CNote Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary, Thousands of Jobs Created in Underserved Communities
CNote, a women-led community investment platform with a mission of closing the wealth gap, today celebrates its fifth year in operation. CNote partners with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and mission-driven deposit institutions, which are high-impact local lenders dedicated to delivering financial resources to underserved communities. Dollars invested and deposited on the CNote platform are deployed with these frontline lenders to fund women- and BIPOC-owned small businesses, affordable housing development, and further racial justice and economic development across the United States.
Investments on CNote’s platform have created or maintained over 4,000 jobs. In the past 12 months, over 40% of newly deployed capital has gone to women-led businesses and over 50% to BIPOC borrowers. CNote catalogs the on-the-ground impact of its community investments with regular quantitative impact reporting and by profiling the small businesses, people, and organizations that are positively impacted.
CNote’s long-term commitment to racial and gender equity investing earned it the Best Women-Owned Business Award from the U.N. Women’s Empowerment Principles and the firm has been recognized on the ImpactAssets 50 list showcasing top impact fund managers for two consecutive years. CNote is a Certified B Corporation, which means it meets rigorous social, environmental, governance, and community performance standards.
In 2016, CNote launched The Flagship Fund, the first 100% CDFI-focused investment vehicle available to all investors with no minimum. Since then, CNote has introduced two new products: The Wisdom Fund, an investment vehicle for accredited investors designed to increase capital access and lending for women of color; and the Promise Account, a federally insured cash management solution that gives corporations and institutional investors a simplified way to deliver on DEI commitments by depositing cash for competitive returns and positive social impact.
After launching with a retail product, CNote has moved to serve foundations and other institutional investors and, most recently, to help corporations mobilize cash deposits and investments to improve their performance on ESG measures. In October of 2020, Mastercard expanded its relationship with CNote by committing $20 million to the Promise Account to fund underserved communities and help women- and BIPOC-owned businesses.
CNote CEO Catherine Berman said, “I’m proud of the team for what we’ve accomplished over these last five years but, given how challenging 2020 was for low-income people and communities of color, our mission of closing the wealth gap is more urgent than ever.”
Berman added, “We’re most proud to say we’re aligned with CDFIs, which have acted as economic first responders throughout the pandemic. They are critical to getting investor capital authentically aligned behind community development that leads to lasting change. We look forward to supporting the CDFI industry and underserved communities for many years to come.”