Calvert Foundation Launches Indian Diaspora Investment Initiative

The Calvert Foundation in Bethesda, Maryland, has announced a new initiative designed to help Indian Americans invest in private businesses and social enterprises in India.

Through the Indian Diaspora Investment Initiative — a partnership between the Calvert Foundation, USAID, and several private financial institutions in India — U.S.-based investors will be able to purchase so-called community investment notes in support of private businesses and social enterprises in India working to advance education, financial inclusion, agriculture, health care, water and sanitation, renewable energy, and energy efficiency in that country. The specially marked and branded notes, which will be made available later this year, will make it possible for Indian Americans investors and others to fund the growth of social enterprises in India while earning both a financial and social return. For its part, USAID will provide a development credit guarantee to support Indian financial institutions lending to social enterprises.

Calvert's community investment notes have a twenty-year record of performance and are currently held by more than five thousand investors. Investors can select note durations from one to ten years and receive annual interest payments.

"Diaspora members are playing an increasingly important role in economic development around the world. This initiative goes beyond remittances and beyond charity," said Calvert Foundation president and CEO Jennifer Pryce. "Our work with USAID will enable us to connect members of the Indian-American diaspora to development in their country of heritage through investment."