An Interview With the Founders of the Future Fund for Puerto Rico.
Futura Fund is an emerging impact investment network devoted to codesigning and activating new models of business, environment and community infrastructure. Futura’s sibling co-founders Annalicia and David Geeter Álvarez are on a mission to build a healthier, more equitable and sustainable future for Puerto Rico. For our “Faces of Entrepreneurship” series, we asked them a few questions about their journey to starting Puerto Rico’s first member-based impact fund.
What Is Futura Fund, and What Services Do You Offer?
We are a diaspora-enabled and place-based sustainable economic development fund. Our mission is to build a healthier and more equitable future with the people who call Puerto Rico home. We provide our local partners a range of resources such as regenerative loans, collective impact programming, impact business modeling, shared metrics tracking, mentorship and content development. From concept to production, we are here to ensure that the stories of our portfolio partners and projects are successfully heard by their markets.
What Inspired You to Start the Fund?
As millennials, we’ve seen more economic, social and environmental crises than any other generation, and are now taking over the responsibility of solving systemic problems for the viability of our children’s children and beyond.
As a member of the Puerto Rican diaspora, it’s tough to have a place where you come from experiencing these pressures and inequities so visibly but have little access to participating in the solution. We both relocated to Puerto Rico after years of traveling back and forth to a place that has connected us with our truest selves and a community that is working toward a better future.
Puerto Rico for us feels like a return home, but it also represents a place where those who have inherited unstable systems and economic barriers can actually design and apply resilient solutions that produce generational value.
How Does Your Solution Make Your Company Unique?
We believe that the way we give shapes the way we live and that diaspora-based networks will be the most critical financial and knowledge catalysts for the emerging impact markets in the places they come from.
At our core, we understand that doing good needs to scale. So, shaping the way you live requires you not only to contribute funds to those future possibilities but to also become part of the design conversation.
Our diaspora and local community network is a subscription-based giving platform that allows us to engage with stakeholders while their affordable membership fee contributes to sustaining and growing the fund. Community engagement provides insights, definitions, and prompts on what healthier and more equitable futures should look like and how they should function.
How Does Your Financial Model Work?
We leverage a blend of private, institutional and diaspora-based raised giving. The philanthropic resources they provide will support the Futura Fund’s operation and execution.
Our donor-advised fund distributes these resources alongside an investment committee in the form of regenerative low-interest loans to our Portfolio Partners, which include high-impact entrepreneurial hubs. Notable partners include recent grant recipients of the CDBG-DR SBIA Program and Workforce Training Program, who are in need of critical working and development capital.
These Portfolio Partners are committed to participating in our collective impact programming, which applies appropriate metrics, inclusive design, and sound operational approaches are in place to deliver measurable success.
The stories of our partners and their projects are carefully curated alongside our content production partners and distributed to our community network.
What Are Some Challenges You're Currently Facing?
Our model for systemic change is built on the core idea that our diaspora can affordably and consistently contribute to an engine of rapid progress on the ground.
In an effort to meet the short-term needs and drive sustainable innovation in Puerto Rico, we need the right number of believers who are in it to win it. We invite our diaspora community to join this launch and become the first 100,000 members helping shape the next 100 years for Puerto Rico.
What's Your Favorite Thing About Your Company?
We get to co-design the future of our communities and create solutions that reimagine generational wealth. That’s a mission worth every ounce of effort and the best part is that we get to have fun while doing it!