Dallas-based social enterprise firm Good Returns Group announced a $1 million investment Tuesday from Inverdale Capital Management.
Inverdale Capital is also based in Dallas, and the funding represents a convergence of the two organizations’ business models with Good Returns’ focus on sustainable social impact through its philanthropic Cycle program, and Inverdale’s focus on alternative investments.
“We both believe that innovative uses of capital can be a powerful tool for good in the world.”
The capital will allow Good Returns to launch several new cycles throughout the year with multiple partners along with what Kyle Lukianuk, president of Good Returns’ Cycle program, described as a “major storytelling campaign” around the impact generated by the new cycles. The funding also will lead to new initiatives and partnerships Lukianuk told Dallas Innovates.
The investment comes after more than a year of meeting with potential partners around the U.S., Lukianuk said. He said the company was hoping to find a Dallas-based partner and met Inverdale through networking and relationships.
“We both believe that innovative uses of capital can be a powerful tool for good in the world. In addition to this initial funding we have exciting plans with Inverdale which we plan to share in the coming months,” Lukianuk said about the investment.
IMPACT ORGANIZATION FOR AN IMPACT CITY
Good Returns’ Cycle program is a way for companies to provide capital to organizations across a range of social and environmental areas including conflict resolution, education, energy, environment, health, poverty, slavery, and water beyond traditional charitable donations. Through Good Returns, companies can provide capital to the vetted impact organizations via a one-year, interest-free loan. The guaranteed loan is repaid after a year and participating companies have the opportunity to continue the process with another loan cycle.
The program’s organizations are selected from both local and global impact organizations addressing issues such as extreme poverty, water access, and education identified by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Salah Boukadoum, Good Returns Group co-founder and founder of Soap Hope, previously wrote on Dallas Innovates that his goal is for Dallas is to become known worldwide as “the impact city.”
Boukadoum’s 20-year-plus Impact City initiative seeks millions in investments in the North Texas region with Good Returns serving as a key program in the early stages of the effort as a model and infrastructure for deploying capital through its Cycle program. Soap Hope was Good Returns’ first company and is based on investing in microloans for women.
“This investment is an example of bringing previously unconnected resources together to do something new and meaningful for sustainable impact.”
Boukadoum provided three points on what makes an impact organization. He said impact organizations are companies or nonprofits that address a key human challenge as its primary purpose, are built on a financially sustainable business model, and don’t generate negative side effects. He said the third point is important because “in social enterprises, ignorance creates harm,” and impact organizations must understand the side effects of their social models.
About the funding announcement, he described Inverdale as “observant investors” who are serious about North Texas’ potential to be an impact leader.
“Dallas-Fort Worth has a tremendous number of impact resources that just haven’t been coordinated yet to reach their full potential. We have funders, investors, impact organizations, and innovators — all right here in our own region,” Boukadoum said.
He added, “This investment is an example of bringing previously unconnected resources together to do something new and meaningful for sustainable impact. We hope this announcement gives confidence to other social entrepreneurs that the Dallas ecosystem is ready to support innovative and bold social impact initiatives.”
Good Returns’ vision aligns with Inverdale’s aim of elevating the role of capital in making the world a better place, Inverdale Managing Partner Ryan Small said in a statement.
“Good Returns is creating new channels for corporate philanthropy through its innovative model, and we’re excited to partner with them to equip socially-conscious companies with the tools they need to make a difference without cutting into profits,” Small said.
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