Ignite Capital, Innovation Works’ subsidiary impact fund filling the gap in access to capital necessary to lead and grow sustainable social enterprises in Baltimore, is excited to welcome Parity Founder Bree Jones as the newest member of its growing board of directors.
Jones launched and grew Parity, an equitable development company that acquires and rehabilitates abandoned properties in West Baltimore to create affordable homeownership opportunities, with support and funding from Innovation Works and Ignite Capital. Her first-hand experience as a social entrepreneur in Baltimore will strengthen Ignite Capital’s growing board. Jones has also served on Ignite Capital’s Investment Committee since 2020 and will now take on the role of Investment Committee Chair.
“I couldn’t think of a better candidate to serve on the Ignite Capital board,” said Ignite Capital Board President Jay Nwachu who also serves as the President and CEO of Innovation Works. “Bree’s experience as a social entrepreneur who participated in the Innovation Works Enterprise Development Pipeline ensures she will contribute valuable input and unique perspectives to the board.”
Jones left her career as a financial analyst on Wall Street to work with a grassroots racial equity group that was advocating for the creation of affordable housing in her hometown, New Rochelle, NY which was rapidly becoming gentrified and pricing out longtime residents. She used what she learned in New Rochelle to launch Parity in Baltimore.
“As someone who benefited from Innovation Works resources and Ignite Capital investment, I understand the transformational power of this organization and I’ll work to expand its positive impact,” Jones said. “For every issue in Baltimore, there is an enterprising individual with an innovative idea to address it. Unfortunately, first-in patient capital is the most difficult to raise and the most important in the entrepreneurship journey. Ignite Capital is critical because it works to shift systems and remove barriers that stifle Baltimore’s high-impact social innovators.”
“Bree exemplifies how Ignite Capital and Innovation Works facilitate sustainable growth,” said Innovation Works Board Chair and Ignite Capital Board Member Dan Rizzo. “Innovation Works and Ignite Capital helped accelerate Bree’s social enterprise and now she is using what she learned to help other social entrepreneurs overcome systemic challenges to build businesses that strengthen Baltimore neighborhoods.”