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Impact X CEO, Eric Collins, stars in Dorchester Collection’s Belong to the Legend Series

Impact X CEO and co-founder, and ESPR client Eric Collins, has been chosen as one of the distinguished pioneers to star in the Dorchester Collection‘s Belong to the Legend series.

The Belong to the Legend series celebrates the journeys of 12 remarkable trailblazers hailing from diverse backgrounds, spanning business, the arts, and beyond. These individuals share a common vision of curiosity, resilience, and a commitment to making a positive, enduring impact on the world.

Eric, a renowned investor, founder, and serial entrepreneur, leads Impact X Capital, a double-bottom line VC firm focused on investing in underrepresented innovators in Europe, particularly women and founders of colour, in key sectors: digital and technology, health, education and well-being, and media and entertainment.

He was invited to lend his voice to this esteemed collection of thought leaders. In his featured episode, filmed in the vibrant cities of London and Rome, Eric shares his unique perspective on effecting change and challenging the status quo to drive social progress.

In this captivating documentary, viewers will have the opportunity to delve into Eric’s remarkable journey – from his upbringing amidst the American civil rights movement to his advisory role with former President Barack Obama. Eric also shares insights into why he views investing as a potent catalyst for driving meaningful change in society.

Witness Eric’s inspiring story unfold in the fourth episode of the Belong to the Legend series. Prepare to be captivated by his compelling narrative and profound insights into the power of resilience, determination, and the relentless pursuit of positive change.

Stay tuned as we celebrate Eric Collins’ unwavering commitment to reshaping the world for the better, one bold step at a time.

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ESPR are finalists in the PRWeek Corporate Affairs Awards

Agency shortlisted for NHS Black Heritage Blood Donation campaign 

ESPR was shortlisted alongside many of the UK’s leading PR agencies in the PRWeek Corporate Affairs Awards’ Best Public Health Awareness Campaign category for its NHS Black Heritage Blood Donation campaign. 

The agency was announced as a finalist for this prestigious industry award as a recognition of the work undertaken during the campaign, media coverage gained, and results achieved.

The campaign in collaboration with NHS Blood and Transplant, aimed to encourage more Black heritage blood donors to come forward, raise awareness of sickle cell and ethnically matched blood, and encourage repeat donations from younger target audiences of Black heritage.

The strategy involved using influential Black role models from The Powerlist  to resonate with the target community and inspire them to get involved for a good cause. Dame Sharon White and Lord Simon Woolley came forward to donate blood at the newly opened Stratford Donation Centre in Stratford, London. The Powerlist is the annual list of the most influential Black people in Britain. 

Other Powerlistees, as they are known as, supported the campaign by posting our content on their company’s intranet and social media channels and resharing the content on their platforms.

Media coverage generated almost £1.4m of advertising equivalent coverage with coverage secured in many mainstream media outlets such as BBC NewsThe Guardian, and The Times, as well as those targeted at black communities.

Impact on registrations resulted in a 33% increase in new Black heritage donor registrations week ending April 23rd. On April 20 – the day of the launch – there was a 318% increase compared to the daily average. The results set a new benchmark for NHS Blood & Transplant, as the highest number of registrations ever achieved by a black blood donation campaign.

The PRWeek Corporate Affairs Awards celebrates the best campaigns, projects, agencies, in-house teams, and individuals across sectors covering corporate, city, pharma, public affairs, and beyond. 

Ends

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Independent Oversight Group launches recommendations to Church Commissioners to address legacy of African chattel enslavement

Church of England’s investment arm accepts the report in full

London, March 4, 2024: Following its appointment last year by the Church Commissioners for England, an independent Oversight Group is today releasing its report and recommendations into how the body should implement a new impact investment fund. The Fund and grant-funding programme are being set up as part of the Church Commissioners’ journey to heal and repair the damage caused by the legacy of African chattel enslavement.

The recommendations include:

  • Recognition that £100m initially earmarked by the Church Commissioners is not enough, relative to the scale of the Church Commissioners’ endowment or of the moral sin and crime of African chattel enslavement, and that the organisation, in partnership with others, should target an initiative of £1bn and above
  • That the timeline for the delivery of the fund should be accelerated and delivered faster than the nine years originally envisaged
  • A call for the Church of England to fully acknowledge and apologise for the harms caused by its historic denial that Black Africans are created in the image of God, for its deliberate actions to destroy diverse African religious belief systems and to facilitate work that builds the spiritual connection of Africa and the African diaspora with the Gospel and the diverse spiritual practices of African forebears

The Oversight Group is recommending that the new impact investment fund be called the Fund for Healing, Repair and Justice. Following consultation with members of the global African diaspora, the recommendations call on the Church Commissioners to use this Fund to invest in Black-led businesses focusing on education, economic empowerment, health outcomes and improving access to land and food as well as provide grants to address these and other issues brought up for communities impacted by the legacies of African chattel enslavement.

The report says: “Crimes against humanity rooted in African chattel enslavement have caused damage so vast it will require patient effort spanning generations to address. But we can start today, in small and large ways.”

The report and recommendations were drafted by a Black-led Oversight Group, which had a majority of members from the impacted communities, using consultation and research conducted with the global African diaspora, to ensure the voices of those affected by African chattel enslavement were central to the process and the final recommendations.

The Right Reverend Dr Rosemarie Mallett, Bishop of Croydon, Chair of the Oversight Group said: “No amount of money can fully atone for or fully redress the centuries long impact of African chattel enslavement, the effects of which are still felt around the world today. But implementing the recommendations will show the commitment of the Church Commissioners to supporting the process of healing, repair and justice for all of those across society impacted by the legacy of African chattel enslavement.”

The Oversight Group has also recommended that the programme should be ultimately owned and run by Black communities. The aspiration is for the impact investment and spending programme to start operating later in 2024.

Bishop Rosemarie continued: “This work and the Fund matter because the legacy of African enslavement continues to have a significant impact on communities today and inequalities persist till this day. The impact is measurable and apparent in everything from pregnancy and childbirth outcomes to life chances at birth, physical and mental health, education, employment, income, property, and the criminal justice system. We hope this initiative is just the start and is a catalyst to encourage other institutions to investigate their past and make a better future for impacted communities.”

Another recommendation calls on the Church Commissioners and Church of England to conduct further research into how else they were enriched by their involvement in African chattel enslavement.

The Church Commissioners, which manages the Church of England’s investment arm, has welcomed and accepted the report in full while acknowledging that no amount of money can make up for the past, it had to be done. The Fund is an essential act for the Church of England, on theological and humanitarian grounds. The setting up of the Fund is the most significant act of acknowledgement and repair yet made by any UK institution that was in receipt of funds earned through the enslavement of African people and their descendants.

“In seeking justice for all, we must continue to work together remembering that all are created in the image of God,” said The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury. “The Oversight Group’s independent work with the Church Commissioners is the beginning of a multi-generational response to the appalling evil of Transatlantic chattel enslavement. My prayer is that this work will stimulate further visionary and practical co-created action.”

The full report and recommendations can be viewed at https://hrjfund.org.

– ENDS –

Notes to Editors:

About Oversight Group:

In January 2023, in response to research revealing historical links to African chattel enslavement, the Church Commissioners announced a funding commitment of £100 million, to be delivered over the next nine years, through a programme of impact investment, research and engagement. The Church Commissioners then recruited an Oversight Group, who were to help design the impact investment fund and the grant funding programme.

The Oversight Group, which is chaired by The Right Reverend Dr Bishop Rosemarie Mallett, is made up of experts across a mix of technical backgrounds, including law and history to development and finance. They have made recommendations on the aims and criteria for the fund and grant programme, suggested areas for further research, commissioned work to inform the group’s proposals, and advised on engagement plans.  

The Oversight Group members are:

  • Chair: Bishop Rosemarie Mallett, Bishop of Croydon
  • Vice-Chair: Geetha Tharmaratnam, Chief Impact Investment Officer of the WHO Foundation
  • Derek Bardowell, CEO, Ten Years’ Time
  • Rev. Canon Dr Michael A Clarke, Principal, Codrington College, Barbados
  • Tara Sabre Collier, Director of Impacting Investing and Sustainable Finance at

Chemonics UK

  • Professor Richard Drayton, Professor of Imperial and Global History, King’s College, London
  • Dr Christienna Fryar, Historian and Writer
  • Jonathan Guthrie, Journalist and Financial Commentator
  • The Rev Canon Dr Anderson Jeremiah, Senior Lecturer in Theology, Lancaster University and Bishop Designate of Edmonton, Diocese of London
  • Alex Renton, Journalist and Author
  • Priscellia Robinson, Barrister and Academic
  • Esther Xosei, Legal Specialist and Activist
  • Roy Swan, Director, Mission Investments, Ford Foundation
  • Patrick Vernon, Campaigner and Equity System Leader

About The Church Commissioners for England:

The Church Commissioners administers the property and historic endowment of the Church of England, and provides financial support, services, and expert advice to the Church of England. The Church Commissioners manage the Church of England’s £10.3bn long-term endowment fund to support the Church in perpetuity, with a strong focus on responsible investment.

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Impact X Capital Partners Announces Milestone Equity Investment from Bank of America

Bank of America joined by Visa Foundation, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation and Atomico

LONDON, England [March, 2024] – Impact X Capital Partners, a pioneering double bottom line venture capital firm which invests in underrepresented entrepreneurs, has announced that Bank of America is making a key equity investment in its IX Global I fund.

The fund will address access to capital inefficiency by investing in founders and start-ups across the UK and Europe, which are led by women and entrepreneurs of colour. It will target businesses in Impact X’s growth sectors that include digital and technology, media and entertainment, health, education and well-being.

In a move that underscores a growing awareness of the significant ROI potential of investing in historically underrepresented groups, Bank of America is joined by the Visa Foundation, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation and Atomico in investing in the fund.

Bernard Mensah, President of International, Bank of America said: “Bank of America’s investment in Impact X’s IX Global I fund underscores our ongoing commitment to advance economic opportunity for diverse people and communities. We look forward to working with Impact X to create long term value for shareholders and more equitable and sustainable future for all.”

Eric Collins, CEO and Impact X Founding Partner said: “At Impact X, our purpose has always been to create ROI and future resistant jobs by supporting and empowering innovators who have historically been underrepresented in the portfolios of other venture capital companies. Our mission is to shine a light on the market inefficiency that exists when it comes to that particular demographic in the UK and Europe and this collaboration will lean into that inefficiency.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Bank of America, the Visa Foundation, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation as well as Atomico. This historic capital allocation not only validates our track record but also equips us with the resources to make a lasting impact on diverse-led businesses.

“Amplifying the intention to provide catalytic capital to innovators in Europe and the UK, the first investment from Impact X Global I is in iKnowa, a UK proptech company.”

Paula Groves, Founding Partner and Chief Investment Officer added “Until underrepresented entrepreneurs reach economic parity in terms of the access to and allocation of capital, this work will continue to be very important. The persistent statistics over the last 25 years have been that less than 4% of venture capital goes to women and less than 1% goes to Black entrepreneurs. With our other partners, Impact X plans to make a powerful increase in these stats.”

This is the second fund from Impact X. Its pilot fund Impact X Launch, included outstanding founders and companies such as Marshmallow, named as Europe’s second fastest growing company, device subscription start-up Raylo and epic superhero fantasy series IYANU from YouNeek Studios.

Note to Editors:

Impact X Capital

Impact X Capital Partners is a double bottom-line venture capital firm headquartered in London, founded in 2019. The firm focuses on investing in underrepresented innovators in Europe, particularly women and founders of colour, in key sectors: digital and technology, health, education and well-being, and media and entertainment.

The company’s founding members include Ursula Burns, former CEO of Xerox and the first Black woman to head a Fortune 500 company; Sir Lenny Henry; and Ric Lewis, chairman of Tristan Capital Partners, a London-based real estate investment firm, who are all dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion in entrepreneurship.

For more information see: www.impactxcapital.com

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 69 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 3,800 retail financial centers, approximately 15,000 ATMs (automated teller machines) and award-winning digital banking with approximately 57 million verified digital users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BAC).

For more Bank of America news, including dividend announcements and other important information, visit the Bank of America newsroom and register for news email alerts.

Guy’s & St Thomas’ Foundation

At Guy’s & St Thomas’ Foundation, our mission is to build the foundations of a healthier society. For over 500 years, we’ve been a constant in London’s ever-changing landscape, at the leading edge of health. Our commitment and work is backed by our endowment, which allows us to take a long-term view while addressing the real and urgent health issues of today. Our focus is on backing people and ideas to drive more equitable health.

We invest, partner, engage and influence to come at big health challenges from all angles. Through our family of forward-looking organisations, we collaborate with our communities, partners and hospitals, and use our assets to transform lives. Across everything we do, we look to increase our impact by sharing and connecting with others working on better health – from our part of the city to cities around the world. Because a healthier society is our collective endeavour.

Visa Foundation

Visa Foundation seeks to support inclusive economies where individuals, businesses and communities can thrive. Through grant-making and investing, Visa Foundation prioritises the growth of gender diverse and inclusive small and micro businesses.

The Foundation also supports broader community needs and disaster response in times of crisis. Visa Foundation is registered in the USA as a 501(c)3 entity.

Atomico

Atomico is a venture capital investment firm based in London, United Kingdom, that invests in innovative technology companies around the world. with a particular focus on Europe.

Founded in 2006, Atomico has partnered with over 100 ambitious teams – including those at Klarna, Supercell, Graphcore, Compass, MessageBird, Masterclass, Attentive Mobile, Pipedrive and Hinge Health.

Atomico’s team of founders, investors and operational leaders have been responsible for global expansion, hiring and marketing at companies from Skype and Google to Twitter and Uber.

The firm currently has $4.7B in assets under management.