As I write this it’s 67° F in the Washington, DC area, and it doesn’t seem like the right time for a year-end review.
But it’s indeed the end of December, and we’re reflecting on the biggest stories from 2015 and previewing what’s to come in 2016.
Vested.org re-launches with better user experience
Our online platform Vested.org re-launched with an improved user experience and more investment options, including Age Strong and India.
Since launching in 2014, more than 300 people have made 700 investments on Vested totaling nearly $400,000. In early 2016 we will be rolling out a comprehensive update to Vested including more stories from our portfolio partners and a better way to find what issues that matter to you.
Visit Vested.org to create an account and begin building your impact investment portfolio.
Age Strong™ finances aging-focused enterprises and projects
During the first half of 2015 we developed the Age Strong initiative in collaboration with AARP Foundation and Capital Impact Partners. Age Strong soft launched in July at the n4a Conference on Aging, and officially at SOCAP in October. Age Strong funds enterprises that provide critical services for people over 50 living in the U.S. Aging is a new and important focus for us, because by 2040 our population over 65 will double.
Financing the enterprises that serve this growing demographic will lead to stronger communities, and it will grow the resources we all need to age strong.
The initiative builds on the program experience of AARP Foundation, whose work focuses on meeting the housing, income, isolation and hunger issues facing older people, and Capital Impact Partners, who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience funding community based aging solutions.
Only a few months under way, the response has been strong: hundreds of people have joined on Facebook, Twitter and email, and investors have already invested $37,000. In the first quarter of 2016 we’ll highlight the newest enterprises to be financed through Age Strong, and the impact of their work.
Subscribe to Age Strong email updates for the latest news.
Ready to invest?
Visited Age Strong on Vested.org to make an investment.
Over the past two years, through our management of the International Diaspora Engagement Alliance (IdEA), we’ve been working with diaspora organizations all over the world to increase engagement of their constituents. That includes exploring investment as a tool for diaspora communities to support their countries of heritage.
India Investment Initiative funds social enterprises in India
The India Investment Initiative (III) connects investment from people in the U.S. who care about India with social enterprises in India working in health, education, energy and other solutions. Social enterprises in India have been driving sustainable development in these areas for years, but are often excluded from the mainstream financing they need to scale.
Over the next two years, we will fund up to $10 million in financial intermediaries in India that provide financing to these businesses. In January this year III kicked off in New Delhi with an announcement by President Obama. Read the press announcement on the USAID website.
“The first-of-its-kind initiative seeks to tap the Indian diaspora in the United States — and not just high net-worth individuals, but also retail investors — to help fund development in India.”
Get updates on the India Investment Initiative. All fields required.
Ready to take action?
Invest in India on Vested.org.
Investing through Raíces initiative strengthens Latino communities
Recognizing that our lending portfolio includes numerous organizations working in Latin America – and majority Latino communities in the U.S. – we saw an opportunity to connect Latinos living in the U.S. with their home countries through investment. An investment in the Raíces (“Roots” in Spanish) initiative funds healthcare, small businesses, education and financial inclusion in Latin America and Latino communities here in the U.S.
In November we announced a $20 million partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank to fund socially responsible financial institutions working in small business lending, education, housing development, and agricultural cooperatives across Latin America and the Caribbean.
Get updates on Raíces. All fields required.
To make an investment, visit Vested.org/raices.
Ours To Own turned one
In June we celebrated the one year anniversary of Ours To Own, our initiative with a vision to activate broad and diverse networks of local residents to drive significant investment in their own communities. Since launching we’ve made more than $13 million in loans. Our small business lending partners, Community Reinvestment Fund and Colorado Enterprise Fund, supported by Ours To Own and their other investors, have invested in 178 local businesses that have created or retained 2,700 jobs. Many of these businesses are minority, women, or veteran owned and are creating jobs and wealth in low-income communities. In Denver, our partner the Urban Land Conservancy closed on three properties in 2015, helping to preserve real estate for community benefit.
Investors have already invested more than $3 million in Ours To Own, and those investments are translating into real outcomes on the ground in Denver and the Twin Cities. Check out our 2015 social impact report to see the impact of the initiative.
You can invest local with an investment in Ours To Own Twin Cities or Denver on Vested.org.
2016 will be just as eventful. There’s a Baltimore Ours To Own initiative in the works, one in Chicago, a global health initiative, and an environment-focused one. We’re structuring more off-balance sheet partnerships that will enable us to lend millions more in capital in underserved communities. Stay tuned to find out more about our growing initiatives.
Over to you
There are so many ways you can create impact with your investment dollars. The place to start is Vested.org. Visit, explore and invest. If you’d like to keep up with the latest news, join our more than 4,600 email subscribers.
This post was originally published on CalvertFoundation.org
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