FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, May 13, 2019
Brendon Miller, (202) 529-5505 ext. 224
Wacif Named 2019 Nonprofit of the Year
Award honors Wacif for its impact creating an equitable ecosystem for small business success
(Washington, D.C) – The Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif), one of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area’s leading Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) focused on small business impact investing, Friday joined city business and economic development leaders at the 2019 Small Business & Economic Development Summit to celebrate being named the city’s 2019 Nonprofit Organization of the Year. The honor, presented by the DC Chamber of Commerce and the D.C. Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) during National Small Business Week, recognizes Wacif for its impact expanding economic opportunity and investing in equitable approaches across the District of Columbia.
“Being named the 2019 Nonprofit of the Year is a testament to our team’s commitment to equity and economic opportunity in communities that need it most,” said Wacif Executive Director Harold Pettigrew. “Creating economic pathways to entrepreneurship, and expanding businesses already venturing down that path, are more important than ever as economic imperatives to address the region’s wealth inequality. We are honored by this recognition from the D.C. Chamber of Commerce and DSLBD and will use it to deepen our support for entrepreneurs and the communities they anchor.”
This honor reflects Wacif’s growth trajectory. In 2018, Wacif increased its loan volume by over 60% and more than doubled clients served through small business advisory services, which included 45 workshops and training events, over 260 one-on-one client advisement sessions, 14 commercial corridor visits to meet business owners, and the graduation of a new cohort of the Ascend Capital Accelerator. Wacif’s lending activity aligned closely with its commitment to equity, with 100% of loans deployed in 2018 going to entrepreneurs of color, and 50% to women entrepreneurs. Geographically, Wacif’s largest lending areas, were D.C.’s Wards 8, 5, and 7, as well as Prince George’s County and Baltimore City.
Beyond growth within our advisory services and lending programs, Wacif also launched strategic partnerships and programs to drive equity and economic opportunity throughout the region. In February 2019, Wacif joined JPMorgan Chase, the A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation, Capital Impact Partners, and other community partners to launch the Greater Washington D.C. Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, an effort to forge new pathways to entrepreneurship and wealth building in the region’s underserved communities. In October 2018, Wacif and Citi Community Development launched the Employee Ownership Initiative, an effort to create new pathways for asset building, legacy business preservation, and small business ownership. In addition, Wacif’s impact has been underscored by its success winning close to $2 million dollars in national awards, including Wells Fargo’s Diverse Community Capital, the CDFI Fund’s Financial Assistance Award, and JPMorgan Chase’s Partnerships for Raising Opportunity (PRO) in Neighborhoods.
Partnership makes Wacif’s impact possible. If you’d like to add your financial support to Wacif’s mission of equity and economic opportunity, please donate here or invest in Wacif’s Impact Capital Fund. If you’re looking for an inspiring leadership opportunity, please consider applying to join Wacif’s Board of Directors. To learn more about these opportunities and Wacif’s programs, please email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif)
The Washington Area Community Investment Fund, Inc. (Wacif) is one of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area’s leading Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) focused on small business development. Wacif’s mission is to increase equity and economic opportunity in underserved communities in the Washington, D.C. area by investing knowledge, social, and financial capital in low-and moderate-income entrepreneurs. In the last seven years, Wacif has closed more than $9.2 million in loans and assisted over 2,000 entrepreneurs with coaching and technical assistance, sustaining more than 300 local jobs. Learn more at www.wacif.org.