Big Path Speaker - Deborah La Franchi
Founder & CEO
Deborah La Franchi is founder/CEO of Strategic Development Solutions (SDS). Ms. La Franchi founded SDS in 2001 and is a leader within the Double/Triple Bottom Line (“DBL/TBL”) fund industry. These funds seek market rates of return (1st Bottom Line) by investing in emerging lower-income communities that have strong capital demands and growth potential, and where the investments foster economic development (2ndBottom Line). Through SDS’ earlier consulting efforts, Ms. La Franchi has helped structure and capitalize DBL/TBL funds (including their successor funds) capitalized at $668 million. These funds include commercial real estate, workforce housing, middle-market companies and microfinance. Since 2005, Ms. La Franchi positioned SDS such that it manages three distinct impact funds: National New Markets Fund ($477 million), the Develop Michigan Real Estate Fund ($60 million) and the American South Real Estate Fund ($30 million).
She also launched a proprietary, standardized investment management platform to efficiently handle compliance, accounting, loan servicing, investor reporting and asset management services for more than $532 million of exited and current third-party assets on the SDS Advantage Platform. She is the co-author of the DBL Handbook (Ford Foundation sponsor) and she is a regular speaker at impact and investment conferences.
Ms. La Franchi served as Mayor Riordan’s Asst. Deputy Mayor for Economic Development in the late 90s (Los Angeles); in this capacity, she spearheaded the launch and later became inaugural CEO of Genesis LA, which launched the Genesis Family of Funds (1999-2001) which included some of the first DBL impact funds in the U.S.
Ms. La Franchi holds an MBA from UCLA, a Masters Degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University and she is Series 7 certified. She holds undergraduate degrees in Political Science and History from UCLA, where she also played on the Women’s Varsity Tennis Team.
Ms. La Franchi is a regular speaker at conferences across the country and internationally and she is a co-author of the Double Bottom Line Handbook funded by the Ford Foundation. Ms. La Franchi serves as the Chair of Sustainable Communities Fund (
HYPERLINK "", a nonprofit she helped to found in 2007 to invest in cutting-edge micro finance programs in the United States and internationally. Ms. La Franchi is also a Board Member of the NMTC Coalition. Ms. La Franchi also served as a Big Sister mentor for 8 years and is a former member of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Board of Directors. Her love of travel and adventure led her to spend an aggregate of more than two years back-packing through Europe, Central Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America.
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Impact Across America - Dallas