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City of Grand Rapids invests $100,000 in New Community Transformation Fund

Author: Carol Zichi
Posted Date: December 13, 2023

(GRAND RAPIDS, MI) – New Community Transformation Fund (NCTF), a Grand Rapids-based venture fund aimed at boosting businesses owned by people of color in West Michigan, announces it has received a $100,000 investment from the City of Grand Rapids. NCTF has raised $11.85m since its inception in 2020.

The City’s investment in the NCTF is an important step for increasing economic prosperity for entrepreneurs of color aligned with the City’s Strategic Plan and Equitable Economic Development and Mobility Strategic Plan.

“This investment is aligned with the City’s strategy of supporting entrepreneurship and creates access to investment opportunities for historically marginalized communities, including communities of color,” stated City Manager Mark Washington. “This investment also is aligned with the City’s values of collaboration, innovation, and equity to help remove barriers created by systematic and institutional injustice.”

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss added, “This investment is another example of the strong public/private partnerships that set Grand Rapids apart from many other mid-sized cities.”

The City of Grand Rapids becomes the first government agency to invest in the fund, something that is not lost on NCTF leaders.

“Having a municipal leader such as the City of Grand Rapids investing in New Community Transformation Foundation is such a validating moment for the Fund, ” said Birgit Klohs, executive chair and co-founder of NCTF. “The City has been a wonderful advocate for supporting organizations and people that otherwise may not have a fair shot, so their investment solidifies the City’s authentic commitment to driving change for our community.”

NCTF managing director Ollie Howie developed strong relationships within City Hall and its Economic Development Department over the past two years, so having their formal involvement demonstrates a true partnership, according to Howie.

“The City of Grand Rapids understands New Community Transformation Fund’s mission and this investment proves that they are serious in advancing people-of-color-owned businesses,” said Ollie Howie, managing director of NCTF. “We are excited to strengthen our partnership and look forward to a mutually beneficial, long relationship.”

NCTF invests between $500,000 to $1.5 million in scalable early to mid-stage businesses and transitioning legacy companies in the industries of advanced manufacturing, financial technology, and information technology. This fund invests in both current and prospective West Michigan companies but requires that the portfolio companies have an economic impact on West Michigan’s BIPOC community. To date, NCTF has invested in four companies.

Learn more about New Community Transformation Fund at www.newcommunityfund.com.

Media Contact:
NCTF: Craig Clark, craig@clarkcommunication.com