Social Innovation Roundtable: Thursday, August 17, 2017 8:30am to 10:30am

About the Event


Forefront’s Social Innovation Roundtable invites you to a very timely and interesting discussion with William W. Towns, Executive Director for Benefit Chicago. He leads the day-to-day work to help socially motivated businesses and nonprofits access the capital they need to innovate and grow.

Benefit Chicago, a collaboration of the Chicago Community TrustJohn D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and Calvert Foundation, and has recently announced the first round of impact investments totaling $12 million.

Created in 2016 with the goal of mobilizing $100 million for investments in local nonprofit organizations and social enterprises facing barriers in accessing capital from commercial sources, the funding collaborative awarded loans to six organizations.

AutonomyWorks, was awarded a $600,000 loan to expand its efforts to provide meaningful employment to adults with autism. CNI, a community development corporation and community development financial institution, was awarded a $2 million loan to complete the 111th Street Retail Gateway in Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood. The Garfield Produce Company, was awarded a $500,000 loan to expand production and hire additional employees at its vertical hydroponic vegetable farm.

In addition, mission-driven lender and developer IFF received a $5 million loan to finance a range of community-based projects. LISC Chicago was awarded a $3.5 million loan to support the Southwest Corridor Collaborative, a new community partnership. Sweet Beginnings, a for-profit subsidiary of the North Lawndale Employment Network, was awarded a $500,000 loan to expand production and sales of its honey-based products, which are produced by formerly incarcerated and other residents of the city who have struggled to, find gainful employment.

Attendees will hear update about Benefit Chicago its goal to mobilize impact investments for nonprofits and social enterprises working throughout the Chicago region.

To register for this event, click here.