Empowering Change: Navigating the World of Impact Investing

Impact investing is reshaping the financial landscape, and guess who’s leading the charge? You guessed it—women! More than half of us prefer putting our money where it makes a positive difference. Say goodbye to the days of solely focusing on the bottom line; we’re ushering in a new era of conscious capitalism, where our investments not only yield financial returns but also contribute to a better world. 

But what exactly is impact investing? It’s putting your money into companies or projects that promise financial returns while also making significant social or environmental impacts.  

Now, how do you dive into impact investing? Every asset class offers opportunities, even cash, so creating your investment portfolio is personal to you, your values, and your goals. Here’s a quick look at how each asset class can make an impact:  

  • Cash and Cash Equivalents: Even cash reserves have potential for impact. By strategically allocating cash to institutions or projects aligned with your values, you can ensure that even idle funds contribute to positive change. 
  • Public Equities: When considering public equities, envision curating a portfolio of companies that not only yield profits but also prioritize environmental sustainability, diversity, and fair labor practices. Investing in these companies means supporting those committed to making a positive difference in the world. 
  • Fixed Income: Have you explored the realm of green bonds or social bonds? These investments provide an opportunity to align your financial portfolio with your values. Green bonds finance projects combatting climate change, while social bonds support initiatives like affordable housing and healthcare. It’s investing with a purpose, one bond at a time. 
  • Private Equity and Venture Capital: Imagine backing innovative businesses dedicated to addressing pressing global challenges, from renewable energy to healthcare accessibility. Through private equity and venture capital investments, you’re not just allocating capital; you’re catalyzing meaningful change. 
  • Real Estate: Real estate presents distinctive opportunities to invest in projects that promote sustainability, provide affordable housing, and foster resilient communities. Your investment in real estate transcends financial returns, contributing to the creation of a better world, one property at a time. 
  • Real Assets & Infrastructure: From sustainable agriculture to microfinance, alternative investments offer avenues to support innovative solutions to global issues while diversifying your portfolio and generating impactful returns. 

Feeling overwhelmed? Start with one asset class and take it step by step. And remember, having a financial plan can significantly boost your wealth. In fact, those with a plan have been shown to accumulate 2.7 times more wealth than those without. 

So, is impact investing just a passing trend? Absolutely not! With more women embracing it, impact investing is here to stay. By 2030, we’ll be managing over $30 trillion—more than the entire GDP of the country. Talk about making an impact! 

Need guidance? Check out our Getting Started Guide or join one of our free events. We’re here to support you every step of the way. Together, let’s change the world—one investment at a time. Let’s get started! 

Impact investing options across asset classes

Janine Firpo and Tuti Scott Discuss Exciting Collaboration in a Heading for Change Interview

Heading for Change recently posted this interview with Janine Firpo and Tuti Scott about our upcoming collaborative course: PRIVATE INVESTING AND BLENDED CAPITAL WITH A CLIMATE & GENDER LENS

Unlock the world of private debt and equity funds with a focus on climate and gender considerations. Led by Tuti Scott, IFB Partner and author of ‘Moving Money for Impact: A Guide to Gender Lens Investing,’ this 5-part course transforms interest into action.

Starting April 17th at 8:30 am PT, join weekly 90-minute Zoom sessions (excluding May 8th) with 30 minutes of pre-work. Dive into funds, learn research strategies, and explore investments supporting women and the environment. Make the most of this journey by committing to this 2-hour weekly exploration.


Discover the full course details HERE.


Janine Firpo Joins DelRae Messer for “EmpowerHER: Activate Your Money” On September 24, 2023

Janine Firpo, co-founder of Invest for Better, will be joining DelRae Messer for “EmpowerHER: Activate Your Money. Invest in Your Future, Invest in the World!” event happening on Sunday, September 24, 2023 from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM CDT in Minneapolis, MN.

The event will start with a panel discussion moderated by DelRae Messer. Participants include:


It will be followed by small group discussions led by Janine Firpo. Discussions will focus on money stories, values discovery, and understanding risk. Closing out the event will be a Q&A with the panel and listing of actions attendees can take to transform their relationship with money.

Event highlights will include:

  • Inspiring keynotes and interactive workshops
  • Investment strategies for sustainable growth
  • Empowerment through financial literacy
  • Networking opportunities for lasting connections

Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just starting out, our diverse lineup of expert speakers will meet you where you are on your financial journey.

  • Gain insights from industry trailblazers and learn proven strategies to navigate the world of investing. From stock markets to sustainable portfolios, we’ll equip you with the knowledge to confidently invest in your financial future.
  • Network with like-minded women who are passionate about creating a better world through conscious investing. Share experiences, forge new connections, and ignite the spark of collaboration.
  • Discover how your investments can drive positive change in the world. Learn from experts who have harnessed the power of finance to make a difference, while still achieving remarkable growth.

Don’t miss this chance to invest in yourself, your future, and a world of positive change.

Reserve your seat today and be a part of a movement that’s shaping the future, one investment at a time.





Janine Firpo, Co-Founder, Invest for Better 

Janine Firpo is a seasoned values-aligned investor and social innovator, with a long history of working at the intersection of women and their money. From the early years of Apple Computer to senior positions with Hewlett-Packard, the World Bank, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Janine has always found herself making an impact. In 2017 she left a successful 35- year career in technology and international development to focus on how women can create a more just and equitable society through their financial investments. Janine walks her talk. She is taking action to move all her own assets into investments she feels good about and is watching them grow with market-rate returns. In 2021, she joined forces with Ellen Remmer to co-found Invest for Better.

Brittany Howard, Owner, Victory Business Solutions

Brittany has been in the finance and accounting industry for over 8 years starting at TCF Bank as a teller then moving onto becoming an assistant branch manager. Once Brittany discovered she had strengths in the industry she decided to move forward and study accounting in college. After graduating from college Brittany opened Victory. Brittany noticed that small businesses (including BIPOC) were unable to access a good but affordable accountant to help them remain compliant with the IRS and head in the right direction. It is part of Britany’s mission to help educate small business owners on finances, taxes and the importance of having an accountant while operating. Within two years Victory has become the biggest black-owned accounting firm in the state.

Dr. Anna Thurmes, PhD, Impact Entrepreneur and Investor

Anna Thurmes Barigayomwe, PhD, MA, CCC-SLP, is a highly accomplished individual with a diverse background in academia, healthcare, and entrepreneurship. With a PhD in family social science, Dr. Anna has published research on the impact of social capital and collaborative healthcare on quality of life. Her work has shed light on the transformative potential of building strong networks and connections within communities. She is not only a researcher but has been in the trenches leading a team of over 40 healthcare professionals for nearly two decades. In addition to her academic achievements, Dr. Anna has made a remarkable transition from her previous career to become a successful entrepreneur and real estate investor, all while dedicating her time to helping families on their journey towards health and wealth freedom. Dr. Anna’s passion for empowering others to achieve their entrepreneurial dreams is evident in her role as a go-giver.



Wellspoken Lifestyle mission is to inspire mindfulness and contribution by connecting well-rounded content with well-rounded humans. We believe that with a thoughtful curation of resources, everyone is equipped to guide one another towards fulfillment, synergy, and savoring simplicity. We strive to give readers the power to influence change, gratitude and service without toxic social media consumption or misinformation.

Dr. DelRae Messer is Founder of Wellspoken Lifestyle. She graduated magna cum laude from Northwestern Health Sciences University in 2007. Her passion for solving the health care crisis started as a young athlete in a rural farming community in North Dakota. After creating a sustainable lifestyle weight loss program in her chiropractic office, she moved her business online, to coach clients and healthcare professionals with the ability to design her work around her two girls, McKenna 16 and Gianna 6. As a single mom, she is passionate about helping women in social impact entrepreneurship, sustainable agriculture, volunteerism, environmental impact and has created a platform to fundraise for non-profits through experience-driven events.

Ellen Remmer Presents at the 2023 Innovations in International Philanthropy Symposium

At the upcoming Innovations in International Symposium on September 7-8 in Cambridge, Ellen Remmer will be co-leading a session with Steering committee member Kathleen McQuiggan on “Investing with Your Values” and moderating a session on “Practicing Investing to reach the SDG’s” with Andy Behar of As You Sow, Lisa Hayles of Trillium Asset Management and Margot Brandenburg of the Ford Foundation.

As with the previous two events, the Symposium will bring together donors, foundations, companies, and investors who are actively engaged in international philanthropy and seeking to propel forward the capacity and impact of their globally minded work. The past Symposiums supported the growth of strategic and collaborative international philanthropy by offering participants the opportunity to explore trends in philanthropy, gain practical skills and knowledge to increase the levels and impact of their giving across borders, learn from peers, and network with funders actively engaged in supporting international development efforts.

2023 Innovations in International Philanthropy Symposium is co-hosted by the Network of Engaged International Donors (NEID Global) and The Philanthropic Initiative’s Center for Global Philanthropy.


Date:  Friday, September 8, 2023 at 9:05 am ET

There are many ways to leverage capital. How can you deploy all of your financial resources for social good? Learn how to align your values with your investing.


Date:  Friday, September 8, 2023 at 2:30 pm ET  




The 2023 Innovations in International Philanthropy Symposium is organized and co-hosted by Network of Engaged International Donors (NEID Global) and The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI). Jointly NEID Global and TPI offer a long tradition of philanthropic advising and a vibrant funder network to support the creation and design of the Symposium.


The Network of Engaged International Donors (NEID Global) is a unique peer-to-peer learning network based in Boston that serves a community of passionate & dedicated international philanthropists across the world. For over 10 years NEID Global has been creating community among internationally focused donors to help address the world’s big problems. At NEID Global we start with humility. Through strategic networking, educational opportunities, and information sharing we strive for transformational social change. NEID Global members foster equitable partnerships, learn from each other, connect deeply with one another, inspire each other, and act together to build a world where everyone can thrive.


The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI) is a philanthropic consulting group whose mission is to promote effective giving and improve the practice of philanthropy around the globe by helping individuals, families, foundations, and companies increase the impact of their giving. For nearly 30 years, TPI has worked with hundreds of donors, foundations, and corporations, has directed more than $1 billion in giving, and has influenced billions more. In 2010, TPI established its Center for Global Philanthropy with a mission to promote and increase effective international philanthropy that strengthens local organizations and positively transforms lives and communities around the globe.


How Women Lead Launches New Initiative ‘The New Table’

In 2022, an estimated $445 billion was invested in startups. Yet only 17.2% of these venture dollars went to companies with at least one female founder, and only 2.4% went to startups founded solely by women. Although female entrepreneurs were given more venture dollars than ever before by Q3 2022, their capital gain still paled in comparison to their male counterparts. This grave divide is not due to a lack of entrepreneurial women, as more women are entering the business world than ever before, but rather reflects continued gender bias, lack of diversity, and social inequality within the venture capital sphere.

A new initiative coined The New Table, spearheaded by our partner organization How Women Lead, is bridging this gender gap by catapulting women into the world of Venture Capital (VC). Founder Julie Castro Abrams believes that women need a more dominant seat in the VC realm and is constructing a brand-new table – built by women, made for women – with the goal of permanently altering the gender inequity in VC.



The New Table seeks to inspire 10,000 women to invest some of their capital in venture, specifically in companies and funds founded by women. By integrating women more fully into the world of VC, The New Table aims to change the balance of power and to shift control over which types of business are – and aren’t – funded. This “women supporting women” initiative will catalyze progressive change within the start-up industry that so often excludes women from the narrative. It will also positively impact Black, Indigenous, and BIPOC female founders, who are even more underserved and underrepresented.

The transformative power of a more gender-balanced venture capital sphere will extend far beyond the realm of business. Funding female founders who create innovative, disruptive, and women-focused technologies opens the door to products and services that are designed with women as the primary, not the secondary, customers.

Women are statistically more likely than men to invest their money in ways that align with their ethics and values. Encouraging women to command their seat at the VC table will not only lead to a more equitable distribution of venture funds, it will also shift the capital pool towards emphasizing social responsibility. The New Table will catalyze social change, fighting inequity and inequality within the existing male-dominated economic system.

NOTE: Angel and venture investing are risky. You can educate yourself about this form of investing through IFB’s How Angel Investing Works Deep Dive course.

Catalysts & White Labels

Our partnership with Better Finance is an excellent example of one of the ways IFB is achieving scale. We have developed both Catalyst and White Label structures to enable others to build upon – and expand – our work.

Catalysts are organizations and individuals who want to deliver an exact or modified version of our Circle model to a different demographic, geographic, or other specialized audience. In addition, we are exploring white labeling our content to help financial advisory firms, investment platforms, finance/investment educators, and a range of other players in the financial services industry easily integrate values-aligned messaging and content into their materials.

Want to know more? Please reach out to Janine Firpo, who is leading these efforts at jfirpo@investforbetter.org.



Invest for Better Expands into Europe

Through a partnership with Better Finance, our investment Circle model and content will be piloted in four European countries later this year. This work was made possible through a generous grant from the Climate Finance Fund (CFF), a philanthropic platform that helps mobilize capital for climate solutions. Over 800 women (and some men) will take part in IFB-like Circles in France, Germany, Spain, and Poland this Fall.

The initiative came together because CFF recognized that Europeans needed more information about how they could put their investments to work to reduce the negative impacts of climate change. Better Finance, a Brussels-based non-profit, was identified as an excellent partner because of their focus on supporting European citizens as financial service users and due to their broad reach across the continent.

Members of the Better Finance team participated in a few IFB Circles and examined our curriculum, particularly the content developed for our newest Deep Dive on Investing for a Sustainable Environment. They creates a modified version of our model and adapted our content so it meets the specific needs and unique investment environments of each of the four pilot countries.

We are very excited about this collaboration, and grateful to the Climate Finance Fund for their support. This image, which came from the CFF website, is so appropriate to our work and to this effort because it shows that we are all in this together. And it reminds us that we are all needed to make the immediate and dramatic changes that are required to counter climate change, achieve sustainability, and build long-term economic models that support equity, people, and planet.

She Leads – Suzanne Biegel

This post is dedicated to honoring one of the most important women in our community – and, indeed, the ecosystem of values-aligned investing by and for women – Suzanne Biegel. Suzanne is an incredible leader, who gives life to Invest for Better’s tagline “women lead the way” in distinctively female ways. She’s brilliant and insightful.  And she’s also extraordinarily generous. She excels at catalyzing new projects, organizations, and collaborations. And she exemplifies the meaning of grace. Suzanne is bold, restless, and ambitious about driving change.  And she takes the time to lift us up when we could use a boost. She is a trailblazer, mentor, advisor, and connector. She leads.

You might think that Suzanne’s diagnosis of Stage 4 terminal cancer in the summer of 2021 would mean she would sit back and enjoy the English countryside. But Suzanne has a vision for change and so “she persists” and continues to inspire us all to do more. Read on to learn more about the legacy that Suzanne has already created and her invitation to us all to do more.

A Critical Connector for Invest for Better

It’s fair to say that Invest for Better would not be here in its current form without Suzanne. Fresh on the heels of her decision to close the Women Effect pilot– which was envisioned as a connecting point and curated community around gender lens investing – Suzanne flew from London to Boston to join the summit that produced IFB. She served on the IFB Steering Committee in those formative years, always providing the BEST insights, and – doing what Suzanne does so skillfully – she connected Ellen and Janine to one another. She continues to serve as a resource and donor to IFB, most recently making an appearance in our Activation webinar on gender lens investing.



An Ecosystem Builder

Suzanne’s accomplishments in building and shaping the gender-smart ecosystem are legendary. She founded, co-founded and led numerous ventures such as Clearly Social Angels, Women Effect, and Gender Smart aimed at promoting more and better gender smart investing. She knew how to evolve these efforts for more impact –including transitioning Women Effect’s intellectual content to the Wharton Social Impact Initiative, which then produced four important Project Sage research studies quantifying and cataloging the size and growth of the gender lens investing field. More recently, she merged Gender Smart, a global field-building initiative dedicated to unlocking the deployment of impactful gender-smart capital at scale, with 2X Collaborative to become 2X Global. In addition to her own entrepreneurial efforts, Suzanne continues to serve as a valued Board member, advisor, investor, and collaborator to other field builders.


Heading for Change

Her most recent creative engine for good, conceived in partnership with her husband Daniel Maskit, is a donor-advised fund to make investments and grants that would advance both climate and biodiversity solutions and gender equity, called Heading for Change. With an initial $1MM contribution by Suzanne and Daniel, it manifests Suzanne’s passionate belief in a model that forges issues, approaches, people and organizations to shape a better world. An impressive group of advisors will help steward the fund’s direction, provide counsel on investment decisions and support grantee and investee partners. Other donors – at literally any level — are invited to join and become part of an “inclusive community with a shared learning journey.” Invest for Better was privileged to serve on the host committee for this initiative’s launch event on April 25th (view event here).

Thank you, Suzanne. And thank you to all of Suzanne’s partners and colleagues and friends who continue to help make her ambitious leadership possible. We share your dream that if we work together, we will be heading for change.




“The PowHer of Money Series” With Sabine Gedeon Featuring Janine Firpo

Join Sabine Gedeon in “The PowHer of Money Series” on June 23rd at 10 am PST and learn from Janine Firpo, co-founder of Invest for Better. Janine is a seasoned values-aligned investor and social innovator, with a long history of working at the intersection of women and their money.



Sabine Gedeon is the CEO of Gedeon Enterprises, a certified Women’s & Minority Business Enterprise (WBE and MBE), and Founder of She Leads Network, her unique approach to leadership development has been proven to be effective across a range of industries. As an experienced HR Executive, Transformational Coach & Leadership Consultant, Sabine Gedeon has helped clients in both start-ups and Fortune 500 companies address their development needs and achieve their growth goals.


Registration is available here.


Janine Firpo Joins ASBN For ‘The Anti-ESG Movement: Combating the Attack on Business & Impact Investing’ Event

Ahead of the upcoming ASBN 2023 conference in Berkeley, the American Sustainable Business Network and Hanson Bridgett are hosting a panel discussion with executives from Morgan Stanley, As You Sow, Nia Impact Capital and Invest for Better. The aim of the panel is to address the growing opposition to ESG and sustainable investment practices, explore the reasons for this and discuss strategies to combat the anti-ESG movement.

The panel consists of leading experts from diverse backgrounds, each bringing unique perspectives.

  • Darya Allen-Attar, Financial Advisor, Investing with Impact Director, Lending Specialist, Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA), Morgan Stanley Wealth Management – Darya Allen-Attar is a highly accomplished Financial Advisor in the Santa Monica, California, office of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. She has been with the firm for more than 30 years, placing her among the longest serving women at one of the world’s most respected financial institutions.
  • Andrew Behar, CEO, As You Sow – Andrew Behar is CEO of As You Sow, the nation’s leading non-profit practitioner of shareholder advocacy and engagement.
  • Janine Firpo, Co-Founder, Invest for Better – Janine Firpo is a seasoned values-aligned investor and social innovator, with a long history of working at the intersection of women and their money.
  • Kristin Hull, Founder and CEO, Nia Impact Capital – Kristin is founder and CEO of Nia Impact Capital, a women-led Registered Investment Advisor leading the charge to change the face of finance by hiring and training women and people of color in sustainable and transformative investing.




American Sustainable Business Network (ASBN) is a movement builder in partnership with the business and investor community. ASBN develops and advocates solutions for policymakers, business leaders, and investors that support an equitable, regenerative, and just economy that benefits all⁠—people and planet. As a multi-issue, membership organization advocating on behalf of every business sector, size, and geography, ASBN and its association members collectively represent over 250,000 businesses across our networks. ASBN was founded through the merger of the American Sustainable Business Council and Social Venture Circle. Learn more about the history of ASBC and SVC here.