A major player in the life insurance business, MassMutual has launched a $50 million pledge to help spark job creation and business growth for diverse entrepreneurs.
The fund will be evenly split between two sleeves of capital: One is “MMCF Growth,” a $25 million community growth sleeve to target equity and debt investments in Black-owned, founded, or managed businesses in Massachusetts, including in Boston. Another is “MMCF Tech,” a $25 million technology sleeve to target equity investments in Massachusetts tech firms based outside of Boston.
The MMCF will compile a portfolio of early and mid-stage firms with investments of $250,000 to $2.5 million each. And officials report investment decisions will consider strong leadership teams and place emphasis on racial diversity for those in the growth sleeve to boost access to capital for the Black community. Early-stage firms must have a solid proof of concept and significant market traction or revenue.
The MMCF drive will be an impetus to build up Massachusetts in less economically developed areas of the state through employment and business growth. As such, strong and sustainable investment outcomes for entrepreneurs along with social and community goals will be a focus.
The fresh commitment by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual) comes as companies across America have pledged billions of dollars to racial equity. The vows last year were part of a major move to fight concerns about systemic racism after the police killing of George Floyd and subsequent Black Lives Matter protests.
MassMutual, which has operated since 1851, claims it has done so with a singular purpose: helping people secure their future and protect the ones they love.
Rilwan Meeran, Impact Investment Portfolio Manager at MassMutual who runs the MMCF, stated. “Impact investing at MassMutual seeks to create a positive social and environmental impact that is measurable while also making market-rate financial returns. Philanthropy alone cannot solve our society’s problems; institutional capital investment should also play a role.”
Those interested can apply for funding at https://www.massmutual.com/lp/catalyst.