EFund Awarded $6.5 Million to Support Small Business Stabilization and Growth

Carly Viegut, Communications Manager

May 2, 2023

The Entrepreneur Fund has been awarded a total of $6.5 million by the U.S. Department of Treasury to advance our mission of partnering with entrepreneurs to create growing businesses, thriving communities, and a diverse regional economy.

“These awards serve as a significant recognition of our financial stewardship, ability to deploy funds, and our ability to serve targeted geographic and demographic areas of our region. We look forward to deploying these funds strategically over the next three to five years in order to support small business and grow our regional economy,” said Shawn Wellnitz, CEO & President of the Entrepreneur Fund.  

The $6.5 million is made up by three separate awards from the U.S. Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund):  

Equitable Recovery Program - $4,900,000 

This one-time funding was awarded to CDFIs with a demonstrated history and capacity to provide access to small business capital in the communities where it is needed most. During the COVID-19 pandemic, EFund provided almost $22 million in funding to support businesses stabilize and emerge from the pandemic. This award is a direct result of that work and will help EFund strengthen low- and moderate-income communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and invest in long-term prosperity. 

Healthy Food Financing Initiative - $1,000,000 

EFund was one of 8 CDFIs across the nation to receive funding that will be used to capitalize retail businesses and wholesalers that provide increased access to healthy foods in low-income communities and food-deserts. EFund has received a total of $2.75 million in HFFI funding over the past four years. 

CDFI Fund Financial Assistance - $510,000 

These funds are targeted to serve low-income people and underserved communities that lack adequate access to affordable lending. These funds will provide capital critical for establishing businesses, creating jobs, and supporting the growth of businesses important to a diverse regional economy. 

What is a CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution)?

CDFIs are private financial institutions that are 100% dedicated to delivering responsible, affordable lending to help low-income, low-wealth, and other under-resourced people and communities join the economic mainstream. CDFIs spark job growth and retention in hard-to serve markets across the nation.

CDFIs are profitable but not profit-maximizing. We put community first, not the shareholder. For more than 30 years, CDFIs have a proven track record of making an impact in areas of America that need it most. To learn more visit: Opportunity Finance Network

About the CDFI Fund 

Since its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $7.4 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations, and financial institutions through: the Bank Enterprise Award Program; the Capital Magnet Fund; the CDFI Rapid Response Program; the Community Development Financial Institutions Program, including the Healthy Food Financing Initiative; the Economic Mobility Corps; the Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program; and the Native American CDFI Assistance Program. In addition, the CDFI Fund has allocated $71 billion in tax credit allocation authority to Community Development Entities through the New Markets Tax Credit Program and closed guaranteed bonds for more than $2.1 billion through the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program.     

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