During Propeller’s annual Demo Day, which celebrates the accomplishments of social entrepreneurs graduating from the Startup Accelerator program, the organization made an exciting announcement. Propeller and the Foundation for Louisiana will form a new loan fund in 2017, and Living Cities will invest up to $500,000 in entrepreneurs who tackling social and environmental issues in Southeast Louisiana.
The investment is part of Living Cities’ $37 million impact investment debt fund called the Blended Catalyst Fund.
“New, accessible sources of capital are crucial to the viability and growth of the New Orleans entrepreneurial community,” said Propeller Executive Director Andrea Chen. “I am grateful to all of the partners who have committed to invest in the small businesses and non-profits working to solve critical issues in their communities and across our region.”
Specifically, Propeller and the Foundation for Louisiana will make loans to non-profit and for-profit social ventures that are solving pressing issues in food access, water management, educational equity, and health. Each of those sectors are also the focus of Propeller’s accelerator programs in New Orleans.
“Innovating with private capital has always been a key component of our work because we will never solve poverty with grants alone,” said Ben Hecht, CEO of Living Cities. “This new partnership between Propeller and the Foundation for Louisiana is an important new way to pool and deploy capital to address the most pressing problems facing society today.”