Songbae Lee is a Senior Investment Officer at the Calvert Foundation, which is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), connecting individual investors with organizations working around the globe, developing affordable housing, creating jobs, protecting the environment, and working in numerous other ways for the social good.
Maybe the coolest part of Calvert Foundation is their community investment note run through Vested.org - an investment vehicle open to anyone in the world with just $20. The investment is applied to Community Development Partners working with Calvert to lend to entrepreneurs who are growing their companies and projects focused on social good. And because I know many of you are wondering about it - yes, there is a financial return on investment. O
Prior to Calvert, Songbae worked abroad in numerous developmental finance roles, helping bring financial services to the under served, and using finance as a means to improve the quality of people’s lives. A main function of his job is to conduct due diligence on potential borrowing companies, as well as oversee Calvert’s international portfolio.
Songbae is the kind of guy you could talk to for hours, learning something insightful from him every five minutes. This episode is wide ranging, and is the most story packed interview to date. Filled with valuable advice on how to pursue your career in impact investing, the skills you need to develop to succeed in any professional endeavor, as well as stories of microfinance in domestic and foreign applications, what is was like working in the financial industry during 2008, how other parts of the world view American finance, and personal tales of failure, exploration and success.
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