CDFI Fund Announces Winner of the Innovation Challenge News/DispForm.aspx?ID=185CDFI Fund Announces Winner of the Innovation Challenge<p>Today, the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) announced the winner of its 2015 Innovation Challenge. The winner, Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), has been awarded a one-year contract to test an innovative way of partnering Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) with small businesses in low-income areas that need investment. </p><p>“I am very proud to announce the winner of our Innovation Challenge, Association for Enterprise Opportunity,” said CDFI Fund Director Annie Donovan. “This is the first time the CDFI Fund has awarded a contract specifically to experiment with new tools to expand the reach of CDFIs nationwide. I am excited to see both what we will learn over this next year and how we’ll be able to apply those lessons to our future support of CDFIs.” </p><p>The CDFI Fund created the Innovation Challenge to seek new ways to expand or increase investments in underserved communities across the country, especially in rural areas. AEO won the Challenge with a proposal to develop a screening and assessment tool to match small businesses searching for loans from banks or online lenders with a CDFI that may be able to meet their needs when other lenders cannot.</p><p>Every business day, 8,000 requests for credit from small businesses are denied. Many small businesses that are unable to receive loans from a bank or online lender may be eligible for assistance from a CDFI. AEO’s tool will create a mechanism for small business lenders to refer potential borrowers to certified CDFIs. The tool will screen and sort the referrals and match them to partnering CDFIs, who will then review and assess the borrower’s profile and determine if they are a good fit for one of their loan products. The first cohort of CDFIs include: Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (Georgia), the Intersect Fund (New Jersey), Justine PETERSEN (Missouri), and LIFT Fund (Texas). </p><p>The CDFI Fund will provide an update in 2016 on its lessons-learned from this initiative. The ultimate goal of the Innovation Challenge is to finance the development of a method, model, tool, or product that can be used by all CDFIs in the future. If the platform proves to be viable, it will be made available to any certified CDFI who wants to use it, expanding access to capital for small businesses operating in economically distressed areas.</p><p><b>About the CDFI Fund</b></p><p>The CDFI Fund invests in and builds the capacity of community-based, private, for-profit and non-profit financial institutions with a primary mission of community development in economically distressed communities. These institutions – certified by the CDFI Fund as Community Development Financial Institutions or CDFIs – are able to respond to gaps in local markets that traditional financial institutions are not adequately serving. CDFIs provide critically needed capital, credit and other financial products in addition to technical assistance to community residents and businesses, service providers, and developers working to meet community needs. The CDFI Fund's vision is an America in which all people have adequate access to affordable capital, credit and financial services.</p><p><b>About the Association for Enterprise Opportunity</b></p><p>Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) is the national trade association for U.S. microbusiness and microfinance. AEO’s Alliance represents a broad and diverse membership network that has helped millions of entrepreneurs contribute to economic growth while supporting themselves, their families and their communities. AEO is working to change the way that capital and services flow to America’s underserved entrepreneurs—on Main Street and beyond—so they can start, grow and hire.</p> 2015-11-23T05:00:00ZUpdates185
2015 NMTC Program Electronic Application Now Available News/DispForm.aspx?ID=1842015 NMTC Program Electronic Application Now Available <p>The electronic application for the 2015 round of the New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC Program) is available for applicants through their <a href="" target="_blank">Awards Management Information System (AMIS) accounts</a>.</p><p>The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) published the Notice of Allocation Availability for the 2015 round in the Federal Register on October 21, 2015. Community Development Entities (CDE) interested in applying for New Markets Tax Credit allocation authority under the 2015 round have until <b>5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST), on December 16, 2015</b> to submit their application. </p><p>Application instructions, including navigating through AMIS, may be found on the NMTC Program website, <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.  The CDFI Fund strongly recommends that the instructions and application timelines are reviewed closely <b>by both first-time and repeat applicants</b> and that applicants give themselves adequate time to submit their applications using the new system. Only electronic applications submitted through the CDFI Fund’s online portal will be considered. </p><p> <b>Reminder about Key Deadlines</b> </p><p>Per the 2015 Notice of Allocation Availability, the deadlines for the NMTC Program are as follows: </p><ul><li><p>Online Submission of Allocation Application: December 16, 2015 </p></li><li><p>Online Submission of Allocation Application Attachments: December 18, 2015 </p></li><li><p>Date by which prior-year Allocatees must issue the requisite percentage of QEIs: January 29, 2016 </p></li></ul><p> <b>Questions</b></p><p> <b>Applicants should be aware that the CDFI Fund will stop responding to questions about the electronic application at 5:00 p.m. EST on December 14, 2015.</b> If you have questions, please contact the CDFI Fund through the Service Request feature in AMIS or by reaching out to our Help Desk at (202) 653-0421 or <a href=""></a>.   </p><p>All application materials, including frequently asked questions and application presentations, are available at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. </p>2015-11-09T05:00:00ZUpdates184
"Building Native CDFIs' Sustainability and Impact" Training Webinar News/DispForm.aspx?ID=183"Building Native CDFIs' Sustainability and Impact" Training Webinar<p>Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) released the details of an upcoming webinar that will be provided as part of the Capacity Building Initiative’s “Building Native CDFIs’ Sustainability and Impact” training series. </p><p>The “Is a CDFI Credit Union Right for Your Native Community?” webinar will be held on November 19, 2015. Participants will learn what makes a credit union unique and hear about key considerations to assist with their decision making process. The webinar will provide an overview of the start-up process, focusing on common challenges, resources, and how a credit union might impact the operations of an existing CDFI loan fund serving the Native community. Throughout the webinar, representatives from two Native credit unions – Lakota Federal Credit Union and Northern Eagle Federal Credit Union – will share their experiences and perspectives. Representatives of the National Credit Union Administration will also be available to assist with questions.</p><p>The CDFI Fund launched the “Building Native CDFIs’ Sustainability and Impact” series to provide a wide range of specialized training, technical assistance, and peer learning opportunities designed to meet the unique needs of Native CDFIs at all stages of growth. The CDFI Fund will provide additional information about two other upcoming webinar opportunities for this series, as well as additional in-person training events, as they are confirmed.</p><p> <b>Registration</b></p><p>The webinar is free and open to the general public, but advanced registration is required to access the presentation. Registration may be completed up until the start time listed for the session. <a href="" target="_blank">Click here to register</a>.</p><p>To learn more about “Building Native CDFIs’ Sustainability and Impact” series and the other training series available under the Capacity Building Initiative, please visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. </p>2015-11-02T05:00:00ZUpdates183

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