THE WOODLANDS, Texas, March 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Woodforest National Bank (Woodforest) in partnership with Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) recently announced the creation of the CDFI Community Investment Fund, LLC. The fund will provide cost effective, flexible, subordinate long term investment capital for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). The fund is an equity equivalent (EQ2) investment with an initial funding commitment of $5 million, with an option to increase the commitment up to $20 million over the next four years. The fund will provide patient capital to CDFIs financing small businesses and other community development projects in affordable housing, economic development, and neighborhood revitalization & stabilization throughout Woodforest's footprint.
Woodforest understands the tremendous impact of small businesses and the growth opportunities it can provide for a community, particularly in low-wealth neighborhoods. These small businesses are social economic drivers providing local jobs, filling the gap in goods and services, and have become effective community reinvestment drivers. Woodforest's small business growth initiative is a multifaceted approach aimed at building America's small businesses and enhancing access to capital, particularly women, minority, veteran, and rural small businesses. Small businesses among people of color, particularly Latino and African American women continue to grow exponentially. An integral component to ensuring small businesses have access to alternative and responsible capital is by increasing investment to CDFIs who provide critical lending and technical expertise to aspiring and existing entrepreneurs.
"Woodforest is proud to partner with the OFN to facilitate and manage equity investments to CDFIs who play an integral role in developing small businesses, particularly in low-wealth communities," said Doug Schaeffer, Executive Vice President-CRA Director for Woodforest National Bank. "Woodforest is deeply committed and proud to be a catalyst for change in the communities we live."
According to Robin Odland, Executive Vice President-Financial Services for Opportunity Finance Network, "OFN is very excited to partner with Woodforest National Bank to create the CDFI Community Investment Fund, LLC—an innovative funding vehicle for CDFIs. The fund will provide much needed flexible capital, which can be leveraged with conventional senior debt capital."
Celebrating 36 years of community banking service, Woodforest National Bank has successfully stood among the strongest community banks in the nation, proudly offering unsurpassed quality customer service since 1980. Woodforest currently operates 743 branches in 17 states across the United States throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. For more information about Woodforest National Bank please visit www.woodforest.com.