[saymaListserv] Fwd: Socially Responsible Investing and Investing to help the World's Poor(relevant to Friends testimonies on Equality, Peace and Community)

Janet Minshall jhminshall at comcast.net
Sat Aug 6 13:55:32 JEST 2005


Dear Atlanta Meeting and SAYMA Friends:

I have recently sent out references to Friends I know who are 
interested in investing in socially responsible companies and in what 
corporations are doing to help provide economic development to the 
poorest of the poor.

I have received the link to a web site where you can find articles 
and data on socially responsible investing in countries outside the 
US. You can sign up at the web site to receive free weekly updates. 
I plan to keep in touch with them so if you don't want the updates 
don't sign up and just call me (770-949-0879) or write to me by 
e-mail to find out about anything new and interesting which becomes 
available in the US. The web site is:

http://www.socialfunds.com/news/article.cgi/article1762.html

Two more brief references concerning socially responsible investing 
(SRI) as well as corporate social responsibility appear in the Summer 
2005 issue of Business Ethics.  The first is an evaluation of five of 
the most successful SRI mutual funds.  I often recommend Ariel and 
Ariel Appreciation to anyone interested in socially responsible 
investing.

John Roberts, African American founder of the Ariel Funds, founded 
Ariel Capital Management in 1983. According to the Business Ethics 
evaluation, Ariel Appreciation has produced the highest average 
returns of any of The Business Week top rated funds over the past 
three to five years years. Ariel Appreciation, a mid-cap value fund, 
has returned  12.9% per year on average over a very difficult 5 yr. 
period for investors. The other mutual fund mentioned in the 
evaluation was the Ariel fund which focuses on small cap value 
stocks. It has had excellent returns as well. but small cap stocks 
are not expected to do as well as mid-caps over the next few years.

John Roberts uses some of the profits of the investment firm to fund 
a socially responsible community school called "Ariel Community 
Academy" which, among other things, is known for its emphasis on 
financial literacy.

The other articles of interest in the Summer 2005 issue of Business 
Ethics are, first a discussion of how to provide economic development 
for the world's
4 billion poorest people called, by development organizations, the 
BOP or Bottom of the Pyramid poor of the world. The first is a 
description of a corporate effort begun by the partnership of a 
Kenyan pyrethrum farmer, SC Johnson Corporation (annual revenues of 
6.5 billion), and Stuart Hart of Cornell University's Center for 
Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell's S.C. Johnson funded 
Graduate School of Management. That project is helping subsistance 
farmers learn about and implement new irrigation methods which 
dramatically increase crop yields.

For many years now it has been evident that funding microdevelopment 
projects such as those developed by the Quaker organization, Right 
Sharing of World Resources, is the most successful means yet to help 
the poorest of the poor.
The second article I refer you to is a discussion of Grameen Telecom, 
a BOP development project of the Grameen Bank. Grameen Telecom, on 
funds provided by the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, loaned money to a 
large group of credit worthy women so that they could buy cell phones 
with solar rechargers and become cell phone entrepreneurs in each of 
their villages.  The program has been so successful that there are 
now 100,000 "telephone ladies" who make $4,000 to $5,000 of revenue 
per phone per year.  After high taxes and repayment of loans plus a 
very small percentage to the bank, each "telephone lady" clears $1500 
to $2000 per year in  rural Bangladeshi villages where the average 
income is $300 per year.

				Janet Minshall







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