Strengthening Small and Emerging CDFIs

  • In areas of persistent poverty, CDFIs represent hope.

  • The financial opportunities CDFIs offer mean access to

  • quality education, housing, and healthy foods.

  • They mean small business sustainability and jobs.


Supported by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s CDFI Fund

OFN’s Strengthening Small and Emerging CDFIs series was designed to build the capacity of small and emerging CDFIs that serve extremely poor areas—including Appalachia, the Colonias along the U.S.-Mexico border, and the Mississippi Delta—and aims to fill coverage gaps in these underserved regions.

OFN partnered with industry experts—including The Center for Social Innovation and Finance at the Carsey Institute of the University of New Hampshire, Consulting for Change, and The Support Center—to develop and deliver trainings and technical assistance for small and emerging CDFIs serving regions of persistent poverty.


OFN and its partners provided five, three-day training workshops between June and October 2013. The trainings were held in Houston, TX; Nashville, TN; Detroit, MI; Los Angeles, CA; and New Orleans, LA. The training workshops provided intensive training for certified CDFIs and those organizations that are certifiable with a track record of lending and assets less than $25 million.  Each training had about 30 participants from 12-15 organizations.

The training workshops focused on:

  • Drivers of Growth and Sustainability
  • Overcoming Barriers to Growth
  • Building Effective Partnerships
  • Geographic and Product Expansion

Training workshop content can be found here.


Starting in December 2013, OFN and its partners offered technical assistance webinars. These webinars focused on topics to help small and emerging CDFIs grow and better serve their target markets. Webinar recordings and presentations can be found here.

Technical Assistance

CDFIs that participated in a training workshop were eligible to participate in geographically-based Mentored Cohorts and received one-to-one technical assistance tailored to the unique needs of the individual CDFI and the communities they serve.

Online Resource Bank

All of the materials—including publications and webinars—generated as part of the Strengthening Small and Emerging CDFIs initiative are in the CDFI Fund's Virtual Resource Bank

Learn More

To learn more about the Strengthening Small and Emerging CDFIs Capacity Building Initiative, please contact Alexandra Jaskula, Senior Associate, Strategic Consulting, at or 215.320.4325 or Ginger McNally, Senior Vice President, Strategic Consulting, at or 215.320.4314.

Technical Assistance Webinars

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 2:00 PM ET

Using Policy Map for Your CDFI’s Market Research
Presenters: Phil Vu, Policy Map

Join us to learn how to use PolicyMap as a tool for market research. During this webinar, we will highlight relevant data sets including some new additions to Policy Map that will help you perform a comprehensive market analysis for your next business plan, new product development rollout, or exploration into geographic expansion.

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