According to US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investing, Socially Responsible Investing (“SRI”) has reached the $12 trillion asset mark. Unfortunately, the vast majority — 97 percent, to be precise — comprises investments in the traditional capital markets in which decisions are made using Environmental, Social, or Governance (“ESG”) criteria. While I applaud people adding ESG screens to their portfolio, it is imperative that we find ways to support direct, community-level investments.
Spotlight on Whole Planet Foundation's Bold, New Partnerships, by Claire Kelly
According to Women’s World Banking, “Women in Bangladesh have the highest-ever rates of literacy and employment, and the country’s economy is growing. Financial inclusion now stands at more than 50 percent, nearly doubling in the past few years. But the financial inclusion gender gap is growing rapidly too, with fewer than half of women accessing or using formal financial services.”
While difficult at the moment, the many conversations with my friends about money inspired me to explore a different path. Conversation after conversation, I started to chip away at what felt wrong about money, and we would talk about their “wish list” when it comes to finance. What came up again and again was the desire to feel smart about money decisions – “whatever I do should be easy to understand, available to all, convenient to do, and make me feel good and empowered.”
To kick off 2019, the Whole Planet Foundation team would like to thank our network of microfinance organizations, the implementing partners who administer the microloans Whole Planet Foundation funds. These partners employ staff members who serve microcredit clients, sometimes traveling miles by foot or motorbike to reach some of the least-served entrepreneurs around the globe. Every quarter, we honor these staff members, or Field Officers, by asking our partner institutions to nominate exemplary candidates for the Whole Planet Foundation Field Officer Award.
As part of Whole Planet Foundation’s annual due diligence visits to our microfinance partners around the globe, we observe the presence or absence of “responsible finance indicators” which shed light on how our partners are serving the world’s poorest people. Many of our microfinance partners use or develop strategies to inform their work, ensuring they are reaching their target populations with the services they need most.
by Jenn Pryce, President and CEO, Calvert Foundation
What do an artificial heart, the theater, and Gabon all have in common? From where you’re sitting, probably not much. For me, however, they are key facets of my life that have led me to a career in impact investing.