Fintech firm focused on financial inclusion partners to become new capital source for loan fund serving central Appalachia and the Southeast.
CNote has entered into a partnership with the Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIFund) that will allow NCIFund to access new investor capital aligned with NCIFund’s mission of catalyzing environmentally and socially responsible business development, sustainable jobs, and wealth creation in rural, minority and low-wealth communities.
This partnership builds on CNote’s mission to create a more inclusive economy for everyone by enabling investors of all sizes to deploy capital with mission-aligned organizations while generating competitive financial returns and measurable social impact.
As CNote aggregates increasing investor demand seeking socially responsible investment opportunities, it partners with leading Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) like NCIFund. CDFIs are federally-certified community-focused lenders that enable transformative economic development in their communities, providing funding to small businesses, affordable housing development, and other projects in communities that often lack adequate access to financial resources.
NCIFund’s focus on locally owned triple-bottom-line (TBL) small to mid-sized businesses in central Appalachia and the Southeast aligns with CNote’s mission and matches growing investor demand to support rural communities. CNote co-founder Yuliya Tarasava remarked, “We’re excited to have NCIFund as a partner; they have an amazing pedigree of driving measurable change in the communities they serve. As more investors look for ways to invest in rural America, NCIFund presents an opportunity to do that in a very intentional and sustainable way.”
Founded in 1999 by The Conservation Fund, in partnership with the West Virginia Small Business Development Center and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), NCIFund was created to address the lack of access to capital for small businesses and farms that responsibly steward natural resources and provide vital community services. NCIFund now serves West Virginia, North Carolina, and the Appalachian regions of surrounding states, where it has lent over $70 million to 400+ companies, generating more than 5,300 jobs. Over 50% of NCIFund’s borrowers are women or people of color.
“We rely on capital from impact investors to help us increase our support for women business owners, entrepreneurs of color, and the underserved and rural communities we work hard to serve,” said Marten Jenkins, CEO of NCIFund. “So, we’re very pleased to become a CNote partner. CNote is an exciting way for NCIFund to connect with investors who share our mission.”
CNote is an award-winning, first-of-its-kind financial platform that allows anyone to make money investing in causes and communities they care about. With the mission of closing the wealth gap, CNote directs every dollar invested toward funding female- and minority-led small businesses, affordable housing and economic development through its nationwide network of CDFI community lenders.
About The Natural Capital Investment Fund
The Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIFund) invests in enterprises that promote a healthy environment and healthy families in Central Appalachia and the Southeast, catalyzing environmentally and socially responsible business development and wealth creation in rural, minority and low-wealth communities. The fund meets its mission as a federally certified community development financial institution (CDFI) by lending to and assisting triple-bottom-line enterprises that promote equity, protect the environment and grow the economy, including: healthy local food and specialty agriculture, renewable energy and energy efficiency, eco- and heritage tourism, child and adult day care, primary care providers, and small town main street redevelopment.