Meet the MSC Impact Investing Portfolio

Greetings from chilly Chicago!  We are excited to update you on our journey  developing the impact investment portfolio of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. This portfolio helps expand and deepen our footprint in serving vulnerable people around the world and also helps in the fight against climate change.

What is this journey?

Being sensitive to the needs of our time and looking for ways in which we can be more fully devoted in all things to our mission, the Missionary Sisters have made a significant transition in the management of its temporal goods.  We have moved away from traditional investments in companies that only provide a financial return, to seeking out organizations that have a positive social and/or environmental impact in addition to financial returns. 
This means that through these investments, the Missionary Sisters can reach more people and support important issues both in the countries where we already work, and those that we always dreamed of reaching.  These impact investments include a wide range of interventions such as renewable energy projects that provide electricity to people in need and credit unions that ethically serve local communities, and more.

 We are excited to share updates and will be posting more information on the Cabrini World website in the weeks and months to come.

In this article we highlight two examples of our early impact investments focused on breaking cycles of poverty in low-income communities.  We hope you enjoy learning about these organizations, and we invite you to recommend names of impact organizations in your communities with us.

Kayoko Lyons, Director of Impact Investing                                                            Greg Lane, Chief Financial Officer

Breaking Cycles of Poverty
Latino Community Credit Union 

In June 2019, the MSC made an investment* in the Latino Community Credit Union (LCCU). This non-profit financial institution provides affordable, accessible, and fair financial services to the Latino population of North Carolina, USA.

What does this mean?

The MSC’s impact investment helps hard-working Latino families access new economic opportunities, which means they can buy their first home, or send their child to college.
About LCCU

LCCU was formed in February 2000 through a unique partnership of the grassroots organization El Centro Hispano, the North Carolina State Employees’ Credit Union, Self-Help Credit Union and North Carolina Minority Support Center.  LCCU set out to help the newly expanded Latino immigrant population in Durham, NC. Excluded from the U.S. banking system, Durham’s Latino immigrants were known to carry large sums of cash, making them easy targets for theft.

A community-based financial institution to bridge language, cultural and trust barriers was the right solution. Today, LCCU boasts 10 branches across North Carolina as well as a strong virtual banking experience.

*The investment is an interest-bearing, federally insured deposit.

Breaking Cycles of Poverty
Symbiotics Regional MSME Investment Fund for Sub-Saharan Africa (REGMIFA)

In October 2019 the MSC invested in REGMIFA by providing them an interest-bearing loan. REGMIFA works in Sub-Saharan Africa funding loans to small businesses.

Since REGMIFA was established in 2010, the fund has provided loans to support more than 170,000 small businesses across 19 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The majority of the countries  are considered Least Developed Countries with an average Human Development Index ranking of 155 of 188 (Zambia, Senegal, Mali, Angola, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Niger, Chad, Malawi, among others), according to the UN.
What does this mean?

REGMIFA’s loans foster economic development through employment creation, income generation and poverty alleviation.

An example

REGMIFA provided a loan to Entrepreneurs Financial Center in Uganda which helps micro-entrepreneurs in Kampala (Uganda) grow their businesses. An example of one such entrepreneur is Mr. Mpagi Siraje, an experienced poultry farmer. With the loan he was made, he was able to double the size of his business and now has five poultry houses with 30,000 egg-laying birds!  Mr. Mpagi would hire other people and create jobs and income for more families in his community.

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