The Wells Fargo NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance celebrate the CDFI industry—its creativity, accomplishments, and enduring importance. Launched in 2007, the Wells Fargo NEXT Awards have celebrated the innovation of the nation’s most promising CDFIs by awarding more than $50 million through a competitive awards process over the last six years. Each year the Wells Fargo NEXT Awards culminate in a ceremony at Opportunity Finance Network’s Annual Conference to spotlight Awardees and the entire CDFI industry.
The goal of the NEXT Awards for 2012–2016 is to recognize the NEXT generation of CDFIs working towards expanding coverage in underserved communities. In an increasingly challenging economic environment, CDFIs are needed more than ever to ensure that affordable and responsible financial products and services are available in underserved markets in all 50 states.
In 2012 and 2013, the NEXT Awards focus is on expanding geographic and product coverage. This might involve new and/or expanded partnerships that increase CDFI coverage in underserved communities or bring new or more products to existing and/or expanded markets.
The Wells Fargo NEXT Awards are presented by the Opportunity Finance Network with generous support from Wells Fargo, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and The Kresge Foundation.
There are two NEXT Award programs in 2013: