Economic Development, Nonprofits, and Small Business & Startups

Local First producing workshops on 'impact investing'

October 27, 2017
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Aaron Tanaka
Aaron Tanaka. Courtesy Local First

Two “impact investing” experts from Boston will lead two free workshops in Grand Rapids on Monday.

Deborah Frieze and Aaron Tanaka of the Boston Impact Initiative, an organization that invests in eastern Massachusetts enterprises that “address the growing wealth gap and ecological challenges,” will lead two workshops for Local First and its partners on place-based impact investing and supporting local communities.

The first workshop, A Place-Based Approach to Impact Investing: Stories from the Boston Impact Initiative, will focus on how the Boston Impact Initiative addresses the asset gap and provides resources to needy communities. The first workshop will be from 8:30-10 a.m. at the Eberhard Center in Grand Rapids, at 301 W. Fulton. People can register for free online.

The second event will be an interactive workshop, Building a People-First Economy, and walk attendees through the “creation of a neighborhood-scale economy that is governed by low-income and marginalized communities through creative interventions.” The workshop will be from 6-8 p.m. at the LINC UP Gallery in Grand Rapids, at 341 Hall St. SE. People can register for free online.

The workshops are hosted by Local First, an economic development nonprofit in Grand Rapids, and its event partners: the Johnson Center for Philanthropy; Grand Rapids Community Foundation; Frey Foundation; Family Owned Business Institute; Foundations Endowments Family Offices; and W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

“Entrepreneurs are an essential part of our neighborhood economies. Yet, there is still a big gap in many communities for who can access investment dollars,” said Elissa Hillary, president, Local First, “Local First is rooted in supporting economies that are people-focused, and we encourage anyone who has an interest in place-based impact investing, addressing inequities in capital and building wealth and resilience in local neighborhoods to come out to these events.”

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