Morgan Stanley, TruFund, Ford Foundation launch impact fund

Morgan Stanley, TruFund, Ford Foundation launch impact fund

Morgan Stanley, TruFund Financial Services, and the Ford Foundation have announced the launch of a $26 million fund in support of minority- and women-owned real estate development companies.

Seeded by Morgan Stanley and the Ford Foundation, and managed by TruFund, the Impact Developers Fund will provide individualized capital solutions, including debt and equity as well as technical support, to emerging impact developers that lack adequate access to capital. The fund has already identified its first cohort of clients and anticipates future capital rounds to serve additional minority developers.

According to the partners, women and minorities typically fail to gain access to the capital needed to grow businesses in all industries, but particularly in real estate, as reflected in the shortage of minority-owned companies in the affordable housing industry. Indeed, African Americans receive only 2 percent of SBA loan products, while a 2019 study by Harvard Business School and Bella Research identified only seventeen women-owned and twenty-one minority-owned real estate investment firms among the nearly one thousand firms listed in a leading database of developers.

"We are very pleased to partner with TruFund and Morgan Stanley — two financiers that have a demonstrated commitment to community-oriented investment," said Roy Swan, the Ford Foundation's head of mission investments. "This effort reflects our shared desire to create innovative, bespoke solutions that address the complex development needs of communities nationwide and direct much-needed capital to emerging impact businesses, including those led by women and people of color."

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