The nation's largest and most prestigious awards program for responsible finance today announced the four finalists for $8.25 million in prizes. Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (ME) and NCB Capital Impact (VA) are competing for $5.5 million and Opportunity Fund (CA) and The Progress Fund (PA) are competing for $2.75 million in grants and low-cost, long-term loans. The two Awardees will be announced in October and celebrated at an event at the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) Conference in November in Minneapolis.
The aim of the Wachovia Wells Fargo NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance is to propel community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to a next level of growth, success, and staying power so they have even greater capacity to innovate, drive positive policy and systems change, and deliver tangible benefits to their communities. CDFIs are market-based, private sector financial intermediaries that create opportunities for low-wealth, low-income, and other disadvantaged individuals and institutions and spark growth in distressed markets across the nation.
The Wachovia Wells Fargo NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance is managed by OFN and financed by The Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation and supported by the MacArthur Foundation.