Our structure brings with it numerous questions about how our business model works. Learn more about community development financial institutions, B Corps, and what makes VCC unique.
What is a CDFI?
Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) are financial institutions dedicated to delivering responsible, affordable lending to help low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities. By financing community initiatives , including small businesses, microenterprises, nonprofit organizations, commercial real estate ventures , and affordable housing projects CDFIs spark sustainable growth, jobs and positive change in hard-to serve or underserved markets across the nation.
The Four Sectors of the CDFI Industry
As with mainstream lenders, a variety of institutions have emerged to serve a broad range of needs in emerging domestic markets. Although these institutions share a common vision of expanding economic opportunity and improving the quality of life for low-income people and communities, the four CDFI sectors are characterized by different business models and legal structures: community development banks, credit unions, loan funds, and venture capital (VC) funds.
SOURCE: Opportunity Finance Network
Is VCC a bank?
The answer to this question is a little complicated. In the traditional sense, no, VCC is not a bank. We do not have consumer accounts, debit cards, or ATMs. We do, however, have a for-profit community development bank, VCC Bank, as part of our organizational structure. This entity is regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and gives VCC the ability to help community members with their savings, deposits, and investments. These assets increase our ability to fund and support community development initiatives while receiving a return on investment needs.
Is VCC a nonprofit entity?
VCC was established as a nonprofit CDFI loan fund in 2006. Since then, it has grown into a nonprofit financial holding company with over $300 million in assets under management. VCC is one of the largest CDFIs in the country.
Does VCC give out grants?
No. VCC is not a grant-making organization. Our financial support is in the form of loans.
What types of businesses and organizations do we work with?
We work with real estate developers, nonprofit organizations, for-profit organizations, local and state government entities, and small business owners and entrepreneurs.
What is a B Corp?
B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
Today, there is a growing community of more than 1,600 Certified B Corps from 42 countries.
SOURCE: B Lab
Is VCC a government entity?
No. As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), we regularly partner with government agencies.
Is VCC a “micro-lender”?
No. VCC’s loans range from $50,000 – $5 million
Does VCC make “riskier” loans?
VCC may be lending into untapped markets, but every loan VCC deploys goes through careful review and consideration. Our funding criteria (credit score, collateral requirements, etc. ) is on par with traditional lenders. We are, however, able to mitigate some risk and enhance some of the loan opportunities with resources funded from our grant and investment partners. Additionally, because of our extensive advisory resources, we can assess and build riskier initiatives into more stable, fundable projects.