TOMS Shoes, the footwear company that made the “buy 1, give 1” model well-known, announced in August the sale of 50% of the company to private equity firm Bain Capital. M&A activity associated with impact-based companies often draw questions of whether the social mission can be maintained or whether shareholder objectives flip to being more profit-driven. TOMS and Bain released a statement to say that the investment would help TOMS grow faster, help more people, and support philanthropic social entrepreneurship activities. This harks of the centuries old philanthropy model of profit on one hand, give from the other. Time will tell for this high profile brand.
In the venture space, Extreme Startups and GrowLab announced their merger to become pan-Canadian focused Highline, heralding an evolution of the accelerator model in Canada.
New York City has allocated $1.2 million from their 2015 city budget to support worker cooperatives.