Ellis Carr, Capital Impact Partners and CDC Small Business Finance CEO, and Antony Bugg-Levine, Nonprofit Finance Fund CEO

Where We Go from Here: Opportunities for CDFIs to Center Communities and Drive Capital for Holistic Community Development

This blog also appears on the Nonprofit Finance Fund website. You can read it here.

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) were founded as part of the civil rights movement, to make access to capital more equitable for communities living with low incomes, often communities of color. However, despite the work of this part of the financial services industry, disinvested communities still suffer from unequitable capital access and thereby fewer opportunities for wealth building and shared prosperity. New models are needed to re-envision how transformation of community development can work for disinvested communities and develop local solutions to persistent issues.


To Our AAPI Community: We Stand with You

By Ellis Carr, President and CEO

At Capital Impact Partners, we condemn the recent and ongoing acts of violence against our Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, and are fervently opposed to any language or thoughts that justify or lend themselves to such terrible acts.

GWP CEO J.B. Holston and Capital Impact Partners President and CEO Ellis Carr

VIDEO: Fresh Take – A Conversation about the Power of CDFIs to Expand Economic Power and Inclusive Growth

In February, our President and CEO Ellis Carr sat down with the Greater Washington Partnership’s CEO J.B. Holston for a conversation about economic power and inclusive growth in disinvested communities, and the role that Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) play in transforming communities nationwide into places of opportunity, including in the Washington Metro area. 

CDFIs have long operated hand-in-hand with our neighbors, living and working in close proximity to the communities in which we invest; community investment is at the center of our work. Working shoulder-to-shoulder with communities, we help foster the future they see for themselves, using inherent community assets to build an equitable and prosperous future. That community-centric approach helps us create tools and solutions that both work for communities and foster transformative change.

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

Alliance CEOs – Opinion: Equitable revitalization critical to Detroit’s future (Detroit News)

As of April 1, 2021, Ellis Carr, is now the president and CEO of Capital Impact Partners and CEO of CDC Small Business Finance. Kurt Chilcott, formerly president and CEO of CDC Small Business Finance, is transitioning to Board Chair of both organizations.

With a mission to empower equitable community growth, CDC Small Business Finance and Capital Impact Partners recently launched three place-based pilot programs as part of our new alliance. The pilots are in Detroit, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. Metropolitan (D.M.V).  Cross-organizational teams have been engaging with these communities to identify the unique issues of each city.

As part of the alliance’s focus on Detroit, CDC Small Business Finance’s CEO, Kurt Chilcott, and Capital Impact Partners CEO, Ellis Carr recently wrote an op-ed about their holistic approach to community and economic development that was published in The Detroit News.

Podcast: Everything Co-op Interview about Capital Impact’s 2020 Co-op Innovation Award

By Alison Powers, Cooperative & Community Initiatives Manager

In early 2020, Capital Impact Partners, in partnership with the National Cooperative Bank, awarded a total of $100,000 to three awardees, – ChiFresh Kitchen, The Guild, and the Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative – through its Co-op Innovative Award. Capital Impact’s Co-op Innovative Award aims to increase co-op development in communities with low incomes and/or communities of color. This year, the Co-op Innovation Award focused on organizations educating new audiences on the impact and potential of the cooperative model to disrupt income inequality, steward community ownership, and create strong vibrant places of opportunity.

Black female entrepreneurs working at desks

As Crises Deepen Inequity, CDFIs Act as a Counterforce in Order to Build Community Assets

By Diane Borradaile, Chief Lending Officer

For generations, systemic racism has kept many people of color from achieving even a basic standard of living, which includes social services that help communities thrive.

As we wrote in the first of our series looking at the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities of color, the disproportionate impacts on communities of color have made these deep inequalities undeniable nationwide.

Teacher works with students at desks

Learning to Change: Reflections of the CDFI Racial Equity Collaborative on Education

This post was written by OFN Blog guest authors and OFN members BlueHub Capital, Capital Impact Partners, IFF, Nonprofit Finance Fund, LISC, Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), Reinvestment Fund, and Self-Help 


In recent years, community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and similar mission-oriented financial services organizations have begun to elevate the importance of explicitly addressing racial equity in lending, investing, and operational practices. While this goal remains urgent, it is also a challenge to determine precisely how to incorporate or operationalize racial equity into our varied work. How do CDFIs incorporate an explicit racial equity perspective into their lending? What work do we need to do as institutions and individuals to genuinely build that racial equity perspective? And how might we collaborate across our industry to successfully achieve that goal?  

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

Capital Impact Partners and CDC Small Business Finance Announce Alliance

As of April 1, 2021, Ellis Carr, is now the president and CEO of Capital Impact Partners and CEO of CDC Small Business Finance. Kurt Chilcott, formerly president and CEO of CDC Small Business Finance, is transitioning to Board Chair of both organizations.

In 2020, Kurt Chilcott and Ellis Carr sat down for a video series of conversations about our alliance. You can also watch the whole video series here.

By Ellis Carr, President and CEO

Since 1982, Capital Impact Partners has helped people build communities of opportunity that break barriers to success. We have done that through learning and evolving with a range of investors, donors, community partners, and other Community Development Financial Institutions. 

As we looked to the future, we saw a tremendous opportunity to do more, give more, and make a bigger difference. With that in mind, more than a year ago, we began conversations with CDC Small Business Finance. Together, we recognized how our similar visions and complementary expertise, services and financing products could create a change that neither of us could accomplish independently.


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