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September 27, 2008
Calvert Foundation Receives $10 Million Investment from Merrill Lynch
    by Robert Kropp

Investment in foundation's Community Investment Note is intended to support women entrepreneurs in developing countries.

Women entrepreneurs in developing countries stand to benefit from a $10 million investment in Calvert Foundation's Community Investment Note by the Merrill Lynch Community Development Company.

The Clinton Global Initiative, a coalition of global leaders dedicated to innovative solutions to the world's most pressing problems, has designated the initiative for inclusion in its annual meeting.

The investment in the Community Investment Note provides microloans to more than 13,000 women entrepreneurs in eleven countries.

It is hoped that the combination of microfinance, business training and healthcare support will help women entrepreneurs create livelihoods for themselves as well as financial stability for their families.

The United Nations Development Programme,the UN's global development network which advocates the goal of cutting world poverty in half by 2015, reports that only one percent of rural Africans have obtained loans or credit from financial institutions.

The UNDP has bolstered its commitment to sustainable gender equality by noting that women have shown a 98 percent repayment rateon microloans.

Merrill Lynch and Calvert Foundation have offered the Community Investment Notes to Merrill Lynch clients interested in supporting new economic opportunities in underserved communities worldwide. The initiative has led to over $1.5 million invested in underserved communities.

Community investment continues to grow in appeal as an investment strategy. The Social Investment Forum reports that community investment in the U.S. reached $25 billion in 2007, up from $19.6 billion in 2005.


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