Impact Investing

A bar of freshly made soap travels down the conveyor belt at a factory in Mutwanga, Democratic Republic of Congo. Part of our investment in the Virunga Alliance helps local producers finance their company.

We invest in companies and social enterprises tackling the most pressing social and environmental problems of our time.

We focus on early-stage endeavors that can greatly benefit from the investment resources that philanthropy can bring. Using capital that is patient, purposeful and flexible, our investments — both debt and equity — align with the goals of the foundation’s grantmaking. We aim to fill a gap in funding and help enterprises in the early years prove their models and scale them, with the goal of achieving positive change for communities on the ground.

The team works closely with both The 11th Hour Project and Schmidt Marine Technology Partners to build upon and complement The Schmidt Family Foundation’s grantmaking activities. As with all of our work, partnership is a key tenet – across programs at the foundation, and with other investors, experts and companies.

We look for innovative products, services, technologies and business models across these focus areas: marine technology, renewable energy, climate change mitigation solutions, regenerative agriculture and Indigenous communities in the United States. Our geographic primary focus area is the United States but we also make renewable energy investments in sub-Saharan Africa and marine technology investments globally.

CEO of Navajo Power Brett Isaac is working to change energy development for indigenous lands by developing utility-scale, clean energy projects and maximizing economic benefits for local communities.
Navajo Power founder Brett Isaac is transforming energy development for indigenous lands by developing utility-scale, clean energy and maximizing benefits for communities.

In Frame: Stories from our Grantees