social impact
General Business

Social Impact Investing with Ellavoz Impact Capital

A win-win for both investors and communities.

Investing in an underserved community sounds like a great way to turn said community around, but unfortunately, the reality is that is not always the case. Simply throwing money at certain areas does not always lead to the betterment of a community, and further, the results can not always be seen or tracked.

Robert Hutchins, founder and CEO of Belmar-based Ellavoz Impact Capital, believes that social impact investing can not only bring financial returns to investors, but also deliver a positive social impact to underserved communities. 

“Ellavoz Impact Capital’s inspiration is a belief that successful people, through their genuine willingness and goodness, want to rebuild less fortunate communities, [and that] they are willing to allocate a portion of their portfolio to social impact investments, if those investments make sense and if they can see that they are making a real difference,” Hutchins explains. “This is not philanthropy. It is investing, and a very different type of mindset.” 

With Hutchins, there is a belief that you can weigh equally the interest of the investor and the community or the society in which they invest. 

He says that in his experience, over the years, too much Opportunity Zone and affordable housing development has been transactional in nature, as opposed to having a community building mentality. 

“I felt that we could create a whole new asset class, based not on philanthropy, but on social impact,” Hutchins says. “If we could put together the right partners, we could very reasonably, efficiently and effectively put together an asset class that would link high net worth individuals’ investment portfolios with solid thought-out, strategic community development.” 

Over the past year, Ellavoz Impact Capital has opened three Opportunity Zone funds, the most recent of which is the Ellavoz Shared Values Opportunity Fund III, a $50-million fund that will focus on investing in affordable residential housing projects and mixed-use commercial developments in New Jersey Opportunity Zones. 

Among the first projects to be funded will be in Atlantic City, Camden, Newark, Trenton and West Palm Beach, Florida. 

Additionally, Hutchins adds that a fourth, non-Opportunity Zone fund will aim to acquire and redevelop 6,000 one- to four-family homes, primarily in New Jersey, over the next three years. 

“We’re proud to be able to provide opportunities for investors to make sound financial decisions while directly contributing to their local communities,” Hutchins says. “There’s a tremendous amount of opportunity when focusing on the social impact and development of areas of great need, for both the investor and the community.”

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