Harvard Business School » Social Enterprise » Investing for Impact

Investing for Impact

As impact investing has emerged as a new, fast-growing category of private investing, so too has the awareness of the stark disparity between access to capital among small business owners. The Harvard Business School (HBS) Impact Investment Fund seeks to expand access to affordable, flexible capital for entrepreneurs seeking to build businesses and make a difference in their communities. The fund has dual goals of creating social change and the pursuit of reasonable investment returns, allowing for those funds to be redeployed to new opportunities in the future.

By providing access to capital at affordable rates the HBS Impact Investment Fund is part of an important local ecosystem working to build greater equity and diversity in business ownership, and ultimately in wealth creation. The fund also seeks to provide HBS students with hands-on experience in impact investing, to allow students the opportunity to learn from our entrepreneur partners, and to further HBS’ partnership with our neighboring communities.

The fund currently seeks to make investments of $25,000 - $50,000, either as a lead investor or as part of a larger funding consortium.

Born out of the efforts of HBS students and faculty in the spring of 2020, the HBS Impact Investment Fund has evolved to become part of a full HBS course – Field Course: Investing for Impact – offered for the first time in the fall semester of 2021.

In addition to a weekly seminar (which includes case discussions, panels of expert guests and field experience), students work in small groups with their faculty mentors to conduct due diligence on a business for possible investment. Working closely with entrepreneurs to understand each company’s needs and opportunities, groups are responsible for completing a full diligence report and bringing their investment recommendation to the Investment Committee for discussion and approval. The course is designed to provide students with hands-on experience and training that they can use to pursue careers in the growing field of impact investing. Maximum enrollment is 25 students.

Investment Committee

Heidi Brooks, MBA 2003

COO, National Institute for Children’s Health Quality; Board Member, Boston Impact Initiative; formerly: COO, YouthBuild USA

Caitlin Reimers Brumme, MBA 2012

CEO, MassChallenge; Vice Chair - Board of Directors, Excel Academy Charter Schools; Fellowship Advisory Committee, Visible Hands

Gerardo Espinoza, MBA 1997

Executive Director, LEAF; Advisory member, annual Federal Reserve's Financial Innovations Roundtable; Board member, Food Coop Initiative, Boston Industrial Development Financing Authority, and Third Sector New England

Deval Patrick, JD 1982

Professor and Co-Director, Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership; Founder and Honorary Chair, Project 351; Founding Chair and Honorary Chair, Our Generation Speaks; formerly, Governor, Commonwealth of Massachusetts


Archie Jones

Archie Jones

Senior Lecturer of Business Administration

Emily McComb

Emily McComb

Senior Lecturer of Business Administration

Brian Trelstad

Brian Trelstad

Senior Lecturer of Business Administration


Abry Partners, LLC
Charlesbank Capital Partners, LLC
WilmerHale, LLP
ImpactAssets, Inc.

For more information

The HBS Impact Investment Fund seeks to make investments of $25,000 - $50,000, as a standalone investor or as part of a larger funding round alongside one of our partners in the Boston impact investing ecosystem. We seek to support entrepreneurs in growing their businesses by providing capital that can be flexible in terms of structure and duration, according to each business’ needs. Ideal candidates for investment have at least $250,000 in revenues. At the present time, our geographic focus is primarily in and around the Boston area and greater New England.

The HBS Impact Investment Fund is managed through ImpactAssets, a donor advised fund (DAF). It is a 501c3 organization, allowing for tax-deductible contributions. ImpactAssets facilitates the ongoing administration of our investments as well as the impact reporting.

For more information, please email impactfund@hbs.edu.