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CEO Conversations: What Problems We’re Solving

October 8, 2020 | Company News
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Tune in to the third video of our new series, “CEO Conversations” where CDC Small Business Finance’s CEO Kurt Chilcott and Capital Impact Partners CEO, Ellis Carr discuss what problems the alliance will be focused on solving.

Watch the video, or read the transcript below to hear from Kurt and Ellis.

Kurt and Ellis discuss the key problems that the new alliance is focused on solving. The initial approach includes how to implement both high touch and scale while also identifying ways to connect more capital to communities.

Ellis:

I think the next question is what the alliance is trying to solve. This is one of the things that Kurt and I have talked about at length.

I think principally, we are focused on addressing two primary goals. The first revolves around economic empowerment, wealth creation, and ownership – specifically small business ownership. It allows us to help to drive both self-determination and autonomy within communities. The ability for us to do that at scale is apparent.

The second opportunity that the alliance allows us to address effectively, is really connecting the needs of the community with the capital markets. As Kurt has mentioned, there have been CDFIs and CDCs across the country that are doing amazing work. 

What we need to do effectively is increase the amount of investable opportunities that they have. This will allow them to continue doing things that they’re doing extremely well today, just on steroids. 

What this alliance allows us to do is connect capital to community-based organizations and provide a suite of products and resources for them to be able to thrive.

 

Kurt:

Ellis, one of the aspects of this that I think is extremely innovative and that we have been trying to solve for quite some time, is how do we ensure both scale and high touch? 

It has been a struggle for our industry for a long time. We believe that this alliance will move us in the direction of really being able to solve for that. 

Part of the way that we solve for that is building off of this deep place-based work, where we do not abandon deep place-based work in order to achieve scale, right? In fact, we work with local partners and bring resources and expertise to them and to those communities in a deeply caring and valued relationship.

Then, we leverage what they are doing by providing our capital and our expertise at scale – which really hasn’t been done before. I can just share with you that as part of CDC Small Business Finances evolution, as we expanded into a larger and larger territory and more and more communities, we continued to try to look for ways that we could achieve that place-based approach. 

We really weren’t very successful at that. One of the things that just was tremendously exciting about Capital Impact was the commitment to deep place-based work along with the capability to provide the scale that was going to move the needle. 

Because as you and I both know, when we look at the data and at the affects COVID has had on us, and what civil unrest has exposed – we haven’t been able to move the needle very much over a number of decades. 

We believe that this approach of deep place-based work along with the ability to scale is the way that we’re going to be able to move the needle.

CEO CONVERSATIONS VIDEO SERIES

To learn more about the new alliance, watch other videos from the series:


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