Joel Solomon chairs Renewal Funds, Canada's largest mission venture capital firm, at $98m assets under management. Investing in Organics and EnviroTech in Canada and the USA, Renewal Funds is GIIRS-rated, a founding Canadian B Corp (3x “Best for the World”), a “1% for the Planet” member, recognized as ImpactAssets “Top 50 impact fund managers.”
Invited by Founder/Funder Carol Newell, Joel spent 14 years until 2008 implementing a "whole portfolio to mission" strategy as leader of her activist family office. The $20m Endswell Foundation endowment was spent down, leaving Tides Canada and Hollyhock as legacy institutions, while supporting the success of the Great Bear Rainforest Initiative, and the renowned BC environmental community. Renewal Partners seed invested over $10m in dozens of values-based companies, including Stonyfield Yogurt, Horizon Distributors, and Seventh Generation, as part of an "integrated use of capital for social change" strategy that helped catalyze Vancouver's leadership in long term new economy thinking.
Joel is Senior Advisor with RSF Social Finance and Co-Producer for their "Integrated Capital Fellows" program, supporting potential social change investment leaders. He is a Founding Member of Social Venture Network (SVN), the Tides Canada Foundation, Business for Social Responsibility, and the BALLE Local Funders circle. Joel is Board Chair of Hollyhock, a lifelong leadership learning centre on Cortes Island. He was a 24-year Director of Tides Foundation USA and is a member of Canada’s National Advisory Board to the G8 Social Impact Investment Taskforce. Joel serves on the board of Village People neighbourhood real estate in Nashville and on the University of British Columbia’s Board of Governors. He delivered a 2012 TEDxVancouver talk on "Clean Blood, Clean Money". He is a sought-after advisor to many businesses, families, and not-for-profit organizations.
Following his early career work as National Youth Coordinator in Jimmy Carter's 1976 Presidential campaign (going from 0% in polls to the White House), Joel continues active engagement with municipal political party Vision Vancouver, led by close friend, Mayor Gregor Robertson, Co-founder of Happy Planet Foods, where Joel served on the board for 10 years after Renewal Partners investment. Gregor is the longest serving Mayor in Vancouver history. With a 3-term leadership with majority on City Council, Vancouver is emerging as a modern global city leader on climate change and First Nations reconciliation. With partners in Nashville, Joel has helped four moderate progressive mayors over seven terms to lead Nashville to its place as one of the great cities in the South.
Joel and Carol Newell were inducted into SVN’s Hall of Fame in 2012 with a Lifetime Achievement Award. His 2015 op-ed on fossil fuel divestment appeared in The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper. Joel is regularly named to the "Power 50" by Vancouver Magazine and been subject of many feature articles and interviews. He is a frequent speaker and is Co-Producer on a number of Hollyhock-based conferences, including Social Venture Institute (SVI) since 1995. SVI partners with Vancouver City Savings Credit Union (Vancity), a values-based not-for-profit coop financial institution with over 500,000 member-owners.
Joel is Co-Author with Tyee Bridge of Clean Money Revolution, a call to action to know where your money is and what it is doing to whom right now, and to move trillions of dollars from damage to regeneration.