On September 23, 2016 the CDFI Fund announced the winners of its 2016 CDFI Prize Competition. The Federation, along with seven other organizations, will receive an aggregate total of $1 million to reward innovative ideas and approaches to increasing CDFI investment and access to capital in underserved rural areas, particularly those characterized by persistent poverty.
“The CDFI Fund is excited to showcase and support Prize winners that are working across the breadth of underserved rural communities to develop breakthrough solutions to attracting capital investment and enhancing credit access,” said CDFI Fund Director Annie Donovan. “These are areas in deep need of innovations that combat persistent poverty, and we laud the entrepreneurial efforts of this year’s Prize Competition applicants.”
Winners were selected based on their submission of innovative proposals that: (1) identify and promote new ideas and practices for implementation by CDFIs that serve rural areas, and/or (2) create value during and after the competition by encouraging CDFIs serving rural areas to develop new skills or practices that may have beneficial effects on the communities they serve.
From the 60 applications submitted for consideration, four winners were selected and an additional four applications were provided with honorable mentions.
1st Place Winner: National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (Federation)—$300,000
To enable CDFI credit unions to extend their reach and provide access to secure, affordable financial services and products in underserved rural communities, the Federation is building CU Impact—“the first and only core system created specifically for CDFIs.” CU Impact will enable CDFI credit unions to interact with customers through smart phones as well as share standardized products and services designed for low-income communities with other credit unions enrolled in the system. The initiative will be piloted with Red River Mill Federal Credit Union and Shreveport Federal Credit Union, two CDFIs serving persistent poverty counties in Louisiana and Mississippi, and the Federation anticipates expanding to 30 CDFI credit unions within five years.
To learn more about CU Impact, contact Blake Myers, Federation FinTech Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the full list of winners and honorable mentions, including Appalachian Community FCU and Hope CU, visit https://www.cdfifund.gov/news-events/Pages/news-detail.aspx?NewsID=230&Category=Press%20Releases