Bill Taft, the longtime executive director of LISC Indianapolis, has been named senior vice president of economic development for LISC and will be spearheading our work to grow enterprises and create jobs in the places that need them. In the following Q&A, he talks strategy, practice and what it takes to build inclusive local economies in real life.
Over the next ten years, LISC will direct 50 percent of our annual investments to fuel inclusive economic development in underinvested communities across America. That means preparing people to take on high quality, well-paying jobs. And it means ramping up our work to help small businesses succeed and transforming vibrant commercial and industrial districts. “We have no doubt that this kind of progress is good for residents, good for communities and good for the country,’ says Maurice A. Jones, LISC CEO.
Small businesses are a major dynamo of innovation and growth in our economy—they make up more than 99 percent of U.S. enterprises and create two out of every three new jobs. A partnership between LISC and the crowdfunding platform Kiva is connecting small business entrepreneurs across the country with the capital and knowhow they need to succeed.
Read all about it—or at least part of it—in a wide-ranging interview with Next Street, wherein Maurice A. Jones talks about new avenues for partnership and funding, balancing our interests in housing and business, and whether or not CDFIs are too much like banks.
At a recent conference sponsored by LISC and the New York Federal Reserve Bank, leaders from the community development financial sector and others who work in impact investing gathered to hash out the future of social enterprise investment. An article on Medium.com distills the takeaways, which include the importance of continued public-private partnerships, tapping new types of capital and harnessing good data to make the case for connecting all Americans with opportunity.