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At 40, Colorado Enterprise Fund shows no signs of slowing down

Knotty Tie Co. CEF slide

The Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) is celebrating its 40th anniversary this March and will commemorate the milestone with events throughout the year. The nonprofit organization, dedicated to supporting small businesses and startups, loaned more than $7.1 million to small businesses in 2015 alone.

"This organization brought much-needed economic development initially to Denver, and then to the rest of Colorado. It was an opportunity to help Colorado communities find and develop their economic strength," says CEO Ceyl Prinster. "Small business is big business in Colorado, and Colorado Enterprise Fund has been part of making small business growth possible."

The organization isn't stagnating. Already in 2016, it was selected as a finalist in Colorado Impact Days, Prinster will serve as a panelist at the Denver Business Journal's Small Business Awards conference and luncheon in April and it will be recognized at ColoradoBiz Magazine's Top 100 Women-Owned Companies Reception in June.

The organization offers loans of up to $500,000 to entrepreneurs and small companies that can't access other financing. "We lend more than just money," Prinster says. "We provide our borrowers with one-on-one business training and coaching to help them succeed. And when our borrowers succeed, our local communities grow and thrive."

To showcase what it's been up to, CEF launched its "40 Success Stories in 40 Weeks," a social media campaign, which will run through October. The campaign will post stories to Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media outlets about companies that it's helped out in the past.

In October, CEF will host a 40th Anniversary Gala to celebrate its legacy, which includes providing 1,800 loans totaling over $49 million for to support small business growth and startups. It's also been recognized as the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Community/Rural Lender of the year in 2015, among other awards.

Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Chris Meehan with tips and leads for future stories at chris@confluence-denver.com.

Read more articles by Chris Meehan.

Chris is a Denver-based freelance writer, editor and communications specialist. He covers sustainability, social issues and other topics.
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