PROPEL Fund deploys $25 million to promote health, equity and economic growth in underserved communities

CHICAGO (July 8, 2024)—Broadstreet Impact Services announced today that it has fully deployed the $25 million PROPEL Fund to finance economic development projects that promote health, wealth and opportunity, particularly for people of color.

PROPEL, which stands for Providing Real Opportunities for Progress by Edwards Lifesciences, was capitalized by the company as part of its $100 million commitment to mission-driven investments. Edwards’ Social Impact Investment Fund was created to expand access to capital in underserved communities by advancing racial equity through economic development, especially in predominantly Black and underserved communities in the United States. The fund invests in community development entities providing debt financing to businesses, nonprofits, and projects that primarily serve economically vulnerable communities.

PROPEL’s investments are expected to support health services for 50,000 people — most of whom have low incomes and might not otherwise have access to care — while fueling nearly 400 jobs. All told, PROPEL’s $25 million investment is advancing $87 million in development activity in such diverse locales as the Bronx, Jacksonville, Oakland, Philadelphia, San Antonio and Tampa.

“The PROPEL Fund illustrates how an investor can include a values-based approach in its investment portfolio,” noted Kevin Boes, CEO of Broadstreet, which designs and manages impact investing funds and catalytic capital transactions. “They can support creative capital structures that meet their goals for both financial performance and community impact.”

PROPEL leverages Broadstreet’s expertise in utilizing the federal New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program, which is designed to stimulate investment and economic growth in low-income urban and rural areas lacking access to capital. The program enhances Edwards’ ability to drive measurable, meaningful improvements in communities across the country.

“At Edwards, we are focused on creating community and enhancing quality of life. A significant way to do that is by increasing capital in underserved areas – this is how real change can occur,” said Scott Ullem, chief financial officer of Edwards. “PROPEL has been instrumental in helping us achieve this goal.”

PROPEL has invested in:

  • Autism Community Network (San Antonio, Texas): Development of a new facility to expand the organization’s diagnostic, therapeutic, and interventional services for children with autism and their families. Located in a community with a 23.5 percent poverty rate, ACN is one of only a handful of providers in the county that provides autism services to people who qualify for Medicaid.
  • Bronx Community Health Network (Bronx, N.Y.): Building a new health facility to offer integrated medical, behavioral and oral health services as well as pharmacy, education, outreach, care coordination and chronic disease management services, all under one roof. More than 75 percent of the network’s current patients have incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, and the new facility will support 27,000 more patient visits a year than does the network’s existing space.
  • College Park (Jacksonville, Fla.): Revitalizing a deteriorating shopping center to provide health, education, job training and grocery services to a community where low incomes and low food access significantly impact the well-being of residents. Without the NMTC investment, the developer would not have been able to include the grocery store or offer below-market rents to local entrepreneurs, which are vital to its strategy to spur jobs, economic activity, and community-based wealth-building.
  • Native American Health Center (Oakland, Calif.): Redeveloping a vacant lot into a five-story building that includes affordable housing, a cultural community center and a community health center focused on dental care. The dental clinic will support 20,000 more patient visits per year than is possible in NAHC’s existing space. It will serve a community where 39 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.
  • PATH Center (Philadelphia, Pa.): Renovating PATH’s former headquarters building so it can offer expanded services for people with intellectual disabilities. The upgraded space means services, like PATH’s Adult Day Program, can be consolidated and offer clients comprehensive support in one place. Clients are all Medicaid-funded, and many live with elderly parents and caregivers who need additional support.
  • Skills Center Collaborative (Tampa, Fla.): Expanding a newly acquired facility to house local nonprofits offering education and employment services, increasing the local capacity to serve 3,000 people. The project is located in a severely distressed census tract, with more than 39 percent of residents living in poverty. Expanded access to skills training is expected to help alleviate the area’s labor gaps, so that more people can access quality jobs and employers can find the workers they need to grow.

“The impact of these investments is clear,” Boes said. “Through PROPEL, Edwards is improving health, revitalizing blighted land, fueling good jobs and strengthening local economies. They are supporting a better quality of life for tens of thousands of people.”

More information on Edwards’ Social Impact Investment Fund can be found here:

About Broadstreet Impact Services

Broadstreet is an impact financial services company, offering both fund management and fund administration services. We work with innovative investors to fuel social and economic impact throughout the country. We manage or administer 36 multi-asset funds, 92 single-asset entities, and $2.0 billion of capital—all of which drive equity and opportunity alongside financial performance. Over 20 years, we have developed a client base that values our customizable services platform, fund development experience, impact focus, collaborative partnership approach, and deep engagement with the community investing ecosystem.

Press release

“At Edwards, we are focused on creating community and enhancing quality of life. A significant way to do that is by increasing capital in underserved areas. PROPEL has been instrumental in helping us achieve this goal.”