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We’ve written many times about why diversity is essential for innovation and economic growth. The data is clear: increasing diversity in organizations and companies benefits all, including the bottom line. As Jean Case wrote in Be Fearless, increasing the diversity— and intentionally bringing together people with different perspectives and backgrounds – helps teams find new markets, innovate, and protect against risk

 

This Pride Month offers plenty to celebrate: more than 800 companies achieved a top score in the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Corporate Equality Index, which looks at efforts to support, retain, and promote LGBTQ+ employees. In addition, over 90% of Fortune 500 companies now explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity in their non-discrimination policies — up from a mere 3% in 2002. Many of these companies are included in the growing number of LGBTQ+-aligned mutual funds and ETFs.

 

As with all progress, there’s still a long way to go. But the growing understanding of diversity’s positive impact on organizations, companies, and communities, makes this Pride Month an opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come, and how we can keep that momentum going for the next generation of innovators.
 

Like your regular dose of good news? We’re shifting to a monthly newsletter to bring you a more in-depth look at the catalysts for optimism we’re seeing in impact investing and inclusive entrepreneurship. Look for Breaking Good on the second Friday of each month.

 
 
 
 
FEARLESS FEATURE
 
 
 
 

His team might not be competing in this year’s NBA Finals, but that didn’t stop Lakers superstar Lebron James from earning another title: he’s officially the first active NBA player to become a billionaire. His net worth also makes him just the 16th Black billionaire in the world and one of two Black athletes on the list (the other, Michael Jordan, did not become a billionaire until after he retired). 

 

James, who was raised in near-poverty by a single mother, credits his uncles with teaching him the lessons in money management that allowed him to grow the value of his NBA salary and endorsements through savvy investing. This family and community support is what inspired him to open the I PROMISE School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. Funded through his eponymous foundation, I PROMISE is designed to support at-risk students and their families. He also recently announced plans for an I PROMISE medical facility, affordable housing, and other critical resources for his beloved hometown.


“Our goal is to let every single kid know they are special," James said in April 2020. "That they can be whatever they want to be. And that starts with addressing everything they're going through before they even step foot in a classroom.”

 
 
 
 
IMPACT INVESTING
 
 
 
 

EVs Are (Com)busting the Market

A new report from Bloomberg says that internal combustion engines (ICEs) — which generate carbon emissions from vehicles — have officially peaked. With the electric vehicle market experiencing record growth and numerous new producers coming online, analysts are saying that automobiles with ICEs are unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels. Another finding: more electric buses and bikes would really leave ICEs in the dust for good.
 
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BlackRock Embraces Gender Lens Investing

Though BlackRock’s embrace of ESG has been notable, the $486 billion in aligned investments — out of its $10 trillion AUM — has focused mostly on climate and sustainability. That’s set to change, as BlackRock announced at the World Economic Forum that they were partnering with UN Women to expand their gender lens investment offerings.
 
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INCLUSIVE ENTREPRENEURSHIP
 
 
 
 

Foodie Founders Say Community Matters

We are what we eat. For Sofiat Abdulrazaaq and Michelle Ruiz, the other ingredient is community. Abdulrazaaq co-founded Goodfynd, which launched during the pandemic to help support food truck owners, many of whom are immigrants, with back-end business management as they faced the unique demands of COVID dining. For Ruiz, watching her mother and others in her El Salvadoran immigrant community struggle with diabetes led her to co-found Hyfé Foods, a mushroom-based flour appropriate for diabetic diets.
 
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11 Million Ways to Make a Difference

The first-ever global social enterprise survey found an estimated 11 million social enterprises around the world. True to the collaborative nature of the field, that estimate was drawn from more than seven years of existing research across 27 countries. According to the World Economic Forum’s François Bonnici, the social enterprise movement “does not have a visible leader or figurehead, or feature media-made unicorn successes, but it is rather driven by millions of people developing the kinds of companies we need in the 21st century.”
 
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BEFORE YOU GO
 
 
 
 

A Climate Legacy Fit For A Queen

Along with the excellent memes featuring her 4-year-old great-grandson, lots of assessments of her reign have come out of Queen Elizabeth’s recent Platinum Jubilee. Climate & Capital editor Peter McKillop explores one oft-overlooked theme: the Queen's consistent environmental advocacy, a legacy already carried forward in the climate action commitments of her heirs Prince Charles and Prince William.
 
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Sunshine From Sweden

President Biden’s recently-announced pause on solar panel tariffs is good news for fans of meatballs and inexpensive furniture: IKEA, the iconic Swedish retailer of both items, will now begin selling solar panels in the US this fall. The new product will roll out first in California, where San Jose-based panel manufacturer Sun Power will also provide installation — a big relief to anyone who has resorted to YouTube to assemble a NORDVIKEN table. 

 
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