What is Capital Sisters International?

Capital Sisters is a nonprofit organization that makes zero interest loans to microfinance organizations to fund micro business loans for impoverished women in developing countries.


What is microfinance?

Microfinance is the provision of financial services, typically with no collateral requirement, to a low income population that lacks access to traditional financial services. Our Microfinance Partners provide tiny business loans to impoverished women so that they can start or grow their businesses, generate income for their families, and live with dignity.


Is Capital Sisters a nonprofit organization?

Yes, Capital Sisters is a 501(c)3 organization. We do not have shareholders and all revenues are invested in the growth of the organization.


How does the investment model work?

Investors make interest–free loans to Capital Sisters through the purchase of $1,000 bonds from our Sister Bonds® Investment Fund. Capital Sisters lends the proceeds on an interest-free, fixed-term basis to our Microfinance Partners in developing countries that make micro business loans to ten women for every $1,000 bond. The women repay their loans with interest; our Partners keep the interest to help sustain their loan management programs and repay the principal to Capital Sisters, along with a report about the women whose businesses were funded. Capital Sisters repays its investors and provides them with a Social Dividend. Investors can also reinvest their bonds in more women’s businesses. Please see How It Works.


What is a Sister Bonds® Investment Note?

This is a zero interest $1,000 bond issued by Capital Sisters. At the time of investment the investor selects the term (1, 2, 3 or 5 years) and at maturity Capital Sisters repays the principal. The investor also receives a Social Dividend. Capital Sisters only sells bonds in certain states and subject to the terms of a Prospectus which provides the detailed terms of the bonds, a description of the risks of investment, and instructions on how to Invest.


What is a Social Dividend?

In lieu of earning interest on our bonds, investors receive a Social Dividend, which is a Client Investment Report about the ten borrowers funded by each $1,000 bond, for every year of investment. It includes photos and data as well as geographical information.


How is Capital Sisters funded?

Our loans to microfinance institutions are funded through the sale of Sister Bonds® Investment Notes and our organization is funded by donations from individuals and grants from foundations.


How can I invest?

Sister Bonds® Investment Notes are currently only being offered to Founding Donors who are resident in eligible states, pursuant to a Prospectus. Go to Invest to see if you are eligible, download the Prospectus and, if you qualify to invest, submit a pledge form. If you submit a pledge form and you are not yet a Founding Donor, we will invite you to become one.


Why are you taking pledges?

In order to be efficient with the capital we raise, we accumulate pledges until we meet our target. Once the pledges in aggregate reach a required threshold, we call in the pledges, issue the bonds, and make a loan to our Microfinance Partner in the field.


What is a Founding Donor?

A Founding Donor is someone who has donated at least $1,000 to Capital Sisters. It is thanks to our Founding Donors that we have been able to build the organizational foundation to manage an investment fund.


Why are bonds only available to Founding Donors?

Capital Sisters is building its infrastructure in order to expand bond sales and increase lending to the field. We must raise philanthropic support to pay for this expansion as we launch the investment fund nationwide. Our Founding Donors are given the first opportunity to invest in our bonds. Please consider becoming a Founding Donor.


Where do you sell bonds?

Pursuant to state securities regulations we are able to sell our bonds in the states illustrated here.


What if I live in a state where you do not sell bonds?

We have plans to expand our registrations to the other states as soon as practical. If you live in a state where we are not selling bonds but you would like to be involved, please consider other opportunities to Take Action.


What is impact investing?

This is investing with the intention to generate social impact alongside financial return.


What is gender lens investing?

This class of impact investing calls for investors to use a ‘gender-lens’ as a part of their analysis when considering an investment opportunity, meaning they prioritize companies with women leaders in both board and executive positions; companies that promote gender equity; and companies that serve females through products and services. Studies show that this is not only the right moral decision but also a smart investment decision as companies with women in leadership perform better. The Sister Bonds® Investment Product is one of the only gender lens investment opportunities marketed to the household investor.


Which microfinance institutions do you lend to?

We lend to microfinance institutions in developing countries that focus primarily on women at the most impoverished end of the client spectrum and that satisfy our criteria for high quality financial, operating and social performance. Today we have made loans in Latin America and Asia, and our next partner will be from the African continent.


How do microfinance organizations apply for a loan from Capital Sisters?

Please review our Microfinance Partner Criteria.