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TAKE ACTION

Read about ASBN's efforts with the negotiations for the 2023 Farm Bill in the U.S. Congress here.

Do you know a Black or Brown-owned business that could grow their work with Philadelphia regional institutions if it weren't for a specific hurdle? 

The Hurdle Fund is a $125,000 philanthropic grant pool, funded by local Investors Circle members that understand a comprehensive approach and full spectrum of capital is needed to increase racial equity in our local business landscape. 

Learn more about the fund below and please share. Businesses are invited to reach out to Melina Harris at The Economy League (mharris@economyleague.org) for more information and application. Read the full press release here.

Investors Circle Investment Opportunity - Firebrand Artisan Bread
“We don’t hire people to bake bread, we bake bread to hire people.” Fireband Artisan Bread is a mission-focused bakery in the East Bay of San Francisco. Founded by Matt Kreutz, Firebrand focuses on hiring formerly incarcerated and homeless people, offering them not only living wages, but comprehensive support to break the cycles of crime and poverty. Likely because of strong employee-mission focus, the company experienced only a 6% staff turnover rate in 2021 vs. 144% in the wider industry. Investors Circle’s due diligence team called Firebrand a “remarkable company with a sincere, deep and replicable steward-ownership model.”

Key Deal Terms:
- 90% of distributable profits go to investors until they receive a 2x return, then 90% of profits go to workers
- Share redemption rights after 5-8 years
- Closing by August 15th

There is a due diligence report available to investors. And the due diligence team is available to respond to questions. The minimum investment for this opportunity is 10k for accredited investors (for smaller investments, check out WeFunder which will be relaunching soon), If you’d like to learn more about this opportunity and Investors Circle, please contact Jillian Gerstley.


MEMBER INTERVIEW
Read ASBN's featured interview this month with Kate Krebs, Director of External Affairs, Closed Loop Partners.

PODCAST
Catch up on ASBN's latest Just & Sustainable Economy podcast episodes.

ASBN IN THE NEWS
In his first article as a contributor for Inc. Magazine, Jeffrey Hollender tackles greenwashing and the importance of corporate transparency. 

On July 1, Frank Knapp Jr, ASBN's director of business for democracy, published an article with The Disruptive Quarterly discussing the threats to our democracy and economy. 

On July 13, Frank Knapp Jr. published an article with Inside Sources discussing how the Senate needs freedom from minority oppression. 

On July 14, ASBN was mentioned by Triple Pundit for our involvement in the passage of CA SB 54, California's landmark plastics law.

On July 27, David Levine was quoted in an article from Coming Clean as he discusses the urge to pass the Environmental Justice for All Act.

On July 28, Jeffrey Hollender was interviewed by ESG Matters for an episode of their podcast focused on the proposed SEC climate disclosure rules and the future of ESG. Listen to the podcast on Apple PodcastSpotifyAmazon MusiciHeartRadioPodcast Addict, or Podchaser
Working Groups
Regenerative Agriculture: 
In July, the Regenerative Agriculture and Justice Working Group released its policy priorities and position memo for the 2023 Farm Bill, which you can read and sign on to here. The group also is developing a proposal for the upcoming White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health to bring a unique perspective making the connections between sustainable business, regenerative and just agriculture, and nutrition and health. Additionally, the group discussed a comment submission to the USDA regarding the importance of reducing fertilizer use in agriculture by building soil health and on-farm fertility. The comment was organized by working group member Land Core and you can learn more here.

Corporate Transparency and ESG Disclosure:
The working group met in July to discuss the current regulatory landscape and was joined by Tim Mohin, Chief Sustainability Officer at Persofini. The next working group meeting is scheduled for September 14th. If you would like to learn more about this working group please contact arv@asbnetwork.org.

Circular Economy:

The Circular Economy Working Group met this month with guest speakers Mitch Hedlund (Founder & Executive Director of Recycle Across America), to adress the need to legislate for standardized labels on bins at a national level, and Miyoko Sakashita (Oceans Director Senior Counsel, Center for Biological Diversity), to discuss the RFP published by the General Services Administration (GSA) on single-use plastic. Currently, ASBN is putting together a task force to assemble and submit a response to the RFP. Contact stephanie@asbnetwork.org to join the task force, kicking off Thursday 8/28 at 2 pm ET.

The next working group meeting will be August 17th at 3pm ET.

Climate and Energy:
The Climate and Energy Working Group met in July to share intel from hill visits and talk about how to move forward in light of the reconciliation bill falling apart.

Business for Democracy: 
The American Sustainable Business Network campaign, Business for Democracy, launched six state collaboratives in July with three more in the works.

The Business for Democracy state collaboratives, composed of business organizations and individual businesses, are connecting the dots between a strong democracy and a vibrant entrepreneurial economy.  

The two go hand-in-hand.  Protecting democracy and our economy is on the ballot this November.
The Business for Democracy state collaboratives are using the trusted voice of small business to elevate the issue of democracy and the need to pass voting reforms in Congress to protect both our democracy and economy.

The state collaboratives are not endorsing candidates. The six state collaboratives launched to date are MI, OH, PA, CA, AZ, and NC. Collaboratives in NV, WI and GA are being built.

To become a member of a state collaborative, please contact Frank Knapp.


Alternative Impact Investment Structures:

There is a growing need for the impact investor and entrepreneurs to rethink how investments are made.  How can impact investors and social entrepreneurs use investment structures to be more mission-aligned rather than push for a quick exit?

Tools of the venture capital trade are becoming increasingly popular, both among entrepreneurs and angel investors; but are SAFES and priced equity rounds the best options for impact investors and social enterprises?   This working group explores alternatives to the VC toolkit; from revenue notes; to crowdfunding campaigns; to alternative corporate structures.  We will develop case studies and best practices with a view toward educating the impact community and encouraging the broader use of alternative investment structures. 

For more information, contact ASBN members: Claude Arpels or Babbie Jacobs.
 

Main Street Lending/CDFIs - see our webpage for a listing of CDFIs that are able to accept investments from individuals.

 

Beyond Wall Street II: Investing to Dismantle Racism and Oppression Faith Based Community Convening coming in September.

To educate and activate faith based organizations, foundations and individuals through a series of virtual events  about the opportunities to participate in Community Investing, CDFIs, Community Land Trusts and other Main Street Lending. For more information or to include your Faith Based organization contact: Tom Abood, Babbie Jacobs or Derek Peebles.

Transforming Business Ownership Project (TBOP):

Check out our new webpage!  Transforming Business Ownership Project

The Transforming Business Ownership Project (TBOP) continues to advance its efforts in three key areas 

1) Development of an Employer Pipeline for deal flow

2) Generation of Investor Interest, both individual and institutional

3) Passage and Implementation of innovative Public Policy measures.

Current Articles on Employee Ownership 

Restorative Investing Task Force - See our new updated webpage!

Save the Date: October Presentation - Beyond Impact Investing and ESG

The truth is the financial system and institutions are not broken, they are designed to oppress and create inequity. Without intentionality to address systems change, impact Investing’s “do good do well” approach and ESG merely perpetuate these inequities and oppression. Flowing capital to BIPOC businesses or benefitting BIPOC alone also isn’t enough as it doesn't address inequities in the due diligence process, the terms, the impact metrics and even reporting requirements. The Restorative Economies Fund at the Kataly Foundation is based on its CEO, Nwamaka Agbo's restorative economics framework and focuses on systems change for the prosperity of all. In this session, we will learn more about what intentional finance for systems change based on restorative economics look like, examine some examples of restorative investing, and also discuss the policy changes needed to make this approach successful.

Investor Education for those identifying as female:

Starting in August I’ll be facilitating a small group that will lead participants through a 3-module Deep Dive  course on How Angel Investing Works designed by Nancy Hayes. We still have a few spaces available. The course is free with Invest for Better membership ($100 donation for 1 year). 

A 2-page description is attached. Meeting dates are:

  •  August 9 - 8-10pm ET

  • August 23 - 8-10pm ET

  • September 6 - 8-10pm ET

To enroll or for more information about this course or any of the following:

please contact babbie.jacobs@gmail.com
Stephanie Erwin, ASBN's director of circular economy, has had a very impactful month! Read about her congressional testimony, and the passing of Plastic Pollution Prevention and Packaging Producer Responsibility Act (CA SB 54). ASBN strongly stood by this bill and we are thrilled by its passing. Read about everything Stephanie has been up to here

American Sustainable Business Network is teaming up with Businesses for Bristol Bay and The Conservation Alliance on a national business sign-on letter to the EPA, urging the EPA to put durable Clean Water Act protections in place for Bristol Bay by the end of 2022.

ASBN applauds the historic climate deal that the Senate reached. Read our statement about the impact this new deal could have.
Member News

Member Opportunities
One of our newest members, Martin Ricard, has a favor to ask all the members who already have a team for their businesses or organizations. Martin is the founder and CEO of Community Symbol, a social justice-focused digital communications service for businesses and nonprofits.

"I’m doing a personal experiment over the next few days where I’m trying to understand more about how mission-driven businesses and nonprofits share their story with the world. I’m looking to interview at least 5 people and ask a few questions to gain some insights into how social entrepreneurs are currently using the web. Shouldn’t take more than 15-20 minutes."

His deadline is EOD Tuesday, Aug. 2. You can contact him directly at hi@communitysymbol.com if you're free to help. Some of the questions he is asking are:

  • What has been the hardest part about growing your online presence so far?
  • Where do you go to get information or new ideas about marketing and communications for your business or nonprofit?
  • Can you tell me about the last time your business or nonprofit redesigned its website? What was that process like? Who ran that for you?
Member Accomplishments

Avocado Mattress and Greyson Bakery have both been recognized as a Best For The World B Corp 2022. 

Share your news, media, and accomplishments with ASBN to be considered for a future newsletter here.


Meet ASBN's Newest Members

Inspire Clean Energy 
Inspire is a mission-driven, clean energy company that subscribes people to a world where energy from renewable sources is a better choice for their home and the environment. With Inspire, members receive access to clean energy and peace of mind from a predictable price for their home’s electricity supply. Founded in 2014, Inspire has made it easy for hundreds of thousands of people to join the clean energy movement and take action against climate change. Inspire is a certified B Corp with headquarters in Santa Monica, CA and Philadelphia, PA.
 
Superhuman Health advocates for greater health and wellness for all people and recognizes that there are genetic differences and gender differences that are huge issues in healthcare (for example, until recently almost all early stage drug testing has essentially focused on white males, neglecting potential reactions of huge population segments). Additionally, they have an active giveback strategy that helps us serve others in need (1% of profits, 1% of time, 1% of equity).

Hourbooks 
Hourbooks are short books on practical solutions that model systemic change, e.g. regenerative agriculture, local investing, worker ownership, public banking, etc.

US Hemp Building Association 
The purpose of the USHBA is to support and advocate for hemp building professionals, projects, and materials in the United States. To facilitate the establishment, and stabilization of a thriving American hemp building Industry.


Join over 700+ businesses, entrepreneurs, investors, and policymakers working to build a more just and sustainable economy for all. As a multi-issue, membership organization advocating on behalf of every business sector, size, and geography, ASBN and its association members collectively represent over 250,000 businesses across our networks. Learn more about ASBN membership and join here.

Upcoming Events
ASBN Events Member & Partner Events
  • August 3: ASBN Live: Job Quality is a Pathway to Alpha. 1PM
  • August 10: ASBN Live: Reimagine Corporate Philanthropy: Donor Advised Funds. 1PM
  • August 10: Partner Event: Savings and Retirement for Yourself and Your Business. 12PM
  • August 24: Partner Event: Emotional Intelligence and Professional Development for the Entire Team. 12PM
  • August 31: ASBN Live: Reimagining Recycling: How Tech Innovation is Increasing Landfill Diversion and Driving Circularity. 1PM
All time Eastern. Submit member/partner events for consideration here.
Download Your Member Badge to Display Your Proud ASBN Affiliation on Your Website Below.

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(for .eps files to add to printed materials and product logos, email shanti@asbnetwork.org)
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