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Community Development Financial Institutions

Diverse Community Capital

Building the capacity of CDFIs to support small businesses

Wells Fargo proudly supports more than 150 CDFIs of all sizes across the country. We provide tailored investment and debt strategies to support CDFIs’ efforts in both rural and urban communities to finance affordable housing, community facilities, and small and micro businesses.

  • Equity equivalent (EQ2) investments: Low-rate, long-term, unsecured, subordinate debt
  • New Markets Tax Credit program: Equity and debt investments for commercial development in low-income areas, with reduced borrowing costs for non-profits
  • Senior debt: Shorter-term, floating-rate for use as core lending capital by larger CDFIs
  • Structured debt: Layered, special purpose funds sponsored by CDFIs

Our Team

Megan Teare
Director of Equity Equivalent Investments

Lee Winslett
Director of New Markets Tax Credits

Next Fund for Innovation

In its pilot year, this exciting new fund supports business models, products, platforms, or processes holding the ability to drive transformational change and scale in the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) industry. Through this exciting new fund, OFN will provide flexible capital for up to three CDFIs in amounts ranging from $500,000 to $2,000,000.

The NEXT Awards program (2007-2017) developed partnerships among Wells Fargo, OFN, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Prudential Financial, and the Kresge Foundation, and continues in the NEXT Fund for Innovation.

Wells Fargo NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance

From 2007-2017, the Wells Fargo NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance celebrated CDFI innovation and impact by investing more than $75 million in the nation’s most promising and innovative CDFIs. The program recognized CDFIs that make a difference in their communities, and worked to propel them to a higher level of growth, success, and staying power.

The NEXT Awards program developed partnerships among Wells Fargo, OFN, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Prudential Financial, and the Kresge Foundation, and while the Awards program ended in 2016, it is being continued through the NEXT Fund for Innovation.

Wells Fargo has committed $75 million to CDFIs across the country through the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business®: Diverse Community Capital program. The program makes available $50 million in lending capital and $25 million in grant capital to be disbursed over three years. We are no longer accepting Interest Forms for Round 6.

Program components

  • Grant Capital. Available to CDFIs to build their financial, operational, and human capacity to serve diverse small businesses.
  • Debt Capital. Available to CDFIs to build their lending capital to serve diverse small businesses. Financing will include senior debt and subordinated debt.
  • Social Capital. Activities such as mentorship, peer learning, and working groups to build effective support networks and social infrastructure among CDFIs, offered through Opportunity Finance Network. Read Innovations in Underwriting (PDF), the first publication in a series documenting successful CDFI strategies to better serve and increase lending to diverse customers.


Congratulations to our DCC program recipients. See our full list of awardees below, and read a recent article how awardee, Northwest Native Development Fund, is making a difference in their community.

Round one (2016)

  • Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, Inc. (ACE) (Atlanta, GA)
  • Ascent Funding (Portland, OR)
  • Bridgeway Capital Inc. (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Carolina Small Business Development Fund (Raleigh, NC)
  • Community Investment Corporation (CIC) (Chicago, IL)
  • CommunityWorks (Greenville, SC)
  • Craft3 (Ilwaco, WA)
  • ECDC Enterprise Development Group (Arlington, VA)
  • Forward Community Investments, Inc. (Madison, WI)
  • Metropolitan Economic Development Association (Meda) (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Montana & Idaho CDC (Missoula, MT)
  • Natural Capital Investment Fund, Inc. (NCIF) (Shepherdstown, WV)
  • Pacific Community Ventures (San Francisco, CA)
  • Pathway Lending (Nashville, TN)
  • WWBIC, The Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation (Milwaukee, WI)

Round two (2016)

  • Accion serving Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas (Albuquerque, NM)
  • California FarmLink (Santa Cruz, CA)
  • Community First Fund (Lancaster, PA)
  • Four Bands Community Fund (Eagle Butte, SD)
  • Fresno CDFI (Fresno, CA)
  • Justine PETERSEN (St. Louis, MO)
  • Northwest Native Development Fund (Nespelem, WA)
  • PIDC Regional Development Corporation (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Self-Help Ventures Fund (Durham, NC)
  • Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Fund (Tampa, FL)
  • VEDC (Van Nuys, CA)
  • WomenVenture (Minneapolis, MN)

Round three (2017)

  • Accion Chicago (Chicago, IL)
  • Accion serving Imperial, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties (CA)
  • African Development Center (ADC) (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Business Center for New Americans (New York, NY)
  • Coastal Enterprises Inc. (Brunswick, ME)
  • Latino Economic Development Center LEDC (DC & Baltimore, MD)
  • Local Enterprise Assistance Fund LEAF (Brookline, MA)
  • Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon MESO (Portland, OR)
  • Nebraska Enterprise Fund (Oakland, NE)
  • Northern Initiatives (Marquette, MI)
  • Opportunity Fund (San Jose, San Francisco, Los Angeles, CA)
  • PathStone Enterprise Center (Rochester, NY)
  • Prestamos CDFI, a subsidiary of Chicanos Por La Causa (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Working Solutions (San Francisco Bay Area, CA)

Round four (2017)

  • Accion East (New York, NY)
  • AmPac Tri-State CDC (Grand Terrace, CA) 
  • Cooperative Business Assistance Corporation (CBAC) (Camden, NJ) 
  • Economic and Community Development Institute (EDCI) (Columbus, OH) 
  • Initiative Foundation (St. Cloud, MN) 
  • LiftFund (San Antonio, TX) 
  • Pacific Coast Regional Small Business Development Corporation (Los Angeles, CA) 
  • San Diego Region Small Business CDC (San Diego, CA) 
  • South Carolina Community Loan Fund (Charleston, SC) 
  • Southern Bancorp Community Partners (Little Rock, AR) 
  • UCEDC (Cranford, NJ) 
  • Ventures (Seattle, WA)

Additional information

  • Visit the Wells Fargo Works online resource center to learn about the wide range of products, resources, and guidance we offer to small businesses to help them take the next step toward their goals.
  • If you have questions about the program, contact diversecommunitycapital@wellsfargo.com.

Helping small businesses start, stabilize, and grow

Black Bark BBQ and Oasis Cafe

Two San Francisco Bay Area small business owners accomplish their dreams of opening their own restaurants, Black Bark BBQ and Oasis Café, with support from Working Solutions CDFI.

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Helping Trucking and Catering Businesses Thrive

Celeste Phillips (pictured) and LaWayne Nockai have thriving businesses, thanks in part of support they have received from CDFIs.

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Arithmetic Solutions

A math tutoring company in California stays afloat – and expands nationally – thanks to help from a financial institution that Wells Fargo recently awarded more than $2 million in lending capital and grant funds.

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