DENVER — The Colorado Enterprise Fund, a nonprofit lending institution, said Wednesday that it provided a record number of loans to entrepreneurs and small businesses in Colorado during its fiscal year 2016 that ended Sept. 30.
The 40-year-old Denver-based organization distributed $9.3 million to 217 borrowers that on average created or retained 11 jobs per loan.
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CEF leverages investments and grants from financial institutions, foundations, government agencies, other nonprofits and individuals to provide capital and technical assistance to borrowers who are unable to obtain funding through traditional banks.
“To exceed the financial goals we set in our strategic plan three years ago was a tremendous team effort,” Ceyl Prinster, CEF’s president and chief executive, said in a prepared statement. “We worked hard to reach more small businesses through increased community partnerships, targeted loan programs and sharing our borrowers’ success stories online.”
Compared to fiscal year 2013, the number of new loans increased 46 percent, from 149 to 217, and the total loan amount increased 111 percent, from $4.4 million to $9.3 million. The average loan amount increased 45 percent, from $29,500 to $42,700. CEF’s total portfolio balance grew 117 percent, from $7.5 million to $16.3 million. Loans to minority-owned businesses increased 111 percent, loans to low-income entrepreneurs increased 72 percent, and loans to women-owned businesses grew by 36 percent and accounted for half of all loans closed.
During the past fiscal year, nearly $4 million was raised in new capital, and CEF holds $22.7 million in total assets.
Since providing its first loan 40 years ago, CEF has deployed over more than $56 million in loans to more than 1,900 small businesses to help create or retain over 16,000 jobs in the state.