We are building a growing portfolio of impact investments in support of passionate, talented, committed, positive impact enterprises in our community.
Solidarity Capital Fund Investments
Brasstown Beef is a second-generation family farm in Western NC that raises “pasture centered” cattle “always on grass” using humane and sustainable animal husbandry practices per its Global Animal Partnership (GAP) Step 4 certification. It also purposefully breeds its premium award winning BraunAngus (Braunvieh and Angus) cross to require less feed per pound gain, thereby reducing the carbon footprint, methane production, and global warming impact of its farm operation. Brasstown is also a significant “local food shed” producer, distributing the vast majority of its product locally within the Carolinas, Georgia, and some adjacent Southeastern states via premium channels such as Whole Foods Markets, Chipotle restaurants, and regional specialty farmers markets – while contributing to sustaining the local rural economy and employment within its regional footprint. “Real beef. Raised right. Around here.”
Organic Transit develops and sells “the most efficient vehicles on the planet” – solar and pedal powered hybrid electric assisted all-weather three-wheeled bicycles – a revolution in green transportation delivering the equivalent of 1800 MPG urban transit. Leveraging a radically efficient design, each of these zero-emission vehicles in regular use can prevent up to 6 tons of annual CO2 emissions – the equivalent benefit of a 100% solarized home at a fraction of the cost! Additionally, these solar or wall-charged electric-assisted, cargo-carrying, all-weather enclosed vehicles enable a wider demographic of aspirational bicycle enthusiasts to bike-commute more often over broader distances and terrain within their current fitness profiles, while simultaneously enabling a more active and healthy lifestyle. Green, efficient, cost-effective, active, head-turning, fun. No gas, insurance, registration, or license required. Hand-built in the USA. Organic Transit.
Passage Home, Inc. is a nationally recognized faith-based nonprofit community development corporation (CDC) working since 1991 to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness in Wake County, NC. Passage Home fights poverty and homelessness – in collaboration with a growing network of corporations, congregations, and community organizations – by strengthening families and neighborhoods. It has an especially long history of serving the South Park and Lincoln Park neighborhoods south and east of downtown Raleigh. Passage Home finances its programs in part by developing, owning, and operating affordable housing and economic development ventures in partnership with the communities it serves.
Riley Life Logistics
Riley Life Logistics is a specialized order fulfillment company “delivering the ultimate brand experience” for its fast growing e-commerce, subscription box, and highly differentiated consumer brand clients. Founded in 2007, and a Certified B Corp since 2011, the company has significantly prioritized and invested in developing a company culture built to value and grow its employees, families, clients, and community. Its triple bottom line practices comprehensively address employee working conditions, compensation, benefits, fully paid time for community service engagement, eco-friendly packaging materials and extensive reuse, recycling, and energy and environmental conservation. By such practices, and a relentless fidelity to enhancing each client’s unique brand, the company is daily fulfilling its aspiration to create a “Wow” experience with each package shipped.
Seal the Seasons
Seal the Seasons is a national brand, local food shed producer marketing locally grown produce on grocery shelves throughout the year in each state it serves. By flash freezing harvests to seal freshness, and creating locally branded, distributed, and marketed offerings for each region served, the company is closing farm to table gaps across the country to enhance local food sheds and local food availability significantly beyond the limitations of Saturday farmers markets and summer harvest seasons. As a Certified B Corp, the company also generously supports local farmers, communities, and economies through its “Share the Seasons™” pledge of profit sharing to assist small family farms and vulnerable food insecure populations.
SJF Ventures is a Durham, NC based venture capital firm that invests in high growth positive impact companies in clean energy and efficiency, recycling, sustainable food and agriculture, educational technology, health & wellness, and workforce software. Since 1999 SJF has been an impact investing pioneer, delivering on its dual mission to produce both compelling financial and social returns. It launched SJF Ventures III in 2012 as the first fund licensed by the U.S. Small Business Administration under its new Impact Investment initiative, followed by SJF IV in 2016. The firm is also long engaged in building the fields of impact investing and social entrepreneurship through its two affiliated non-profits, the SJF Institute and Investors’ Circle, and is a founding institutional member of the Investors’ Circle NC local network, and a Certified B Corp as well.
Spotlight Solar is an innovative provider of aesthetic solar structures that make solar investments both visible and attractive. It’s beautifully designed and robustly engineered solar structures increase the solar return on investment, by adding brand and reputation value for property owners making significant (but mostly invisible) investments in clean energy and green building technologies. Better still, making this environmental stewardship visible is a demonstrated key driver for accelerating clean energy adoption (the “peer” effect) – which benefits everyone. Founded in 2009, and a Certified B Corp since 2013, the company is significantly committed to fostering its environmental impact business model, good governance, dignified work, and community service and engagement.
STARworks NC is a project of Central Park NC, a community and economic development initiative serving eight central NC counties – Anson, Stanly, Richmond, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, Davidson and Rowan – that was formed in 1993 to preserve and leverage the region’s natural and cultural assets to create a sustainable local economy. In 2005, Central Park NC began transforming a 187,000 square foot former textile mill in the small Montgomery County town of Star to create the STARworks Center for Creative Enterprise. STARworks today is home to myriad for profit and nonprofit enterprises, including a premier glass blowing equipment manufacturer, glass studio, native clay manufacturer, business services providers, and the offices of Central Park NC. Job creation programming at STARworks is entrepreneurial in nature and designed to serve the creative, agricultural, and alternative energy sectors of the regional economy.
WasteZero is a next-generation waste reduction company on a mission to cut trash in half across the United States. The company’s pay-as-you-throw (PAYT), materials diversion, consulting and other solutions help more than 800 towns, cities, counties, state agencies, and private organizations to reduce waste, increase recycling, and save money. As a certified B-Corp, and three-time “Best-for-the-World – Environment” honoree, WasteZero is motivated by a deep desire to protect the environment and to help communities use more of their resources to improve the quality of life for residents, rather than managing trash.
Additional Solidarity Capital Investments
Food Matters Markets
Food Matters Markets develops and operates community based marketplaces where “food matters, health matters, and local matters”. Its small footprint, full service markets are intentionally tailored for serving smaller local communities across the Southeast that have limited other access to healthy choices and options. To these communities (generally between 15,000-30,000 population), Food Matters Markets brings an “intimate and friendly” store format (generally 8,000-12,000 square feet) featuring the highest quality fresh, local, sustainably produced natural and organic foods; expanded market access for local producers; and positive community impacts via local management and employment, and incorporation of community gathering spaces and programming at its store sites.
SEAL Innovation is a company dedicated to saving lives by reducing the more than 1M+ incidences of global drowning – which is also the leading cause of accidental death among US children ages 1-5. The company – now a team of emergency physicians, pediatricians, aquatics athletes, coaches, engineers, and business professionals – is co-founded and led by CEO Graham Snyder: a WakeMed ER physician, medical educator, engineer, and safe swimming advocate, who invented the firm’s flagship SEAL SwimSafe™ technology in direct response to having witnessed and treated both pediatric and adult victims of tragic drownings. The company is as dedicated to its mission as to its product, donating a percentage of its profits to 501(c)3 programs that help underserved swimmers learn to swim.