CNote is a women-led certified B-Corporation that partners with federally-certified community lenders to create jobs, fund BIPOC-owned small businesses, and support affordable housing development. In addition, the fund provides a competitive interest rate and quarterly liquidity, making it an excellent option for long-term savings.
Let's take a closer look at CNote and why you might want to consider it instead of a typical savings account or CD.
Who's Behind CNote?
Catherine Berman and Yuliya Tarasava founded CNote in April 2016. With decades of experience in finance, the two started CNote in response to the growing wealth gap. They decided to leave traditional finance and found CNote to prove that financial innovation could be used as a tool to close the wealth gap, not just exacerbate it.
CNote provides new and sustainable capital sources for community lenders, including Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Low-Income-Designated Credit Unions. Using proprietary technology and due diligence, the platform streamlines the evaluation and selection of top-performing partners that make loans to local communities.
Since its inception, CNote has invested over half of its capital into BIPOC-led small businesses and over 40% to women-led small businesses with zero losses. These funds have helped create or maintain over 4,000 jobs in low-income communities, making a significant difference in the lives of those people and their community networks.
CNote's Flagship Fund
CNote provides a range of financial products for individual and institutional investors, but the CNote Flagship Fund is the most popular offering for everyday investors. The simple note offers a competitive 2.00% interest rate with no minimum investment and partial quarterly liquidity—so you can access your money when you need it.
The company's online platform makes it easy to see your balance, earned interest, and transaction history. When you transfer funds, you can see how many entrepreneurs your investment will impact. Any withdrawals are processed on January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1 with 30 days advanced notice under its quarterly liquidity program.
Finally, CNote periodically features Impact Stories
of entrepreneurs or borrowers. These stories put a human face to your investment and help you see how your money makes a difference in various communities. You can also find impact metrics and blog posts covering community partners and relevant news about your investments.
CNote Pros and Cons
CNote offers one of the highest yields in the impact note space along with unheard-of quarterly liquidity. By comparison, other impact notes carry interest rates of less than 1% with a minimum term of at least five years. The CNote platform is also very easy-to-use and doesn't involve mailing in forms or placing trades through a brokerage account.
Of course, CNote isn't an FDIC-insured savings account, meaning the notes aren't federally-insured, and you could experience losses. That said, CNote has never experienced a loss, and there are several protections for borrowers, including general recourse obligations that CDFIs pay back to CNote even if their borrowers experience a default.
The Bottom Line
CNote provides an easy way for investors to fund community lenders and make an impact on local communities. With a 2.00% APY and quarterly liquidity, the company's Flagship Fund provides an excellent alternative to high-yield savings accounts, CDs, and other long-term savings products.