on what are you good at and is that portable? And many, many things are in lots of different arenas.”

Meredith Shields on Electric Ladies Podcast

Read Joan’s Forbes articles here too.

You’ll also like (some may have been recorded under our previous name, Green Connections Radio):

  • Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation, Chair of the National Geographic Society board, on ESG and Impact investing
  • Kristina Wyatt, Chief Sustainability Officer & Deputy General Counsel, Persefoni and former leader of the SEC task force developing the Climate Risk Disclosure rules.
  • Helle Bank Jorgenson, CEO of Competent Boards, on ESG and boards of directors.
  • Shelly Porges, Managing Partner & Cofounder, Beyond the Billion, driving investments in women-founded companies.
  • Julie Gorte, SVP, Sustainable Investing, IMPAX Asset Management on the SEC’s proposed climate rules
  • Michele Wucker, author of “You Are What You Risk: The New Art & Science to Navigating an Uncertain World.”

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