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Colorado Enterprise Fund Borrowers Win Calvert Foundation Small Business Competition


Denver, January 5, 2017Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) is pleased to announce three of its borrowers took top cash prizes during the 2016 Calvert Foundation Small Business competition completed in December.


Calvert Foundation, based in Bethesda, MD, opened its competition to any small businesses that received financing from nonprofit lenders like CEF, that are funded with Calvert Foundation investments. Participating small businesses were encouraged to get their supporters, customers and community members to vote online for their businesses. The goals of the contest were:


  • promoting small businesses that are tied to the local community;
  • competing to win cash prizes to enhance business operations;
  • educating people on investing in the local community and businesses that create local jobs; and
  • generating awareness of the opportunity to invest in Calvert Foundation's Community Investment Note ® to support investments in small businesses


Winning businesses that received the most votes during the December contest were announced last week. First Place went to Feral Mountain Company, an outdoor adventure and clothing store in Denver, which won $10,000 in cash. Second Place went to Pearl Wine Company, a retail store in Denver supporting family-owned wineries, with a $3,000 cash prize. Third Place went to Golden Mountain Guides, a rock and ice-climbing guide service based in Golden, with a $2,000 cash prize. All three businesses are current CEF borrowers.


"We are very proud of all our borrowers who participated in this competition and heartily congratulate those who won," said Ceyl Prinster, President and CEO of Colorado Enterprise Fund. “Starting a business can be cash-intensive, so when our borrowers are able to access additional funding that can help them grow to the next level, we are all for it.”


Calvert Foundation enables people to invest in social impact through its Community Investment Note, a fixed-income security product. Calvert Foundation launched the Ours To Own (OTO) Denver campaign in 2014 to channel capital towards community development efforts in Denver and encourage residents to invest in the city they live in and love. CEF is one of three nonprofit organizations allotted funding from this program to support local small business and community development in the Denver Metro area. Other OTO-funded organizations include the Community Reinvestment Fund and the Urban Land Conservancy.


“Thank you so much for supporting the competition and encouraging your borrowers to enter,” remarked Katherine St. Onge, Senior Officer of Investor Relations for Calvert Foundation. “We had over 5,000 votes - way more than we expected. We are so thrilled that the participants were able to showcase the value of small businesses to so many people!”


About Calvert Foundation


Calvert Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit impact investing organization. For over 20 years Calvert Foundation has enabled people to invest for social good through our Community Investment Note. The Note is a fixed income security available to all types of investors. The capital raised through the Note is used to make loans to non-profits and social enterprises throughout the U.S. and around the world that create measurable social and environmental impact.


Calvert Foundation supports the growth of small businesses by lending to community development finance institutions (CDFIs) and other financial intermediaries with demonstrated expertise in successfully and responsibly lending in communities. These intermediaries provide business loans in the U.S. to underserved entrepreneurs who have limited financing options. This capital creates new jobs, secures incomes and strengthens locally-owned businesses and economies.


About Colorado Enterprise Fund


Established in 1976 as the Greater Denver Local Development Corporation to administer a new SBA loan guarantee program in Denver’s lower downtown, Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) has grown to deploy over $56 million in loans to more than 1,900 small businesses to help create and retain over 16,000 jobs statewide. Offering loans up to $500,000 to small businesses and startups unable to secure traditional bank financing, CEF continues its mission to accelerate community prosperity by financing and assisting entrepreneurs statewide to support a strong economy.




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Valerie Hamlin


Kelly Nelson