The Economic Effect Of Impact Investing In Minnesota

Back in 2014, a large family foundation in Minneapolis, McKnight Foundation, realized how contradicting it was to endow millions of dollars to nonprofit organizations advocating climate change while earning revenues from coal mines and companies that emit carbon gas.

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Image source: socialimpacthub.org

The Minnesota-based organization since then has taken off coal from its portfolios and changed its investment strategy. It has reinvested hundreds of millions into a diversity of assets that reduce carbon emissions and foster sustainable growth, in addition to the previous causes they have already supported, such as literacy and neuroscience research.

In the other half of the Twin Cities, St. Paul, the Northwest Area Foundation had also pledged a tenth of its $400 million endowment into investments that aims to reduce poverty through job creation in low-income and rural areas.

These two foundations are distinguished as leaders in impact investment.

Impact investments are made with the intention of not just achieving monetary returns, but also creating a positive impact on society and environment. While it is only recently gaining steam, the concept dates back to as early as 17th century when Quakers refused to invest in slave trade and pacifists did not invest in war.

In 2015, a survey of 158 impact investor showed that global impact investments had reached $15.2 billion.

Currently, several foundations in Minnesota have entered the impact investment scene, with most investments focusing on job creation or low-interest loans for affordable housing. However, in early August, a meeting in Minneapolis by a group of investment professionals discussed the substantial and unprecedented effect of impact investment on the market.

Under the leadership of Steve Liefschultz, Equity Bank offers customized service in giving access to investment lines of credit and real estate loans. Read more on investment and business conditions in Minnesota by following this Facebook page.

Assessing The Business Climate In Minneapolis

Image source: grayline.com

Image source: grayline.com

In 2015, Forbes Magazine named Minnesota as one of the best states for business, citing the Midwestern state’s economic climate and quality of life as one of the best and strongest in the nation. Driving the force behind Minnesota’s strong business and economic climate is the metropolitan area of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

The Twin Cities houses industry giants and small companies making up more than half of the $316 billion gross state product of Minnesota. Several Fortune 500 corporations are headquartered in Minneapolis-St. Paul, including Target, General Mills, 3M, and the UnitedHealth Group. The city’s roster of established enterprises is a key factor that contributes to the healthy business environment in the area.

Its highly educated workforce is another factor that draws business investors and job seekers to the city of Minneapolis. Ranked as the second most literate city in the nation, Minneapolis boasts of an educated and experienced labor force. The city is also highly accessible. Its efficient transportation system allows people, as well as goods and products, to get around easily. Furthermore, the city offers plenty of professional services to support aspiring entrepreneurs to start their own business and to help companies succeed.

Image source: pond5.com

Image source: pond5.com

With a city like Minneapolis, it is no question why Minnesota consistently ranks as one of the best places in the nation for business.

Steve Liefschultz is the chairman and CEO of Equity Bank, a finance company specializing in investment lines of credit and real estate loans in Minnesota. Follow this Twitter account for more updates.