Rise in ‘Balance Sheet Activism’ Inflates CNote’s Community Investment Platform to $300M


Apple, Netflix, Xylem and others make corporate money work in financially underserved communities by moving money to CDFIs, LID credit unions and MDIs across the United States.

This week, CNote – a women-led impact platform whose mission is to close the wealth gap through financial innovation – announced that recent commitments from Apple, netflix and Xylem pushed the total funding deployed to underserved communities through its investment platform to nearly $300 million. The milestone reflects the acceleration of the fintech company’s work to leverage corporate balance sheets to improve racial and gender equity.

The announcement comes just days after JUST Capital released its 2022 Corporate Racial Equity Tracking
– who found signs of progress in key areas of radical business commitments to use their power to help advance racial equity in the United States, but there are still miles to go to implement action that is truly meaningful and impactful. CNote’s $300 million milestone is an encouraging sign that progress is being made.

“We are seeing continued interest from large corporations in balance sheet activism. It’s a move, not a moment,” said CNote CEO Catherine Berman, adding that “this interest extends to all sectors, as illustrated by our new customers. They view corporate treasury as a tool to further their DEI, ESG, and racial justice goals.

Advance business objectives while minimizing risk

Apple’s recent $25 million commitment to CNote is part of its larger program Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, an effort to address systemic racism in the United States and expand opportunities for communities of color. According Lisa JacksonApple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, “By working with CNote to bring funds directly to historically underresourced communities through their local financial institutions, we can support equity, entrepreneurship and access.”

Communicate effectively on corporate sustainability

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As global water technology company Xylem explained when announcing its initial $5 million commitment to CNote, diversity, equity and inclusion are core elements of its sustainable development. The company noted that CNote’s platform “provides an easy-to-use, measurable tool to streamline Xylem’s investment with a single interface while maximizing the impact created for underserved communities of color across the United States.” United”.

CNote’s platform enables businesses and other institutional investors to contribute to racial and gender equity while generating returns on fixed income and cash allocations. It places money in Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) loan funds and deposit products – such as money market accounts and CDs – from
FDIC– and NCUA– insured CDFIs, low-income credit unions (LIDs) and minority depository institutions (MDIs). Platform users can track their impact through CNote’s quarterly reports on the social benefits of their deposits and investments.

Funds deployed through CNote’s platform increase the deposit base of mission-driven banks and credit unions that serve low- and middle-income people and Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, enabling these institutions to improve their reach and service. CDFIs fund small businesses run by women and minorities, 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 report highlights the social dimension of ESG

Apple, Netflix, Xylem and others using the CNote platform – including
— receive quarterly impact reports showing how their dollars have been deployed and how communities have benefited. This is a significant benefit given the increased focus on ESG reporting, Berman said: “When companies activate their balance sheets to expand access and opportunities for communities of color and other communities underserved, they truly address the social dimension of ESG.”

Learn more about the CNote platform and see examples of beneficiaries


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