Catherine Berman

Catherine Berman is CEO and co-founder of CNote, a fintech platform that unlocks new investment opportunities for retail and institutional investors. Working with mission-aligned community lenders, CNote aims to close the wealth gap by allowing anyone to invest in small businesses, affordable housing and economic development in financially underserved communities, with a focus on lending to women and minorities.

Berman, a three-time entrepreneur who has built and scaled multimillion-dollar businesses, left Wall Street on a mission to build a more inclusive economy. She realized that federally certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) were already providing accessible loans to small businesses—but investing in them was too complex for the vast majority of investors. She co-founded CNote in 2016 to solve that problem.

Before launching CNote, Berman served as managing director at Charles Schwab, where she led a team that uncovered new market opportunities for financial services. She also held a series of management positions at companies including Astia and Deloitte. She has traveled and worked extensively in India, Israel and Central and South America. While earning an MBA from the University of Oxford, she founded the Oxford Women in Business Network.

Berman has more than a decade of experience in impact investing and has challenged conventional thinking about money and investing at The Economist’s Investing for Impact conference in 2019, Stanford’s Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders speaker series, SoCap, Coinbase and other leadership events. CNote has won accolades for building a platform that invests every dollar in impact: Berman is a 2020 InvestmentNews Innovator Award winner and was featured by MasterCard as a pioneering female entrepreneur in a campaign that appeared on Times Square and in the New York Times.

Berman is a smart source on a range of financial topics. Her previous work at Schwab, where she used predictive analytics to find new business opportunities, gave her insight into financial industry trends and the sector’s changing demographics. She also has ideas about how fintech can support economic justice, increasing investment in rural economies, using fintech to open up opportunities in the cash and fixed-asset space, and what each of us can do to build a more inclusive economy.

Articles by Catherine Berman

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