Deborah Frieze

Founder & President, Boston Impact Initiative Fund

Boston, MA

Act Local First, Shift Capital  |  Funding / Investment

Deborah partners with businesses and organizations to create systemic shifts in opportunities through place based impact investing.

Deborah Frieze is an author, entrepreneur and social activist. In 2013, she founded the Boston Impact Initiative, a place-based impact investing fund focused on economic justice, which means investing in opportunity for all people—especially those most oppressed or abandoned by our current economic system—to lead a dignified and productive life. The fund takes an integrated capital approach, combining investing, lending and giving to build a resilient and inclusive local economy.

Deborah’s focus on resilience began during her tenure as co-president of The Berkana Institute, where she worked to support pioneering leaders who were walking out of organizations and systems that were failing to contribute to the common good—and walking on to build resilient communities. These leaders are the subject of her award-winning book, Walk Out Walk On: A Learning Journey into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now, co-authored with Margaret Wheatley.

Deborah is also the founder of the Old Oak Dojo, an urban learning center in Jamaica Plain, MA, where neighbors gather to rediscover how to create healthy and resilient communities. This small studio, which shares a half-acre residential lot with a community home, is an experiment in dissolving the boundary between public and private. Its purpose is to provide a space for community to meet, learn, eat, celebrate and play—and thereby restore our wholeness as citizens.

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