GreenMoney Interview Series: Community Impact Investors

Changing the world, one neighborhood at a time
Oct 25, 2021 1:15 PM ET

GreenMoney Interview Series: Community Impact Investors

Welcome to the ongoing GreenMoney Interviews series. This issue features two Women of Color who are emerging leaders in Community Impact Investing:  Kimberly Jones of Self-Help Federal Credit Union interviews Nicole Middleton Holloway of Natural Investments.

Kimberly Jones opens: When I was approached to write this article, I knew immediately that I wanted to speak with Nicole, to get her take on the impact that community investing has on communities of color, particularly now in the aftermath of the country’s response to the pandemic and the civic unrest that has occurred over the past year and a half. We had a spirited and lively conversation about impact investing and her own personal journey within this sector. Let’s begin…

KJ:  Hi Nicole. Thank you so much for agreeing to do this and let’s just jump into it. From your perspective, as a wealth manager, what does community investing mean to you and why is it important?

Nicole Middleton Holloway:  Community investing is an investment in a targeted community based on impact and need. It is typically an investment that doesn’t have market rate rates of return, because the point of the investment is to uplift a certain community need. It can be for a variety of different areas, from funding entrepreneurs and micro enterprises and other small businesses to focusing on specific communities, like low income, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) communities. It can be focused on healthy food systems, affordable housing, or wherever there’s a need. The investment can be an investment note or a CD, which is something that we, at Natural Investments do quite often through places like Self Help Credit Union or Hope Credit Union.

And they are so important because of the need for community institutions or funds, who are trying to address real critical social needs or divestment in these communities, as well as the systemic barriers that these communities have experienced for decades. There’s so much wealth disparity and those individuals, families, and institutions that have wealth and the ability to accept and incorporate community investing into their overall portfolio can have real impact. And at certain levels, for some clients, this is their primary focus area. 

Read the full interview here