Alliance Video Series – CEO Conversations: Disrupting the Distribution Channels

Ellis Carr is now the president and CEO of Capital Impact Partners and CDC Small Business Finance. Kurt Chilcott, formerly president and CEO of CDC Small Business Finance, has transitioned to Board Chair of the combined organization. We invite you to learn more about our new enterprise at


CDC Small Business Finance and Capital Impact Partners recently announced a new alliance between the two companies.

We recognized that we had a special opportunity to create greater change together than we could individually in the communities we serve and beyond. This is an exciting journey we are embarking on and we want to share how the idea of creating an alliance came about and our vision for the future.

Check out our 5th episode of our “CEO Conversations” series, “Disrupting the Distribution Channels.” Listen to CDC Small Business Finance’s CEO, Kurt Chilcott and Capital Impact Partners CEO, Ellis Carr discuss the opportunity ahead to disrupt the current distribution channels in order to get more capital to underserved communities.  

Watch the video, or read the transcript below to hear Kurt and Ellis’s discussion. You can also watch the whole video series here.

CDC Small Business CEO Kurt Chilcott and Capital Impact Partners CEO Ellis Carr

In the fifth video of our CEO Conversations video series featuring CDC Small Business Finance CEO Kurt Chillcot and Capital Impact Partners CEO, Ellis Carr, we discuss the opportunity ahead to disrupt the current distribution channels in order to get more capital to underserved communities.


Ellis, one of the things we have also been talking about, and is also highlighted by the pandemic, is the fact that the distribution channels are not adequately sized.

When we look at the small business market, with regards to health care, and affordable housing, the distribution channel that is represented by the CDFI industry is not adequate to meet the need. 

Through capital innovation and federal policy is how the alliance is hoping to disrupt some of those systems. By disrupting those systems, we open up distribution channels in a way that really has not been done here before. 


Absolutely. As we think about distribution channels, and how we can help facilitate through the alliance and the flow of capital to communities, I reflect back to the value based work that both CDC Small Business Finance and Capital Impact does, because it is at the core of why this is such an exciting proposition. 

CDC Small Business Finance and Capital Impact see the world the same way, in which we want to make sure that equity and justice are at the center of all of our work and are inclusive of how we work with others. 

That means that we want to create a distribution channel that is fair and equitable and has just economics built into it so that all organizations throughout the value stream can derive value that can support their long-term sustainability.

As we think about the immense capability that CDC Small Business has with the Ventures Lending Technologies platform, it allows us to provide a distribution channel that can facilitate both the allocation and the investment of capital from institutional investors to communities. It also enables us to develop new products that have not been thought about or scaled broadly across the country.

It will allow us to have the opportunity to create new products, test new products in markets in concert with communities on the ground, and to be able to quickly replicate those products that are working in places to see if they have applicability broadly across the country.

That is ultimately going to enable us to take shared and appropriate risk across the country and invest in new concepts and strategies that we can utilize to scale broadly with other mission-based organizations. It will also support Kurt’s earlier point around using that information and data to influence public policy at scale.

We’re really excited about having a distribution mechanism that has everyone included in the conversation, whether it’s business support and business advising, or capital investment with both debt and equity. We are extremely excited about this opportunity and think that it is truly disruptive in a good way to our current environment.


I love the values aspect of the work that we are going to do together. This is something that resonates deeply with me.

Even though both CDC Small Business Finance and Capital Impact Partners are significantly large players in our fields, I know that neither of us have forgotten our values

In terms of being able to deliver their services and get access to capital and try to meet that need, which many times they feel almost overwhelmed by, within the communities. 

This value proposition where we don’t leave our values at home, and when we go about doing this work, our values are first and foremost upfront in terms of how we do this business and how we achieve this scale.

I think it is actually a part of the innovation. That, to me, touches my heart and really excites me at the same time.


To learn more about the new alliance, watch other videos from the series:

UP NEXT: Working Together