From 2007-2017, the Wells Fargo NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance celebrated CDFI innovation and impact by providing multimillion dollar awards totaling more than $75 million to 24 pioneering CDFIs and $1.4 million in Seed Capital awards to anther 36 CDFIs.
In partnership with Opportunity Finance Network, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Prudential Financial, and The Kresge Foundation, the NEXT Awards have helped shine a national spotlight on 60 CDFIs for their innovative strategies to expand affordable housing, consumer financial services, community-based healthcare, and small businesses.
Although the NEXT Awards program ended in 2016, NEXT Awards partners continue to support CDFI innovation with the NEXT Fund for Innovation. Launched in 2017, the NEXT Fund supports new business models, platforms, or processes that have the ability to drive transformational change and scale in the CDFI industry. The fund’s 2017 pilot will provide flexible and patient financing to support these types of innovation through a number of equity and debt structures.