The Urban Array Opportunity Fund (“UAOF” or “The Fund”) is an affiliate of the Urban Array Foundation (UAF or “The Foundation”) and works in conjunction with the Foundations partners to provide a vehicle for private investors to speed the development of high promise areas.
The UAOF leverages investor capital to purchase properties in state-nominated opportunity zones, with dual bottom line goals to support the impact investing activities of the Urban Array Foundation, and to do so at a profit.
The fund follows specific investing principles that allow it to achieve a competitive edge in the opportunity investing space.
Supported by UAF and working in conjunction with building equity company Hanns & Erving, properties purchased by the fund are rehabbed and rebuilt for Entrepreneurs being incubated through business accelerator E.G. Woode.
This allows UAOF to minimize costs passed to the UAF and further allow The Fund to minimize costs to entrepreneurs in these areas. The specific investment principles followed by the fund
Investors money is locked into the fund for ten years. Dividends may be paid. Management fees of 2 and 20 are donated to, and used to pay the salaries of, UAF development and management teams.
The fund has four main goals:
Be a catalyst for high growth businesses and asset development;
Serve an essential function in developing communities with burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystems within the greater Chicago area;
Support the Impact Investing activities of the Urban Array Foundation whose goals are to generate measurable social impact alongside financial return for contributors;
Provide measured returns for its investors while being under no obligation to participate in every project that the Foundation undertakes.
Amongst the various components that can lead to business success, UAIF main focus will be:
Business incubation and acceleration of social enterprises and impact projects;
Already in place work forces and impact organizations;
Scalable business models templates (“Social Franchising”);
Strategic Competitive analysis.
The Urban Array Foundation is able to leverage a number of technological advancements in order to offer attractive opportunities to the UAIF. These include but are not limited to:
Social Enterprise Asset Management (SEAM) system;
Simple and scalable After-Action-Reporting process;
Monopolistic economies of scale within un-siloed organizations;
Process and resource management synergies;
Unified equity asset management systems.
In reviewing possible investment opportunities, UAIF follows, in general, the following methodology:
Identify communities presently with low to moderate opportunities for economic advancement;
Find organizations (non-profits, small businesses, schools, etc) within said community that purport to have similar goals to that of the Urban Array Foundation;
Determine adjacent properties within community that could become new ‘community centers’;
Investigate and determine steps and resources necessary to bring said properties up to spec and available for small business owners to rent;
Measure currently deployable asset and labor force;
Calculate total additional investment needed for ‘last mile’ completion of the project(s).
The first digital generation is beginning to enter the labor-force, as their disposable income rises so too will their desire to invest in asset classes that will help them secure financial freedom. As we are increasingly seeing, incumbent financial institutions offer outdated products that don’t fit within the lifestyle of the coming generations.
Digital natives refuse to go through the KYC and paperwork processes required for most investment classes, even more so these individuals are increasingly looking for ways to invest that not only benefit themselves but also the social climate of our world.
Community Engagement and Equity
The Urban Array Opportunity Fund is the first iteration of what we believe will grow to be a world changing investment class. The Fund will support the activities of the Urban Array Foundation by providing ‘last mile’ investment to the community driven projects that The Foundation empowers using The Foundations open source Social Enterprise Asset Management platform as well as other technological tools at the disposal of The Foundation.
– The Foundation identifies and evaluates projects on a case by case basis, selecting communities with a surplus of human capital and under-employed citizens. Once these communities are identified The Foundation finds hyper-local partners who have the strongest existing products, businesses, and networks with which to scale.
-The Fund will accept domestic investors to start with the possibility of expanding its offering as The Foundation expands the geographic scope of its undertakings. This limitation is in place in order to keep focus on the initial undertakings of The Foundation in the greater Chicagoland area and will create incentive alignment in lieu of tokenization, which may take place in the next iteration of The Fund.
-The Fund will provide investors with a higher level of transparency and access. Investors will receive bi-monthly updates on the status of the undertakings of The Foundation and the implications of said updates on the Investments of The Fund.
-The Foundation will cap the exit of The Fund from The Foundations undertakings at a maximum 200% return. This cap comes with the understanding that due to the ‘last mile’ nature of The Fund’s capital as an addition to The Foundations already active community engagement, investment risks are lowered for both parties. Money from The Fund will only be used for completion of already underway community run projects, this will serve to lower the risk of non-completion for all parties.
Where do we focus
Quick fund overview
We work in mispriced areas (underserved, large leverageable workforce, thrive incentives, etc)
Partnered with a number of different orgs in the communities
Community Development Organizations
Finding assets in underpriced and underdeveloped areas
Incubating entrepreneurs and teams with a social enterprise and impact focus
Deploying and using feedback from the people on the ground
Developing economies based on need
Not trying to develop needs based on economies
This is the basis of any good product, finding a market and then figuring out how to address their problems and solve their needs
This is the opposite of what most projects in our space are doing