Denver, September 27, 2016 – Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) announced it received a $1.75 million award from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund to support CEF’s small business lending and technical assistance programs, and $650,000 for its Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) in Colorado.


The CDFI Fund awarded $185.7 million in grants and loans to 196 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) across the country through the latest rounds of the Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program) and the Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program). This funding will help CDFIs and Native CDFIs expand their lending and investment efforts in low-income and economically-challenged communities throughout the United States.


CEF was one of three Colorado CDFIs to receive awards this year and the only one in the state to receive two awards. The other recipients were Colorado Housing Enterprises Inc ($1.25 million) in Westminster/Alamosa, and La Plata Homes Fund Inc ($700,000) in Durango.


“We are honored to receive these two awards from the CDFI Fund this year,” said Ceyl Prinster, President and CEO of Colorado Enterprise Fund. “This dual funding will increase our ability to finance businesses that create jobs, enhance economic vitality and expand community prosperity, as well as contribute to the health of Colorado’s citizens through broader access to fresh, healthy foods.”


Certified as a CDFI in 1996, CEF received its first CDFI Fund award of $275,000 in 1997 to increase access to capital and technical assistance for small business owners across Colorado. Since then, CEF has been awarded $10.85 million (including its recent $1.75 million award) to continue that work statewide. CEF has leveraged its CDFI Fund Awards with additional public and private-sector capital to lend over $54 million to more than 1,800 Colorado businesses that otherwise lacked access to affordable business loans across the state. These businesses have created and retained over 16,000 jobs.  


CEF received its first HFFI award of $750,000 in 2013 to support development of healthy foods systems and increased access for Colorado communities, known as “food deserts,” that lack fresh, healthy food options.  To date, CEF has received $2,200,000 (including the $650,000 just awarded) in HFFI funding and loaned $1.9 million to rural- and urban-based food businesses.


The CDFI Fund invests in and builds the capacity of mission-driven credit unions, banks, loan funds, and other financial institutions serving rural and urban communities across the nation that lack adequate access to affordable financial products and services. Over the past 22 years, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $2 billion, helping build a nationwide network of more than 950 CDFIs located in every state, all focused on economically empowering the communities they serve.




About the CDFI Fund

Since its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $2 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations, and financial institutions through the CDFI Program, the NACA Program, the Bank Enterprise Award Program, the Capital Magnet Fund, and the Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program. In addition, the CDFI Fund has allocated $43.5 billion in tax credit allocation authority to Community Development Entities through the New Markets Tax Credit Program, and $525 million has been guaranteed in bonds through the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program. To learn more about the CDFI Fund and its programs, please visit:


About Colorado Enterprise Fund

Founded in1976, Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) provides loans up to $500,000 to finance small businesses and startups unable to secure traditional bank funding. With a mission to accelerate community prosperity by financing and supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses, CEF has provided over $54 million in loans to more than 1,800 businesses to help create and retain over 16,000 jobs in the state. A nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), CEF is based in Denver with lending services available statewide. For more information, visit: 

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