Self-Help Ventures Fund (Ventures Fund) is a nonprofit Certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that concentrates its lending on higher-risk, unconventional, and high impact business loans. It also operates a national secondary market program bringing home ownership opportunities to low-wealth borrowers. Together with Self-Help Credit Union, the Venture Fund's programs have helped people of color, women, rural residents, and low-wealth families to buy homes, build businesses, and strengthen communities.
The Ventures Fund offers loans from as little as $1,000 to large, multi-million dollar loans.
Under its Environmental Stewardship Initiative, it provides business guidance and flexible financing to smart growth and green businesses that conserve natural resources.
The Real Estate and Community Facilities Fund provides loans and technical assistance to nonprofit and for-profit entities creating real estate developments, child care facilities, charter schools, supportive housing and health care facilities.
Home Loan Secondary Market
Through its Home Loan Secondary Market Program, Self-Help purchases responsible mortgages from banks, freeing more of the bank's capital for new home loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers. Begun as a pilot project in 1994 in North Carolina, the program has expanded nationwide in partnership with 36 lenders, the Ford Foundation and Fannie Mae. This program has financed more than $4.3 billion in affordable home loans in 47 states and the District of Columbia, benefiting more than 48,000 low-wealth families across the U.S.
Commercial Real Estate Development>b>
Self-Help has purchased, renovated and leased 17 abandoned or underused downtown commercial buildings throughout North Carolina and Washington, D.C. Restoration of these historically significant properties combined with Self-Help's commercial lending programs support local efforts to revitalize urban centers.
Self-Help Ventures Fund targets its investments to people of color, women, rural residents, and low-wealth borrowers throughout the United States. For small business and community facility loans, 61% of borrowers were people of color, 57% were women, and 53% were rural residents. For the Home Loan Secondary Market Program, 42% of loans financed were held by people of color, 42% female-headed households, and 14% were rural residents. The average income of households participating in the Secondary Market program is only 62% of the area median, yet the average borrower's family wealth had increased by more than 20% since purchase.
Self-Help's mission is to create and protect ownership and economic opportunity for people of color, women, rural residents, and low-wealth families and communities. Since 1984, Self-Help has provided more than $5.57 billion in financing to 62,288 small businesses, non-profits and first time homebuyers. In 2007, SHVF made 1,582 loans for $209 million, providing financing for 1,477 loans for homebuyers; 70 small businesses and 30 community facilities. These loans were made to borrowers who could not receive credit from conventional sources, providing them with the opportunity to tap into a source of capital and allowing them to build their own assets. Total investment is $5.57 billion to 62,288 families, individuals, and organizations.
Dennis Bullock, owner of Bullock & Sons Trucking in Henderson, NC, was able to start his family business with a Self-Help loan of $65,000. Bullock is grateful for the solid backing from Self-Help, and plans to grow and expand his business in the future. Full Story