Retail giant Wayfair Inc. has announced a $20 million investment in the Black Economic Development Fund (BEDF). The BEDF invests in Black-led financial institutions, anchor institutions and businesses to improve access to capital and expand economic opportunity for Black communities.
The investment is part of Wayfair’s $30 million commitment to social impact investing.
“Our investment in the Black Economic Development Fund is part of our broader commitment to stand against racism in every form and to continuously work to foster diversity, equity and inclusion both at Wayfair and in our communities,” noted Niraj Shah, CEO, co-founder and co-chairman, Wayfair. “We are proud to join forces with LISC and other like-minded corporate investors in this fund to help close the racial wealth gap by improving economic equality and driving social mobility so that underserved businesses, families and communities can thrive.”
The BEDF was launched and is managed by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), one of the nation’s oldest and largest community development financial institutions.
“This investment from Wayfair will help us tackle the economic underpinnings of racial injustice,” said Lisa Glover, interim president & CEO of LISC. “By aligning their treasury strategies with their corporate values, Wayfair is helping deliver capital to underserved markets, strengthen the American consumer base and grow the diversity of our economy. We are very excited to be the stewards of their commitment to the cause of racial equity.”
Since 1979, LISC has invested more than $22 billion to build or rehab more than 419,000 affordable homes and apartments. It has also helped develop 70.3 million square feet of retail, community and educational space.