New Venture Fund Seeks Sustainable Startups

March15, 2012 by Shannalee in Solar Living

SJFIn exciting news for eco-minded startups throughout the country, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently announced the licensing of SJF Ventures III LP, the first nationally focused impact investment fund.

The fund “is yet another important new ally in SBA’s commitment to foster small business growth and job creation in emerging sectors,” said Administrator Karen Mills. “They’re an experienced team that is well-positioned to drive more investment in high growth, positive impact companies. We will continue to grow this and other public-private partnerships by licensing more funds and putting more capital in the hands of small business owners to grow and create good jobs.”

SJF’s four areas of eco focus will allow the fund to support and encourage growth in various green initiatives, such as efficiency and infrastructure; reuse and recycling; sustainable agriculture and food safety; and technology enhanced services. It will build upon the success of the first two SJF ventures, which involved 34 portfolio companies.

Already, returning limited partners in SJF’s fund include Citi and Deutsche Bank, Calvert Equity Portfolio, Armonia, Abacus Sustainable Fund and Trillium Asset Management LLC. There are also several new investors such as wealth management firm Caprock Group, family office OpenBox and wealth advisory pool ImpactAssets.

“The license from SBA makes it very easy for us to undertake this kind of investment,” said Andrew Ditton, managing director and co-head of Citi Community Capital. Because SBA has licensed the fund, it allows investors to bypass complicated documentation requirements that would be “very cumbersome,” Ditton said.

SJF Ventures III LP is committing up to $75 million of investment capital over the next five years.

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