Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) provide financial support and capital to businesses and individuals that would otherwise not have access to, or have been refused services by, mainstream financial service providers.
They generally focus on areas and markets that are disadvantaged, including voluntary and community sector organisations.
The aim of CDFIs is to provide both financial support and have a social impact and they are becoming more and more common.
CDFIs provide loans from £50 to £1,000,000. The average loan to microenterprises is £7,250, to small businesses £50,000, to social enterprises £43,500 and to individuals £600.
According to a 2005 report, CDFIs have financed more than 18,000 businesses and people, sustained 88,000 jobs and created 11,000 more. They have levered an extra £285,000,000 of funding into the businesses and households they serve and improved the net income of 210,000 households
The trade association for CDFIs is the Community Development Finance Association (CDFA). The organisation’s website includes a directory of all registered CDFIs. For more information visit http://www.cdfa.org.uk/index.htm