Colorado Enterprise Fund reaches new heights for 40th anniversary

The Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) saw record growth in its 40th year. Among other things, its total portfolio balance increased to $16.2 million and its loans increased from $4.4 million in 2013 to $9.2 million in 2016. 

In terms of jobs, its loans helped the companies it supports retain and create 2,369 jobs in fiscal year 2016, which ended Sept. 30. That's up from 1,747 or 36 percent in fiscal year 2013. 

"This was an amazing team effort," says Ceyl Prinster, CEF president and CEO. "Our ability to help more businesses start and grow so their communities can prosper was only possible through the tireless dedication of our staff and strategic support of our board of directors. We're thrilled to have made history as we celebrated our 40th year of helping small businesses in Colorado!"

Since launching in Denver in 1976, CEF has issued more than $56 million in loans supporting more than 1,900 small businesses and creating and retaining more than 16,000 jobs. Since then the fund has become a US Treasury Department certified Community Development Financial Institution.

Over the past few years, the organization saw increases across the board, allowing it to help fund even more small businesses and foster more job growth. It closed $9.2 million in loans in 2016, an increase of $2.1 million, 30 percent higher than in the previous year. It also closed a total of 217 loans which is 13 percent higher than in the previous year.

In the past three years, the amount of loans CEF managed grew from 365 to 550 loans. The organization also expanded who it granted loans to as well. CEF loans to minority-owned businesses increased 111 percent while loans to low-income entrepreneurs increased 72 percent. Loans to women-owned businesses grew by 36 percent and were nearly half of all the loans CEF closed over the past three years. 

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