Working on this year's Real Impact Report, I found myself — as always — moved by the enormous good our community development investing (CDI) work does in communities. (If you haven’t read the report, examples include affordable housing in Connecticut and lending institutions in Costa Rica.) It’s sometimes hard, though, to communicate the personal and transformational nature of what we call “real impact.”
My wish is for all our investors to not only know but feel the good their investment dollars are doing. And one way I can help with that is sharing an on-the-ground look at some CDI projects in Kenya, where I’m traveling for the holidays.
Kenya is my own home country, so the community development work there is meaningful to me in a personal and professional way. As Praxis’ manager of stewardship investing impact and analysis, I’ve come to understand a great deal about impact investing — but it’s often been from behind a computer screen, over the phone, or at a conference. So you can imagine my excitement to see firsthand — and share with you — some of the work your investment dollars support in Kenya.
While in Kenya, I plan to visit four organizations that are making real impacts on the people that they serve in their communities.
- The first organization, SunFunder, has already impacted millions across Africa by giving improved energy access, and they now are scaling up clean energy and climate investments in Africa, Asia and other emerging markets around the world.
- Later, I will visit Lendable, a company that provides access to emerging fintech companies, and the Off Grid Energy Fund, which focuses on providing access to capital, renewable and clean energy.
- The last organization I will visit, Yehu, provides access to capital with an emphasis on renewable and clean energy and gender equity. Yehu supports 1,000 new, small enterprises, more than 70% of which are led by women, in Lamu and Tana River counties.
I look forward to sharing more of the wonderful country of my birth and the real-world impact that investing with Praxis makes possible. So stay tuned for on the ground stories of people and lives impacted by community development investing, coming in early January.
The Praxis commitment
Praxis Mutual Funds supports organizations, such as those noted above, through investments in Calvert Impact Capital, an impact-investing institution that helps people around the world through community development financing. It’s part of the Praxis commitment to place approximately 1% of each of its funds to benefit neighborhoods and individuals through community development investments.
Read more about real impact in Kenya
- Day one of real impact in Kenya: Stella sets the scene for firsthand community development investment stories.
- Day two of real impact in Kenya: A tour of solar powered farms.
- Day three of real impact in Kenya: How a home appliance can change lives.