REDF Impact Investing Fund (RIIF): Alternative Risk Ratings

By Jaclyn Foroughi, Maureen McNichols
2022 | Case No. SI157 | Length 7 pgs.
In February 2022, nearly three years after the launch of the REDF Impact Investing Fund (RIIF), a 501(c)(3) debt fund providing financing and capacity building to grow social enterprises employing individuals overcoming barriers to work, CEO Carrie McKellogg was both humbled and hopeful. Much had been learned in her time at the helm of RIIF, both within the portfolio and in relation to the employment social enterprise (ESE) sector as a whole. Specifically, she recognized that the ESEs with whom REDF had worked for over two decades had difficulty gaining access to and were not comfortable with credit; in fact, she had identified that the traditional underwriting process and credit risk methodologies that they were using perpetuated barriers to accessing credit. Indeed, the inequitable effects of the pandemic paired with ongoing racial injustices and structural challenges highlighted the role of RIIF as an important tool to accelerate the growth of the ESE field, and their crucial work to provide a more inclusive economy for all.

Learning Objective

This case is designed to help students learn concepts useful for understanding bias in the underwriting process and ways to lift barriers to credit. Students discuss the situation in the case to think about and develop the steps they would use to improve the underwriting process to allow for more equitable and inclusive access to credit.
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