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Open Account podcast: Season 3, Episode 3
On Open Account, SuChin Pak has spoken to an array of people about the very personal role that money plays in their lives. But this time, we’re looking at the big picture: the wider, systematic effects of how money, and business, grow communities. This episode’s guests are powerful women who are redefining the fields of investment and real estate, and advocating for a paradigm shift in how we do business.
Nancy Pfund is a venture capitalist in San Francisco who believes in “impact investing:” putting her capital towards business ventures that do just as much for the planet as they do for her portfolio. Nancy’s firm is even named DBL Partners, as in “double bottom line.” The double bottom line refers to DBL Partners’ mission: to invest in companies that deliver financial returns while making the world a better place.
Along with big names like Tesla, Nancy has backed solar energy companies, healthcare innovators, and sustainable healthy food providers. As a woman in a competitive male-dominated field, she often found she had to work twice as hard to gain investors’ trust. And she met plenty of skepticism when she pitched her vision for a new kind of business, that paid human dividends as well as financial ones. It wasn’t always easy to convince other venture capitalists that investment was about more than dollars and cents, “Some people thought it was nuts, others thought it was visionary,” says Nancy.
Meanwhile, Kim Colaprete and Chavi Hohm of Team Diva are advocating for a similar revolution in real estate. A progressive real estate group in the competitive housing market of Seattle, Team Diva is leading the charge to keep homes affordable in Seattle, and keep public education in Washington thriving—even if it means smaller profits for them.
Why sacrifice their bottom line? Because Team Diva doesn’t see it that way. “We’re advocating for people in our industry to make more money, by paying a little bit more.”
For realtors like Kim and Chavi, a healthy community equals a strong housing market. For their own business to thrive, the public schools need to thrive—staffed by teachers who can afford to live where they work.
Hit play to hear how Nancy Pfund and Team Diva share their visions for how businesses can build a better world, and how finance can be a force for good.
Open Account is a podcast that promotes real and necessary conversations about the role money plays in American life. It’s hosted by SuChin Pak, and brought to you by Umpqua Bank and Slate Group Studios.