News Release — VSECU
April 17, 2017
Kevin Ellis, Ellis-Mills Public Affairs
Email: [email protected]
Program aims to create $50 million social impact fund to invest growth stage capital to grow Vermont’s economy and create quality jobs
BURLINGTON, Vt. – Vermont Works, a new Vermont investment firm that plans to invest $50 million in Vermont companies through its social impact fund, is partnering with VSECU through its wholly owned subsidiary, Vermont Heritage Financial Group,Inc. (VHFG) to spur economic growth and create new jobs in the Green Mountain State. The partnership will combine Vermont Works’ vision of increasing investments, particularly in growth stage capital—that is, capital for established companies looking to expand operations or relocate to Vermont—with VSECU, the state’s only credit union for all Vermonters. VSECU CEO Rob Miller will advise the management company responsible for the investment fund and help guide the organization’s development and social impact investment decisions.
VSECU is focused on bringing people together to achieve its vision of creating possibilities for greater social, economic and environmental prosperity in Vermont. Vermont Works, based in Burlington, is raising a $50 million social impact fund that will have two success measures: financial strength of the fund itself and positive social impact on the community. This focus aligns with VSECU’s commitment to partner with like-minded organizations in support of its 60,000-plus member-owners and the communities in which they live. Vermont Works will support business acceleration through advice, guidance and various forms of mentorship, with a focus on creating livable wage jobs and addressing the state’s demographic challenge by growing the number of working-age Vermonters.
“We are excited to partner with VSECU on this important work and know its input and expertise about Vermont’s economic needs and how we can make the greatest social impact will be very valuable,” said Robert Zulkoski, chairman of Vermont Works. “We will invest needed capital in companies so they can accelerate their growth and create new jobs. We believe that, together, we can have a greater impact than we can separately.”
Under the agreement, VSECU, through its subsidiary VHFG, will invest in Vermont Works Management Company, LLC to support its growth and development. In addition to the anticipated social impact, VSECU also hopes to earn a return on its investment in further support of its members and mission. VSECU and CEO Miller will provide local perspective and help guide the organization’s work. Vermont Works estimates that approximately 85 percent of its social impact fund will come from outside of Vermont, bringing critical new investment to the state to meet a need for capital that is otherwise unfilled.
“This is an enormous opportunity for VSECU and its members to be a part of something new and innovative in Vermont, investing in our neighbors and friends who are building companies, creating good-paying jobs and growing the state’s economy in bold new ways,” said Miller. “This initiative is an important part of the capital continuum ensuring that established businesses can grow and thrive. It’s all about unlocking the potential that exists in our state to develop a more robust and sustainable economy and greater opportunities for more people to live and work here.”
To learn more about VSECU’s work to support innovative efforts to stimulate social and economic opportunities through collaboration and cooperation, visit https://www.vsecu.com/community/impact/powered-by. To contact Vermont Works, email [email protected].