Press Release: New Initiative Announced to Enable Diaspora Investment in India’s Development

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

President Barack Obama announced today in New Delhi a new partnership among the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Calvert Foundation and several private financial institutions in India to develop an Indian Diaspora Investment Initiative.

During his speech at the U.S.-India Business Summit, President Obama said, “Today, I’m also proud to announce a new public-private partnership to help millions of proud Indian-Americans directly invest in India’s future. Our new Indian Diaspora Investment Initiative will allow folks back home to generate a new stream of financing for Indian businesses that are investing in non-traditional, and too often overlooked, markets-from providing healthcare to rural communities, to improving water and sanitation, to opening up those new bank accounts.”

U.S.-based retail investors will be able to support this initiative by purchasing Community Investment Notes offered by Calvert Foundation. USAID will provide a Development Credit Guarantee to support Indian financial institutions lending to social enterprises, enabling them to raise critical investments from both Indian and U.S. investors. By purchasing these specially marketed and branded Notes, which will become available later in 2015, Indian Americans and other investors will be able to fund the growth of social enterprises in India while earning a financial and social return. The Note is an established security with a 20-year track record of performance, and is currently held by more than 5,000 investors. Investors can expect annual interest payments, and can select investment tenors from 1, 3, 5, 7 and even 10 years.

USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah said, “We’ll match the diaspora community’s immense passion and resources to the small businesses that form the backbone of India’s economy. By creating a transparent investment vehicle, any investor can contribute to sustainable, social businesses that create jobs and train a new generation of local entrepreneurs.”

“Diaspora members are playing an increasingly important role in economic development around the world. This Initiative goes beyond remittances, and beyond charity,” said Calvert Foundation President and CEO Jennifer Pryce. “Our work with USAID will enable us to connect members of the Indian-American diaspora to development in their country of heritage through investment.”

Source: USAID (link opens in a new window)

impact investing, public-private partnerships