Community Investment Management
Despite record credit expansion in the U.S. economy, affordable financing for small businesses and historically underserved communities remains largely inaccessible from traditional lenders. Small businesses are the principal engine of jobs, economic growth, and innovation in the U.S. and while critical to the economy, small business owners cite access to capital as one of their top constraints to growth due to limited availability of financing from banks. For many individuals and working families in the U.S., household expenses are growing faster than income, largely driven by rising healthcare and education costs. According to the Financial Health Network, 40% of Americans do not have adequate financial resources to deal with an unexpected $400 expense and 73% of Americans are defined as either Financially Coping or Financially Vulnerable. The decline in bank lending has fostered significant innovation with financial technology. Certain alternative lenders provide high interest, short-term loans, often without transparent terms. However, also addressing this market opportunity are select technology-driven lenders using innovative approaches to efficiently acquire, underwrite, and service creditworthy borrowers with transparent loan terms. Community Investment Management (CIM) is an impact investment manager which provides strategic debt funding to scale and demonstrate responsible innovation in lending. Through partnerships with innovative, technology-enabled lending platforms (such as Street Shares, Lighter Capital, CircleUp and others) that demonstrate strong financial performance and a commitment to responsible, transparent, and borrower-centric lending practices, CIM provides financing to underserved borrowers in need. The team at CIM is committed to its multiple-bottom line mission and has established itself as a leading voice for responsible lending practices through its roles in the launch of the Guidelines for Investing in Responsible Digital Financial Services, as a co-founding signatory of the IFC’s Operating Principles for Impact Management, a member of the Executive Committee of the Responsible Business Lending Coalition, the Financial Health Network (formerly CFSI), Impact Capital Managers, and the Global Impact Investment Network’s Investors’ Council, and as chair of the Marketplace Lending Association’s Investors’ Council. At Access Ventures we seek mission-alignment in every area of our work. CIM is an example of a partner that provides impact through extending financial inclusion to underserved markets while achieving a market-rate return for us as investors.