The Story of SJF Institute
SJF was founded in 1999 to invest in and assist companies with sustainable strategies, many of which created quality entry level jobs. From the beginning, SJF raised grant funds with an allied nonprofit, allowing us to assist several hundred companies a year (many located in underserved regions) beyond the three or four invested in by the venture capital fund. In 2001 we founded our own nonprofit, SJF Advisory Services, to further extend our impact. In addition to one-on-one assistance, we added trainings such as our Getting Ready for Equity™ workshops, Cleantech and Workforce CEO Panel events to highlight innovative company practices, and produced our first research report, Beyond Paycheck-to-Paycheck: Wealth-Building Strategies for Venture Capital Funds to Use With Portfolio Companies and Their Employees. We also began conducting impact assessments of the SJF Ventures portfolio and producing our annual Positive Impact Report. SJF Advisory Services staff participated in industry-wide initiatives around mission based investing and began working to develop the field.
The SJF Institute has since grown into an organization with national impact. The Institute works across the United States to connect, inspire and accelerate sustainable entrepreneurs and the fields that support them. Since 2001, the Institute has helped countless entrepreneurs expand their businesses through direct assistance and thought leadership. In 2009, the Institute held the first annual SJF Summit on the New Green Economy, attracting more than 350 attendees. We continue to leverage the expertise of our affiliated venture capital fund, SJF Ventures, to provide high-value assistance and insight to entrepreneurs and the field. In 2011, SJF Institute completed a strategic merger with Investors' Circle, with SJF Institute taking over management and governance roles for IC.