CHARLESTON, S.C. – The South Carolina Community Capital Alliance (the “Alliance”) announced today the establishment of a new Micro Equity Fund to invest in healthcare, transportation, disaster recovery, bioscience, environmental and energy technologies, and small manufacturing firms in South Carolina. The launch of the new fund is part of a transition from a lending Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) to a venture capital fund CDFI. The Alliance is raising $500,000 to deploy through the new fund to generate market-rate returns while promoting sustainable business growth throughout South Carolina
As a CDFI venture capital fund, the Alliance will expand community development financing opportunities in South Carolina. “We are excited to announce this new opportunity to strengthen early and expansion-stage businesses in South Carolina. A new fund will invigorate the community development financing network and provide additional opportunities for businesses to grow and strengthen communities,” said Prenita Mack, Director and Asset Manager.
The Alliance Board of Directors recently passed guidelines for the new Micro Equity Fund operations, including focusing on investment in early and expansion-stage companies that have at least 51 percent of their tangible assets and employees anywhere in the State of South Carolina. The new fund will initially invest $50,000 to $100,000 in three companies with strong management teams, growth potential, and defensible market positions, adding value to its portfolio companies through operational assistance, active board participation and mentoring, including a partnership with accelerators, incubators and the network of CDFIs in the State.
“The Alliance Board of Directors is pleased to approve a new model that focuses on equity investment, a source of capital many early-stage businesses need to grow. The Alliance has a decade of experience in community development financing, an experienced board of directors, and a national reputation,” said Jeanne Milliken Bonds, the Alliance Board Chair.
The Fund may be a sole investor on occasion, but most likely will co-invest in a round led by another institutional investor. When appropriate, the Fund will co-invest with other institutional investors and with seasoned angel investors.
“Our network is eager to partner to offer more direct capital investments into South Carolina small businesses. This new fund is the result of the Alliance members’ commitment to community development finance in South Carolina,” Milliken Bonds said.
About the Alliance
Launched in 2011, the Alliance is a statewide intermediary made up of a network of community development stakeholders, lenders, financiers, and investors focused on increasing capital resources for South Carolina’s most underserved and undercapitalized communities to support job creation opportunities. In 2017, South Carolina Community Capital, Inc. (Community Capital) announced a merger with Southern Association for Financial Empowerment (S.A.F.E.) in an effort to further community economic development in South Carolina (rebranded as SC Community Capital Alliance). Learn more about the Alliance at www.sccommunitycapital.org.
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