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Social Capitalists: Calvert Social Investment Foundation

43 entrepreneurs who are changing the world
Social Capitalist 2008 Winner

Calvert Social Investment Foundation

Shari Berenbach, executive director
Bethesda, Maryland
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Millions of people around the world live in poverty, struggling to find jobs, provide for their families and secure decent housing. They also often lack access to the essential financial services necessary to be self-sufficient. As a result, the gap between rich and poor is widening.

Calvert Foundation allows you to support communities through an investment that offers a financial and a social return – creating affordable housing, jobs, micro-credit, community facilities, fair trade coffee co-ops and social enterprises (businesses motivated more by public and social good than by personal profit). Community investment helps close the gap between rich and poor by channeling flexible, affordable capital to communities underserved by traditional financial institutions. This capital enables families and the communities they live in to rise above the cycle of poverty. With the heavy toll of predatory lending and the ensuing growth of mortgage foreclosures, community investment is more important than ever for protecting low-income families and getting them into safe, affordable housing..

As we work to educate the financial industry – and the public at large – about the impact that can be leveraged through community investment, we have found it helpful to partner with companies that can help herald our message. Our recent partnership with eBay company MicroPlace is bringing microfinance investment to a whole new audience, allowing investors to purchase a Note online for as little as $100.


Investing in Microfinance: Fred and Margaret Nsubuga walk proudly in front of their home in Uganda, showing off the poultry farm that is allowing them to attain their dream. Two months earlier, their farm was struggling and they could barely support themselves. But thanks to a microloan granted through a Calvert Foundation partner, the Nsubugas have been able to expand their farming operations and send their children to school. PHOTO COPYRIGHT: 2006 Jamie Rose for Calvert Foundation