Denver, September 24, 2018 –This morning, Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) received a $135,000 Grant Award from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation in recognition of the organization’s support of underserved entrepreneurs through its Healthy Foods Fund, which was created to ensure that all Colorado communities – rural and urban – have access to fresh, nutritious and affordable food. Ceyl Prinster, President and CEO of CEF received the award at the Denver Startup Week’s kick-off breakfast, which was held at the Seawell Ballroom. This year’s $135,000 grant to CEF is more than double the $60,000 grant received by CEF from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation in 2017.
“We are very honored to receive this grant since it not only continues to expand our relationship with JPMorgan Chase but enables CEF to further serve Colorado entrepreneurs and businesses, ultimately, fostering a more vibrant local food economy,” says Ceyl Prinster, President and CEO of Colorado Enterprise Fund. “To date, CEF has been able to provide $3.5 million in loans through our Healthy Foods Fund and we will now be able to leverage this grant with other public and private sources of funding to maximize impact in our Colorado communities.”
The grant will help CEF scale its Healthy Foods Fund, which finances food production, small grocery retail, local food distribution, and innovative healthy food businesses throughout urban and rural parts of Colorado. CEF lends to all segments of the food system to improve access to fresh, healthy food for Colorado’s residents and to promote economic and health benefits for communities designated as “food deserts.” To date, the Healthy Foods Fund has made 53 loans to 48 Colorado businesses for a total of $3.5 million, which has helped create or retain nearly 200 jobs.
CEF is once again participating in the 2018 Denver Startup Week, which kicked off yesterday and will go through September 28th. The seventh annual event is the world’s largest free celebration of the entrepreneurial spirit. Intended to unite the entrepreneurial community in Downtown Denver and beyond, the event celebrates great companies, innovation, ideas and people. Many of the sessions are free and open to the public (registration requested). The mission of Denver Startup Week is to foster an environment where professionals and entrepreneurs can learn, grow, and prepare for their next challenge. In 2017, the event brought 19,000 people together through 376 programs to celebrate Denver’s thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem as well as build the center city’s culture of innovation.
About Colorado Enterprise Fund Founded in 1976, Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) provides loans up to $500,000 to finance small businesses and start-ups unable to obtain funding through traditional banks. CEF has dispersed over $80 million in startup and growth capital to over 2,300 businesses, and created or retained almost 20,000 jobs in the state. A non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), CEF is based in Denver with lending services available statewide. For more information, visit: https://www.coloradoenterprisefund.org/.