• purposelypodcast

'Swapping law for social impact investing'

James Palmer joins Purposely Podcast to share his founder story starting Community Finance and Positive Capital.



James founded Community Finance in 2019 on a mission to significantly grow the community housing sector. He formed Positive Capital in 2021 to provide an investment vehicle to help scale their mission. ‘seventy percent of renters in New Zealand require financial support from the State, billions spent propping up the low-income housing industry each year’. Currently a safe, warm affordable home is out of reach for many in New Zealand.


Community Finance connects investors and organisations who have the means and desire to help make that dream a reality. ‘Our aim was to build a bridge between philanthropists, Government, and impact investors to help solve the housing crisis affecting low-income families’ Just getting started James and his team have already raised over $40 million and on target to deliver 118 new affordable quality homes to marginalised and low-income New Zealanders.


James has a strongly held belief that finance can be a force for good, he also has a passion for impact investment and believes it can play a vital role in solving social and environmental issues working alongside Governments, charities, and foundations. James was previously Chief Executive of Christian Savings, New Zealand’s only charity that is also a licensed non-bank deposit taker, managing almost $250m. Prior to that he was a commercial lawyer, following in his father’s footsteps he made the difficult decision to walk away from the family firm and launch a career in finance. ‘Delivering that message to my father was tough, although he was a better lawyer than me and I knew that I wanted to do something else. I had a strong desire to be part of a purpose driven business that’s focus was to make a positive and lasting difference to people’s live at scale’ James is the 2021 INFINZ University of Auckland Business School Emerging Leader.