CFNE supports cooperatives development and community based nonprofits by providing loans and technical assistance across New England.
The Cooperative Fund of New England (CFNE) is a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), established in 1975 to fulfill its mission: to advance community based, cooperative and democratically owned or managed enterprises, with preference given to those that serve low income communities, by providing prompt financial assistance at reasonable rates, offering investment opportunities that promote socially conscious enterprise, and developing a regional reservoir of business skills with which to assist and advise its applicants and borrowers. CFNE’s borrowers use cooperative models to create jobs for low and moderate income people, develop affordable housing, bring goods and services to underserved communities, and foster community change at all levels by creating more ownership opportunities for people normally locked out.
CFNE was founded during the “second wave” of food co-op growth, when food co-op leaders and progressive investors sought solutions to the credit gap facing many food co-op start-ups. Now in its thirty-eighth year, CFNE has raised over $28.7 million from social investors to make over 630 loans to new or expanding co-ops and community organizations. Over 60% of these loans have been to the healthy food sector, largely to food co-ops. Borrowers have used these loans to create or retain 7,600 jobs, 4,300 affordable housing units, and thousands of membership and business ownership opportunities. In addition, the businesses financed by CFNE have brought necessities like food, education, childcare, and healthcare into underserved rural and urban communities throughout New England.