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CNote: Connecting Investors with CDFIs to Support Community Impact

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) bridge the gap between low-income individuals, families and businesses and the financial resources that they need in order to thrive. CDFIs leverage their financial resources by working with state and federal agencies, foundations, other financial institutions, and private companies. 

One such company is CNote— a financial technology company based in Oakland, California. Created by Catherine Berman and Yuliya Tarasava, CNote is on a mission to build a more inclusive economy by enabling socially-conscious investors to support communities and causes that matter to them. For CNote’s growing list of CDFI partners, it unlocks a new capital source of individuals and institutions looking to invest in loans that fund women and minority-led businesses, build schools and affordable housing, and support economic development in underserved communities.

CNote offers a few different core investment options for investors to choose from, including the:

  1. Wisdom Fund—invests in CDFIs that lend to female entrepreneurs, particularly targeting women of color. The minimum investment is $100,000, and the fund is designed to generate a 1.0% annual return. The fund is currently available only to accredited investors. Individuals are accredited investors if their net worth is at least $1 million, excluding the value of their primary residence, or they have income at least $200,000 each year for the last two years (or $300,000 combined income if married) and have the expectation to make the same amount this year.
  2. Flagship Fund—serves as a diversified CDFI investment vehicle, is open to all investors, has no minimum level of investment, and currently offers a 2.50% annual return.

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