The Story of CNote

About Us

CNote is an award-winning savings platform where you earn more while investing in female and minority small business owners across America.


CNote was chosen as the 2017 Best Startup Pitch Company after besting ten of the best companies during the first SXSW Super Accelerator Pitch Competition.

CNote was founded on two core principles. That everyone deserves a shot at financial freedom and that each of us can play a part in building a more equal world.

CNote was created by two women with decades of experience working in finance, venture capital, and private equity. In those past roles, they witnessed the wealth gap grow at an alarming pace, especially after the great financial crisis ravaged America’s middle class. Seeing more and more financial innovations focused on making the wealthiest 1% even wealthier, they decided to leave traditional finance to start CNote, and prove that financial innovation could be used as a tool to close the wealth gap, not exacerbate it.

Knowing that large problems require radical solutions, they decided that a responsibly run, for-profit company would serve as a strong complement to governments and charities working to fight inequality. Their vision: a business model that created value for all of its stakeholders — rather than following the traditional path of trying to grab a bigger piece of pie for themselves, they would work to increase the size of the pie for everyone. How do we do that? By providing a new and sustainable capital source for our community-lender partners, generating better returns on cash for our members, and by increasing capital access and economic activity in communities that need it most.

That’s why our first product makes it incredibly easy to invest with your values. There are no fees or no minimums, so you can get started with any amount, and the signup process takes less than three minutes.

Every dollar you invest with CNote helps support local economic growth in the communities you live and work in. Your investments in CNote grow small businesses, build affordable housing, and help underserved communities thrive. Economic prosperity should not be off limits because of your zip code or how wealthy your parents are. It’s a virtuous cycle, the money you invest in CNote grows communities across the country and helps fuel the real engine of growth – the small business. Those success stories lead to more jobs, more income, and more wealth for you, the CNote customer.

Great returns. Tangible impact. Happy you.

Meet the Founders

Catherine Berman
Co-Founder, CEO

Yuliya Tarasava
Co-Founder, COO

Ready to put your savings to work for good?

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  • Catherine Berman

    Catherine is a three-time entrepreneur with experience launching and building scalable businesses. Before launching CNote, Catherine served as Managing Director of Charles Schwab where she led a strategy division focused on the future of finance incorporating behavioral economics and predictive analytics. Her previous company, Global Brigades, is now the world’s largest student development firm operating in 5 countries. Over the last two decades, Catherine has held senior roles in both management consulting and venture capital.

  • Yuliya Tarasava

    Yuliya hosts a decade of experience on Wall Street and has developed financial products on 3 continents. She started her career designing investment solutions for the global asset management firm AMG Funds, and later joined the wealth management boutique Summit Rock Advisors to develop the firm’s risk management framework. Over the years, Yuliya has maintained her passion for demystifying finance, including creating an investment education portal in Russia and advising non-profits and startups around the world.