Northwestern Mutual is contributing another $75 million to its Impact Investment Fund.
The added investment brings total funding for the initiative, which the company says is aimed at lessening the racial wealth gap, to $175 million.
Established in 2021, the Impact Investment Fund places investments nationally and in Milwaukee with a focus on business growth and physical and social infrastructure. The capital helps businesses and entrepreneurs continue to grow and create positive economic momentum within local communities, while also generating a positive financial return for the company’s policy owners, a press release said.
Launched by the company’s Sustained Action for Racial Equity Task Force, the fund was started with $100 million. Since its inception the company has used the funds to make a total of 16 investments nationally and locally, which has led to further investments in nearly 55 diverse businesses, the majority of which are Black owned. This has resulted in nearly 350 new jobs across the country, Northwestern Mutual said.
Local initiatives that have received funding, including the Northwest Side Community Development Corp. and the Legacy Redevelopment Corp. The two organizations are working on raising a $15 million fund to support Black-owned businesses in Milwaukee.
Fund investments are also designed to support the rehabilitation and selling of affordable homes, improvements to school system infrastructure and increase the number of seats available for student enrollment.
“We are steadfast in our commitment to change and proud of the tangible and meaningful impact we’ve made with our neighbors, partners and businesses in Milwaukee and beyond,” said Ray Manista, executive vice president, chief legal & compliance officer, and secretary at Northwestern Mutual. “With this added commitment, we will be able to support even more positive social impact and businesses as they grow their footprint and workforce in their local communities.”