Needham Bank's Ashland branch in 2019. Courtesy photo/ File

As part of its Community Reinvestment Act activities, Needham Bank plans to give $2 million to a venture capital fund that invests in businesses led or founded by women and people of color.

Needham Bank has already invested $1 million in the Boston-based firm Reinventure Capital, the bank said in a statement. The firm is led by impact investor Edward Dugger III, and the fund invests in US-based companies “led and controlled by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) and/or female founders,” the statement said. Companies must also have reached the point where they have broken even and are poised to grow profitably.

“At Needham Bank, we’re committed to fulfilling the Community Reinvestment Act and supporting our ongoing goal of helping previously under-served communities,” Joseph Campanelli, Needham Bank’s chairman, president and CEO, said in the statement. “Reinventure is diligently expanding the investment opportunities offered to BIPOC and women founders, and I’m glad Needham Bank is able to be a part of such a meaningful racial and social justice program.”

Needham Bank, which has about $3 billion in assets, made its first investment with Reinventure in June and plans to give another $1 million in 2023, the statement said.

“While many financial institutions continue to disregard the abundance of evidence pointing to the financial and social advantages of investing in overlooked BIPOC and female founders, Needham Bank is among a rarefied few who are leading the way by making inclusion a priority,” Dugger said in the statement. “Reinventure Capital is proud to work with Needham Bank to back underestimated founders who are building the future.”

Reinventure has invested in six businesses so far through the fund, the statement said, including Brattleboro, Vermont-based Home Outside, which uses artificial intelligence and augmented reality to provide do-it-yourself homeowners with landscape designs. Other businesses include Dallas-based Zirtue, which provides peer-to-peer lending and borrowing, and Detroit-based Livegistics, which provides real-time digital chain-of-custody services for the construction, demolition, hauling and landfill sectors.

Needham Bank Commits $2M to Impact Investor

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 1 min