Next Up: CDFI Leaders Thinking Ahead and Acting Now

Next Street has worked for 13 years at the intersection of economic development and the small to medium sized enterprises that drive job and wealth creation. We have learned the importance and challenges of translating system strategies into on-the-ground solutions. Next Up is a series that explores the ideas and applied solutions that drive economic development in America’s communities.

“It is always more easy to discover and proclaim general principles than to apply them.” 
― Winston S. Churchill

Economic inequality is rising exponentially. The future success of the US economy will hinge on our ability to invest in housing, healthcare, education, small business, and other vital services to ensure that the people and places that are being left out are able to share in the newly created value.

Next Street is proud to present Next Up: CDFI Leaders Thinking Ahead and Acting Now, an interview series where we talk to the leaders of Community Development Financial Institutions (“CDFIs”) who have led the charge in making these investments in America’s poorest and most underserved neighborhoods since the early 1970s.

In this series, Next Street Founder Tim Ferguson will challenge the leaders of some of the largest CDFIs to answer a range of questions, including:

  • Have CDFIs become too “bank-like” in their investing to fulfill their mission?
  • What is the role of CDFIs in driving holistic cross-sector integration to lift up people and places?
  • How do you measure the impact of your work, and how does that inform decision-making?
  • What innovation is needed in the CDFI industry?
  • How do you create economies of scale while responding to the needs of local markets?
  • How is the funding environment changing and how can you access capital markets and impact investing to achieve greater scale?

We’ll be rolling out a total of eight interviews and a summary of our takeaways and next steps in the industry over the next eight weeks. In the meantime, meet the CEOs we’ll hear from, who lead organizations that have made a total of $25 billion of investments in underserved communities.

Adam Zimmerman

President and Chief Executive Officer, Craft3

Read our interview with Adam Zimmerman

Joe Neri

President and Chief Executive Officer, IFF

Read our interview with Joe Neri