The Rockefeller Foundation

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Driving Capital Through Innovation

Today nearly 1,000 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) provide credit, capital and financial services that are not readily available from mainstream financial institutions to support affordable housing, schools, health clinics, community facilities and local businesses in distressed neighborhoods of low-income individuals.  However, CDFIs must defer billions of dollars of quality projects due to lack of available project financing, opaque information and fragmented access to investments in the community development sector.

At the same time, impact investors are increasingly asking for quality impact projects and investment instruments that can provide scaled access to sound investments in the community development sector. While CDFIs can bridge these two needs, individual CDFIs are relatively unknown and relatively small in the context of vast capital markets and face challenges tapping into the growing and diversified investor base.

Powered by the generous support of The Rockefeller Foundation and in partnership with several key community development stakeholders, Enterprise is developing and will launch a CDFI index — a first for the community development sector — to rate the current and historic performance of CDFIs, providing a seminal benchmark for the impact investing industry. The index will build investor awareness of CDFIs and make possible the creation of index-linked financial products. This will ultimately lead to an increased flow of capital to distressed communities and help CDFIs to grow and diversify their universe of investors.

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