Inclusiv announces first US capital obligation investment for a Puerto Rican cooperativa

Inclusiv announced a historic funding into Puerto Rican cooperativas to strengthen their recovery and resiliency initiatives. Inclusiv’s investment was made possible by a Program-Related Investment (PRI) loan under Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation’s New Initiatives Fund. PRIs are a type of mission or social investment that foundations make in order to achieve their philanthropic goals. Cooperativas, financial cooperatives in Puerto Rico, provide community-owned financial services to more than 1.2 million members owners. Collectively, they represent the third largest financial conglomerate on the island, with a presence in 75 of 78 municipalities. As financial first responders, they have provided critical financial access and community resources, helping to lead recovery and resiliency efforts in the aftermath of devastating crises like Hurricanes Maria and Fiona.

Inclusiv announced that the first capital deployment into Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito Jesús Obrero (“Jesús Obrero”) was completed on December 16, 2022. Jesús Obrero, headquartered in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, is a U.S. Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Inclusiv’s investment in Jesús Obrero will capitalize their continued financial growth and impact initiatives, including financial inclusion in underserved communities and solar energy resiliency initiatives such as the Guaynabo’s Rural Solar Energy Project.

“Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation is proud to support Inclusiv and cooperativas on this historic investment. Community-led and community-centered financial institutions, such as Puerto Rican cooperativas, have been at the forefront of disaster recovery and resiliency efforts. This initial capital deployment will expand Jesús Obrero’s initiatives in advancing community-led climate resiliency and equitable financial services, as well as catalyze other investors into the space to spur more funding for the impactful work cooperativas do in Puerto Rico,” said Cheryl Gladstone, Head of Deutsche Bank’s Community Development Finance Group.

“Inclusiv is grateful for the support of Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation in becoming the first US-based investor in Puerto Rican financial cooperatives,” said Cathie Mahon, President/
CEO of Inclusiv. “Capital fuels the growth and impact of credit unions and cooperativas to meet the demand for safe and responsible financial services. This is a groundbreaking moment!”

“For Jesús Obrero, it is a great honor to become the first CDFI cooperativa on the island to receive a PRI loan from a world-class international bank,” said Aurelio Arroyo González, CEO,
Jesús Obrero. “A long road of due diligence, analysis, and validation of the soundness of our institution, coupled with an excellent perspective for the Puerto Rican cooperative movement, gave way to this historic investment. This investment will be directed towards expanding our financial inclusion initiatives, offering financial products and services to our low-and-moderate income (LMI) communities. Furthermore, this demonstrates that cooperativas are an ideal conduit to channel and deploy responsible investments for the benefit of the communities we serve.”

“We are proud to have played a role in making this historic investment a reality. Financial cooperatives are engines of economic activity and financial inclusion for their communities. An investment in a member-owned financial cooperative is an investment in the people and communities they serve. This investment reflects the soundness of our financial cooperative system. We invite other social impact investors to look at financial cooperatives as prime candidates for their impact investments” said Mabel Jiménez Miranda, Executive President at the Public Corporation for the Supervision and Insurance of Cooperatives (COSSEC), Puerto Rico’s state cooperative regulator and insurer.

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