Homecoming Capital: Developing an Impact Strategy

By Jaclyn Foroughi, Maureen McNichols
2022 | Case No. SI159 | Length 15 pgs.

In April 2019, just two months shy of his graduation from Stanford Graduate School of Business (“Stanford”), Cody Evans was looking forward to converting his professional and academic experiences to real-world impact. Having worked at both the largest private equity firm in the world and an energy infrastructure developer in Africa, Evans brought a unique blend of investment rigor and entrepreneurial spirit to Stanford. More importantly, he was driven and inspired by energy as a fundamental building block for economies.

During his time at Stanford, he was drawn to new legislation meant to spur economic growth and job creation in low-income communities through tax-advantaged investment. These emerging Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZs) were the topic of multiple articles published by Evans alongside distinguished professors, specialists, and leaders in the economic and community development fields. With expertise in the area and a passion for energy infrastructure projects, Evans wondered if he could combine the social benefits of QOZs with the environmental impact of existing solar incentives. The U.S. Internal Revenue Services (IRS) had not yet written the rules on the innovative concept, so the risk levels were high while the return was uncertain. With graduation approaching, Evans would have to make some key decisions. In addition to settling on a viable investment thesis, he would have to assemble a team and think about how best to raise capital.

Learning Objective

This case is designed to help students learn concepts useful for developing an impact investment strategy. Students discuss the situation in the case and consider the steps they would use to develop an impact strategy.
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