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Impact Investing

Woodforest's Community Development team has created a robust portfolio of impact investments yielding positive social and environmental impact in communities throughout the Bank's 17 state footprint.


Entrepreneur Backed Assets (EBA) Fund

The Entrepreneur Backed Assets (EBA) Fund, created by The Aspen Institute and the Microfinance Impact Collaborative, will strengthen the capacity of community-based financial institutions to lend to small businesses in low-income communities and those owned by people of color. The fund will also create a secondary market for loans originated by community-based microlenders.


Woodforest is the first bank capital investor in the fund.


Community-based microlenders target their lending to businesses that are not served by banks. The six microlenders that comprise the Microfinance Impact Collaborative – Allies for Community Business, Ascendus, DreamSpring, Justine PETERSEN, LiftFund and Opportunity Fund – make 75% of their loans to business owners of color, and 61% to businesses owned by low- and moderate-income individuals. Recognizing unprecedented circumstances, these lenders have taken action to help through rescheduling and deferring loans and extending additional credit, among other measures. EBA Fund will empower these crucial institutions by purchasing existing loans, providing capital for new lending.

Loans purchased with the Entrepreneur Backed Assets (EBA) Fund went to:*

78%

Entrepreneurs of Color

38%

Women Entrepreneurs

78%

Entrepreneurs in
Low-Income Communities

*Information accurate as of 02.01.21.


The fund's goal is to purchase $50 Million in loans from the six Microfinance Impact Collaborative members, and then to expand to purchase loans from other community-based lenders.

Southern Opportunity and Resilience (SOAR) Fund

A proud and smiling chef standing up in his kitchen

We're excited to be a participating lender for a new program aimed at getting small businesses and nonprofits across the South affordable capital and critical business support at a time when they need it the most. The Southern Opportunity and Resilience (SOAR) Fund aims to raise $150 million to provide us and other community lenders with affordable capital so we can offer loans and free support services to southern businesses and nonprofits, particularly the smallest of small businesses and those that have been historically underbanked, including women, people of color, and those in rural communities.


Please help us spread the word and support this critical program!

Small business owners and nonprofits in need of support can register at the SOAR fund website.

Opportunity Zone Funds

Opportunity Zone (OZ) Funds are designed to provide long-term, patient capital to catalyze private investment in formerly disinvested areas. Woodforest is involved in several funds to provide positive social and environmental impact through our investments and to demonstrate that the combination of CRA and the OZ incentive can be a powerful tool for driving investment into low-income communities in both rural and urban areas. These efforts gained the Bank recognition as one of the Forbes OZ 20: Opportunity Zone Catalysts for 2020; the only bank on the list.

Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund

The Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund (WCBOF) is an award-winning, innovative $22 million Opportunity Zone (OZ) Fund. The Fund represents a collaboration between Woodforest and The Fund's manager, CEI-Boulos Capital Management, LLC, a joint venture of Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), one of the nation's most successful Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), with over 40 years of experience working in low-income communities; and The Boulos Company, an integrated commercial real estate firm with broad experience in capital markets and real estate development.

WCBOF provides private real estate investments targeting high-impact projects in low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities within Opportunity Zones across Woodforest's 17-state CRA footprint.

Click to enlarge the OZ Investment Model
Click to Enlarge - An OZ Investment
Model for Positive Social Impact

Forbes OZ 20: Top Opportunity Zone Catalysts List

Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund Recognized as a Leading Opportunity Zone Fund

Blueprint Local

Blueprint Local Investments (Blueprint) is a national platform that seeks to help investors find opportunities in communities that may generate financial results and meaningful impact. Blueprint seeks out high-quality opportunities from developers and entrepreneurs who want to grow and reinvigorate their neighborhoods, connecting them with investors looking for opportunities with measurable impact. Blueprint believes in locally sourced and supported opportunities and aims to focus on undervalued assets and companies that have the potential to create opportunity and economic dynamism. Woodforest is the anchor investor in both the Blueprint Texas Opportunity Zone Fund, LLP (Blueprint Texas) and Blueprint Southeast Funds (Southeast Fund in partnership with CDFI, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)). The portfolio projects in Blueprint Texas will lead to the creation of nearly 600 jobs across Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. Blueprint Southeast is estimated to have a similar impact in job creation across the Southeastern U.S.

Altura Economic Opportunity Fund

Woodforest provided a $5 Million seed investment into Altura Economic Opportunity Fund, a targeted $50 Million fund investing in qualified opportunity zone businesses owned by women and people of color. Altura is a Latina-run fund management company with expertise in the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) and private equity industries. Through their involvement in the Billion Dollar Roundtable, Altura will connect portfolio companies primed for growth with large corporations seeking to diversify their procurement. Through these strategic connections to potential customers, Altura is providing value added investments that allow diverse companies to grow, creating more jobs and building wealth for communities of color. Greater than 50% of the fund's investments will be made into low- and moderate-income communities. This fund is a leader in the OZ industry where much of the early activity went into commercial real estate not operating businesses. By providing long term growth capital to businesses, Altura is contributing to equitable economic development in the communities where these businesses are located.

Impact Investing Contacts

Doug Schaeffer

EVP and CRA Executive Director

dschaeffer@woodforest.com

Noelle St.Clair

VP, Impact Investing and Strategic Initiatives

nstclair@woodforest.com

See more of our CRA Team

Woodforest National Bank

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