Communities At Work Fund Provides $300,000 To The Natural Capital Investment Fund To Support Small Businesses In VA & NC

May 3, 2011

solar energy installation

NCIF helps small green businesses in rural areas, like FLS Energy. Photo courtesy FLS Energy.

Chapel Hill, N.C. — The Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIF) has received $300,000 in financing from the Communities at Work Fund™ to be used to support lending activities for sustainable natural resource-based businesses creating jobs in economically distressed regions in North Carolina and southwestern Virginia.

“We are tremendously grateful for this infusion of capital to help advance our goal of improving the economy and environment of rural communities in North Carolina and southwestern Virginia by supporting the growth of ‘green’ businesses,” said Marten Jenkins, president and CEO of NCIF. “The opportunity for growth and job creation is tremendous, and NCIF is deeply appreciative of this national commitment to our communities.”

The Communities at Work Fund™ provides financing to Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Loan Funds that lend to non-profit and for-profit businesses in low-income communities. Launched in May 2010 by Citi, Calvert Foundation’s wholly owned subsidiary Community Investment Partners and Opportunity Finance Network, the Fund was created to provide $200 million in debt funding to CDFIs. Since its start, over half of this funding has been approved to organizations that operate in over 39 states and Washington, D.C. The Fund is designated specifically to support small businesses, advance sustainable economic development, stabilize and drive job creation and contribute to the economic recovery of community groups — including urban and rural business owners and minorities.

Vikram Pandit, CEO of Citi, said: “Citi is committed to helping small businesses grow and succeed. Working with Calvert Foundation and Opportunity Finance Network, we are helping give small businesses the boost they need during challenging times. These businesses strengthen communities and spur the job creation that is essential to drive our nation’s economic recovery.”

“The money that has been deployed will produce vital jobs and help in the economic recovery in these communities,” said Lisa Hall, President and CEO of Calvert Foundation. “Calvert Foundation serves as a connector among many different sectors, bringing investors, funders, and mission-focused organizations to the table to get financing quickly and efficiently to where it is needed most.”

Small and emerging businesses interested in applying for loans from NCIF should contact Anna Tefft, Director of Lending for NCIF at (336) 723-7100 or visit our website at


About Natural Capital Investment Fund

The Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIF) is a business loan fund and certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) with extensive experience funding value-added agriculture, renewable energy and fuels, recycling and other green companies in North Carolina, northeast Tennessee, southwest Virginia and West Virginia. NCIF helps young small to mid-sized businesses build long-term capacity and gain the stability they need to transition to traditional lending sources by reducing the perceived and actual risk to traditional funders by providing debt and equity-like capital and targeted technical assistance to promising entrepreneurs and companies. NCIF has operated in West Virginia since 2001, expanding to North Carolina, Virginia, and northeast Tennessee in 2007. NCIF is affiliated with The Conservation Fund, a national nonprofit organization with a deep, unwavering understanding that for conservation solutions to last, they need to make economic sense. Visit NCIF’s website at

About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we combine a passion for conservation with an entrepreneurial spirit to protect your favorite places before they become just a memory. A hallmark of our work is our deep, unwavering understanding that for conservation solutions to last, they need to make economic sense. Top-ranked, we have protected more than 7 million acres across America.