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Jacob Haar discusses how innovation in lending practices are driving financial inclusion in underserved communities
“Lending has the capacity to transform what people can do based on their capabilities and not necessarily based just on the opportunities that they’ve been dealt. If you believe, like I do, that capabilities are equally distributed but opportunities certainly are not, then lending actually can be a way to try to level the playing field a bit more.”
“Innovation is bringing the costs down for businesses. It’s providing them with products that are better suited for their needs and, ultimately, improving their financial health…So, for us, the opportunity is also the impact.”
– Jacob Haar, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Community Investment Management
Community Investment Management (CIM) is an institutional impact investment manager that provides debt capital to lenders who are doing innovative work in underserved communities. The CIM capital both helps these organizations scale up their lending practices to serve more customers and helps to bring responsible and transparent financial solutions for the underserved into the mainstream. Recent CIM investments include Salary Finance, a company that partners with employers to provide employees with low-cost loans, and Founders First Capital Partners, a fund that provides revenue-based financing to diverse-led businesses.
This episode of Money and Meaning features Jacob Haar, the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Community Investment Management. Jacob, a Fulbright Scholar, first worked at this intersection of social impact and small business lending while in Azerbaijan working for Save the Children USA’s microfinance institution. After leaving Save the Children, Jacob co-founded and managed Minlam Asset Management, a microfinance fund that provided debt investment to micro, small, and medium enterprise lenders in emerging markets. During the conversation, Jacob talks about the roles of both impact investors and the public sector in truly moving the needle on responsible financial inclusion practices.
- Check out the Responsible Business Lending Coalition and the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights
- Learn more about the recent truth in lending laws passed in both New York and California
- Read about the recent round of funding for Founders First, including from CIM
- Find out more about Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez’s proposed “Small Business Lending Disclosure and Broker Regulation Act”
- Read CIM’s disclosure on the IFC’s Operating Principles for Impact Management
Money + Meaning is the official podcast of SOCAP. The series aims to expand the conversation around impact investing and strategies to finance and support social change while stimulating innovative and valuable new partnerships across sectors.