FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (September 08, 2022)
Minneapolis, MN - Dovetail Partners has been awarded a $250,000 grant through the 2022 USDA Forest Service Wood Innovations Grant Program.
The award will fund a collaboration between Dovetail Partners and Impact Finance Center to evaluate a new way to raise private sector capital at scale to co-invest with public sector capital to rebuild the U.S. sustainable forest supply chain infrastructure. The project builds upon a 2020-21 project supported by the U.S. Forest Service in which Impact Finance Center identified, educated, and activated 600 investors and sourced 75+ social ventures.
“The prior work of Impact Finance Center confirmed that there are both social ventures seeking investments and investors seeking to invest in the infrastructure - investments have and are being made - and this project will deliver a business plan for a new strategy for raising $25M of private sector investment within the first three to five years and that can scale to $1B of investment for the forest supply chain,” said Stephanie Gripne, PhD, Executive Director, Impact Finance Center.
Companies building the supply chain infrastructure such as a trained workforce, mills, production facilities, bioenergy facilities, and mass timber buildings for forest products need billions of dollars of investment. Traditional grants, loans, and equity investments are proving to be inadequate. A thriving, sustainable forest products supply chain requires new and innovative social ventures that can drive the sector forward and provide markets for forests to be actively managed. Financial product innovation is needed to overcome the hurdles and fund this vital infrastructure at scale.
“The scale of the need and the associated opportunity to improve the economic, social, and ecological health of communities is immense. In the last 20 – 30 years the loss of wood product markets and infrastructure in many regions has diminished both the economic well-being of communities and the ability of forest land managers to maintain healthy, resilient ecosystems,” said Kathryn Fernholz, President of Dovetail Partners.
The Wood Innovations Grants Program, launched in 2015, stimulates and expands wood products and wood energy markets. National focus areas include mass timber, renewable wood energy, and technological development that supports fuel reduction and sustainable forest management.