Panel + Q&A (*Maximum 4 Panelists)

The Role of Catalytic Capital in Unlocking Pathways to Economic Mobility in a Pandemic

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Before COVID-19, we were already experiencing an urgent need to address declining economic mobility and levels of income inequality last seen during the Great Depression. Just half of people born in the United States after 1980 were on track to earn more than their parents compared to 90% the generation before. The coronavirus pandemic and widespread protests for racial justice, have both exposed and deepened this economic fragility, with over 40 million people filing for unemployment since mid-March.

Catalytic capital can play a powerful role in re-imagining and re-building pathways to economic opportunity. This panel will explore how innovative financing can unlock opportunities for low and moderate income individuals to upskill into high-growth, recession-resilient jobs and industries.

While high-quality training providers exist, the cost of such programs remains a barrier for many low and moderate income, underserved individuals. Furthermore, financing options often place the performance and outcome risk entirely on students. General Assembly, Social Finance and catalytic capital impact investors, like Blue Meridian Partners, recently launched a program to rewrite this narrative – a student-centered income share agreement called the Career Impact Bond.

We will hear directly about how this project provides the upfront financing for 1,000 low and moderate income, underserved students to enroll in General Assembly across 10 U.S. cities. How does it work? Students enroll at no cost and receive a network of wraparound supports: students then repay program costs through an income share agreement, if and only if, they obtain and maintain a good-paying job. Under this structure, the project partners reduced access barriers and aligned incentives towards the ultimate success of the students.

This panel will bring together all the parties involved, including a funder, a training provider, and a recent program graduate. Come join us to learn more about this impactful endeavor!

Confirmed Panelists

  • Jake Edwards, Director, Social Finance (facilitator)

Unconfirmed Panelists

  • Tom Ogletree, Senior Director of Social Impact, General Assembly (panelist)
  • (TBD), Student, General Assembly (panelist)
  • Kelly Campbell, Managing Director of Portfolio Strategy & Management, Blue Meridian Partners (panelist)

Supporting Materials

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