CNote's Community Investment Platform Nears $300M, a Sign of Balance Sheet Activism Rising Across Business Sectors
Apple, Netflix, Xylem and others put corporate cash to work in financially underserved communities by moving money to CDFIs, LID credit unions and MDIs throughout the U.S.
OAKLAND, Calif., June 2, 2022 (Newswire.com) - Recent commitments from Apple, Netflix and Xylem have pushed the total funding being deployed to communities via CNote's investment platform to nearly $300 million. The milestone reflects accelerated momentum for the women-led fintech firm's work to unleash corporate balance sheets for racial and gender equity.
"We're seeing continued interest from large corporations in balance sheet activism. It's a movement, not a moment," said Catherine Berman, CEO of CNote, adding that "this interest runs across industries, as our newest clients illustrate. They're looking at the corporate treasury as a tool to deepen their DEI, ESG and racial justice goals."
CNote enables finance leaders to advance corporate goals while minimizing risk
Apple's $25 million commitment to CNote, announced on May 5, is part of its broader Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, an effort to address systemic racism in America and expand opportunities for communities of color. According to Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, "By working with CNote to get funds directly to historically under-resourced communities through their local financial institutions, we can support equity, entrepreneurship and access."
Diversity, equity and inclusion are critical elements of Xylem's sustainability strategy, the global water technology company said in announcing its initial $5 million commitment, noting that CNote's platform "provides an easy-to-use and measurable tool for streamlining Xylem's investment with one interface while maximizing the impact created for underserved communities of color across the U.S."
CNote's platform enables corporations and other institutional investors to contribute to racial and gender equity while generating returns on fixed income and cash allocations. It places money in CDFI loan funds and in depository products, such as money market accounts and CDs, from vetted FDIC- and NCUA-insured community development financial institutions (CDFIs), low-income designation (LID) credit unions and minority depository institutions (MDIs).
Funds deployed through CNote's platform grow the deposit base of mission-driven banks and credit unions that serve low- and moderate-income people as well as Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities, allowing those institutions to improve their reach and service. CDFIs fund women- and minority-led small businesses, affordable housing and economic development. LID credit unions serve communities where most people have household incomes well below the national median. And MDIs are financial lifelines for communities of color.
CNote's impact reporting highlights ESG's social dimension
Apple, Netflix, Xylem and others using CNote's platform—including Mastercard and PayPal—receive quarterly impact reports showing how their dollars were deployed and how communities benefited. That is a significant advantage given the heightened attention to ESG reporting, Berman noted: "When companies activate their balance sheet to expand access and opportunities for communities of color and other underserved communities, they are authentically addressing the social dimension of ESG."
Find out more about CNote's platform and see illustrative beneficiaries here.
CNote is a women-led impact platform on a mission to close the wealth gap through financial innovation. Using the power of technology and a community-first framework, CNote enables corporations and individuals to efficiently invest at scale in fixed income and time deposit products that advance economic equality, racial justice, gender equity and climate change initiatives. Platform users can track their impact via CNote's quarterly reporting on the social benefits of their deposits and investments. A Certified B Corporation, CNote was a B Lab "Best for the World" honoree in 2019 and was named "Best Women-Owned Business" by the U.N. Women's Empowerment Principles program in 2020.
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Source: CNote Group, Inc.