Commonwealth began impact investing in Raleigh in 2017. Drawing inspiration from the adjacent “Research Triangle,” Commonwealth made its first three investments in companies that represent a new type of triangle.
As depicted by the graphic, Commonwealth’s first three investments each represent a distinct type of impact investing. Our first investment in NeighborHealth is a simple debt deal that illustrates the power of strategic philanthropy offering a fix to one of America’s biggest drivers in health inequity. Our second investment in LoanWell is a traditional venture capital deal with social impact derived from a minority entrepreneur whose fintech solution provides significant upgrades in community lending. And the third deal is a late venture stage opportunity that produces distributions immediately with above market rate of return while providing measurable benefits to the nonprofit community.
The “Raleigh Triangle” has become the model for all of Commonwealth’s city-based impact investments. To help each community achieve double bottom-line returns, investors should be provided these three types of deals: strategic philanthropy that returns capital with impact; traditional venture with superior impact; late venture or private equity with measurable impact.
LoanWell’s fintech platform has been on of the leading forces assisting North Carolina’s small business recovery from the coronavirus shutdown.
Neighborhealth is one of North Carolina’s most innovative solutions to provide high quality health care to low-income mothers. They recently received federal designation as a Community Health Center.
Commonwealth’s think tank partner, Sagamore Institute, produces research and consulting services to advance innovative ideas, strengthen social enterprise and create leading measures to evaluate social impact.