Indigenous Entrepreneurs Receive $25 Million Boost From World’s First Indigenous Impact Fund

Indigenous entrepreneurs are benefiting following the Final Close of Raven Indigenous Capital Partners’ (Raven) Impact Investment Fund with $25 million in capital commitments from 38 investors drawn from across Canada and the United States. The Fund closed on January 31, 2021. Interestingly, TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good is the largest Canadian investor. 

The Raven Indigenous Impact Capital Fund I was launched in response to the resource gap faced by many Indigenous entrepreneurs. Despite Indigenous entrepreneurs’ strong ideas and product offerings, systemic racism and colonization have blocked their access to the capital and crucial capacity-building opportunities that spur growth in non-Indigenous enterprises.

The Raven Indigenous Impact Fund provides equity and equity-like capital to innovative, scalable, purpose-driven Indigenous enterprises. The Fund looks to support entrepreneurs who are at the seed and/or early stage. Through the Raven Fund, innovative Indigenous enterprises can access the support they need to grow from a trusted partner. The Fund represents a sustainable, values-driven approach to poverty reduction and community resilience that will directly contribute to the development of an Indigenous middle class. Enterprises are screened through a unique, Indigenous impact lens and receive investments ranging from $250,000 to $2 million.

For investors, Raven combines a strong social and environmental impact thesis and generates competitive returns. The fund targets a net annualized rate of return of 6-8% over a ten-year fund life.

The Raven Fund reflects a growing recognition of Indigenous entrepreneurs as innovators and knowledge keepers leading an economic transformation that will lift up Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island. The overwhelmingly positive response to the Fund from the investment community will bolster Raven’s efforts to build a portfolio of dynamic technology-driven and enabled Indigenous enterprises, as well as plot initial steps toward raising a successor fund in the near future. 

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