A Triple Bottom Line Approach

NCIF lends and provides business advisory services to businesses and non-profits located in underserved rural and urban communities. We specialize in triple-bottom-line enterprises—those that address the "3 E's":

Economy: Generates a viable financial return, either by maintaining or creating profits, return on investment, or a tangible asset. 
Equity: Provides an opportunity for disadvantaged groups to access information, financial resources, vital community services, or livelihoods/employment. 
Ecology: Benefits or lessens impact on the natural world by improving stewardship of natural resources, or reducing energy use, waste, pollution, or materials use.


We Lend

NCIF lends to businesses, agricultural enterprises, and non-profits so they can grow, create jobs, and contribute to environmental and human health in underserved communities. We're a U.S. Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) affiliated with The Conservation Fund. CDFIs provide access to capital in underserved communities to borrowers and projects who cannot meet the credit standards of traditional financial institutions because of perceived risks: they're too young, undercapitalized, or in an unfamiliar industry or geography.  As a non-regulated financial institution, we can be more flexible in structuring our financing. Our external investment committees help us underwrite carefully, and we use a range of credit enhancement programs to make good loans.  

We Provide Business Advisory Services

NCIF recognizes that small enterprises often need more than just capital to grow.  That’s why we provide our customers with business advisory services so they can make the best use of loans they receive from us (or other lenders). Since inception, NCIF has provided over 17,100 hours of advisory services to over 920 companies.

NCIF’s strategic initiatives combine lending with targeted business advisory services, partnerships, and grant funding to provide specialized help to particular regions or borrowers, so they can overcome barriersr to growing responsible businesses and creating jobs. 

NCIF takes an entrepreneurial, creative approach to sustainability that begins with the environment but also looks beyond that to examine how we can support people, communities and local economies.
- Gat Caperton, Owner, Caperton Furniture Works; Chair, NCIF Board of Directors



We Partner with Other Lenders

Most businesses can't raise all the capital they need from one source. That's why NCIF partners with traditional lenders and other community development funds to help entrepreneurs get the right kind of financing and support they need to grow their business. We welcome referrals from lenders. 

We Have Positive Impact

Our staff and volunteer Board members, Investment Committee members, and Advisory Committee members have a singular focus:  We do what it takes to help socially and environmentally responsible businesses start, grow and innovate so they can create jobs and positively impact their communities and their environment.