Catalytic Capital in Action: Sustainable Jobs Fund/SJF Ventures
This case study was written by the Catalytic Capital Consortium (C3), an investment, learning, and market development initiative led by the MacArthur Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and Omidyar Network, which brings together leading impact investors to encourage greater impact and the use of catalytic capital.
Creating Over 9,000 New Jobs
In 1999, the Sustainable Jobs Fund (SJF) launched a pioneering, triple-bottom-line fund to provide growth capital to expansion-stage companies focused on sustainability, employment, and competitive investor returns. Because the strategy and manager were unproven, most commercial investors were unable or unwilling to participate. At $1 million, PRI served as risk-taking capital to help unlock $17 million for SJF’s first fund, giving the company the chance to prove its impact investing approach.
Now known as SJF Ventures, the firm has raised more than $260 million through four commercial investment funds. It has financed more than 60 companies, which have created in excess of 9,000 new jobs, particularly in underserved communities, and helped mitigate more than 2.4 million metric tons of CO2, while generating returns that are at or above venture capital benchmarks.
Catalytic Capital Investment
$1 million PRI* from MacArthur; other first-fund investors include Bank of America, CDFI Fund (Treasury Department), Citibank, Dakota Foundation, Deutsche Bank, First Union (now Wells Fargo), MetLife, and MBNA America Bank.
Now a highly ranked manager, SJF Ventures raised funds in 2013 and 2016 that exceeded their target fund sizes.