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Impact Investing

Woodforest's Community Development team has created a robust portfolio of impact investments yielding positive social and environmental impact in communities throughout the Bank's 17-state footprint.

Scale Link

Scale Link, created by the Aspen Institute and the Microfinance Impact Collaborative, will strengthen the capacity of community-based financial institutions to lend to small businesses in low-income communities and those owned by people of color. The fund will also create a secondary market for loans originated by community-based microlenders.

Woodforest is the first bank capital investor in the fund.

Community-based microlenders target their lending to businesses that are not served by banks. The six microlenders that comprise the Microfinance Impact Collaborative – Allies for Community Business, Ascendus, DreamSpring, Justine PETERSEN, LiftFund and Accion Opportunity Fund – make 75% of their loans to business owners of color, and 61% to businesses owned by low- and moderate-income individuals. Recognizing unprecedented circumstances, these lenders have taken action to help through rescheduling and deferring loans and extending additional credit, among other measures. Scale Link will empower these crucial institutions by purchasing existing loans, providing capital for new lending.

Loans purchased with Scale Link went to:*


Entrepreneurs of Color


Women Entrepreneurs


Entrepreneurs in
Low-Income Communities

*Information accurate as of 02.01.21.

The fund's goal is to purchase $50 million in loans from the six Microfinance Impact Collaborative members, and then to expand to purchase loans from other community-based lenders.

Opportunity Zone Funds

Opportunity Zone (OZ) Funds are designed to provide long-term, patient capital to catalyze private investment in formerly disinvested areas. Woodforest is involved in several funds to provide positive social and environmental impact through our investments and to demonstrate that the combination of CRA and the OZ incentive can be a powerful tool for driving investment into low-income communities in both rural and urban areas. These efforts gained the Bank recognition as one of the Forbes OZ 20: Opportunity Zone Catalysts for 2020; the only bank on the list.

Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund

The Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund (WCBOF) is an award-winning, innovative $22 million Opportunity Zone (OZ) Fund. The Fund represents a collaboration between Woodforest and The Fund's manager, CEI-Boulos Capital Management, LLC, a joint venture of Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), one of the nation's most successful Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), with over 40 years of experience working in low-income communities; and The Boulos Company, an integrated commercial real estate firm with broad experience in capital markets and real estate development.

WCBOF provides private real estate investments targeting high-impact projects in low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities within Opportunity Zones across Woodforest's 17-state CRA footprint.

Click to enlarge the OZ Investment Model
Click to Enlarge - An OZ Investment
Model for Positive Social Impact
Awards icon

Forbes OZ 20: Top Opportunity Zone Catalysts List

Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund Recognized as a Leading Opportunity Zone Fund

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Blueprint Local Investments

Blueprint Local Investments (Blueprint) is a national platform that seeks to help investors find opportunities in communities that may generate financial results and meaningful impact. Blueprint seeks out high-quality opportunities from developers and entrepreneurs who want to grow and reinvigorate their neighborhoods, connecting them with investors looking for opportunities with measurable impact. Blueprint believes in locally sourced and supported opportunities and aims to focus on undervalued assets and companies that have the potential to create opportunity and economic dynamism. Woodforest is the anchor investor in both the Blueprint Texas Opportunity Zone Fund, LLP (Blueprint Texas) and Blueprint Southeast Funds (Southeast Fund in partnership with CDFI, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)). The portfolio projects in Blueprint Texas will lead to the creation of nearly 600 jobs across Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. Blueprint Southeast is estimated to have a similar impact in job creation across the Southeastern U.S.

AIC (Allivate Impact Capital®) CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund

Woodforest National Bank made a $25 million seed investment in the AIC CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund powered by an innovative collaboration between Allivate Impact Capital® and CEI-Boulos Capital Management. This team also launched the Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund which inspired this new targeted $100 million fund which will invest in high impact commercial real estate projects in qualified Opportunity Zones (OZs). Targeted projects will include those that create good jobs, affordable and workforce housing, environmentally sustainable focused real estate developments, Main Street revitalization or historic preservation developments, or developments that serve nonprofit organizations. Allivate Impact Capital® is an impact investing firm, launched in 2022 as subsidiary of Woodforest Financial Group, that leverages the strength of Woodforest’s 40+ years in financial services, and the skills of its award-winning Community Development Team, to deploy innovative capital solutions that elevate communities, alleviate poverty, and activate entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Allivate Altura Diverse Business Fund

In 2023, Woodforest National Bank made a seed investment of $10 million in the Allivate Altura Diverse Business Fund which addresses the funding gap faced by women and minority-owned businesses, particularly in underserved communities. This $50 million multi-investor fund specifically targets Opportunity Zone businesses led by diverse entrepreneurs. Beyond providing capital, the fund connects these companies with large corporations, suppliers, and other capital providers to support their growth and meet corporate diversity goals. This joint venture leverages the expertise of Allivate Impact Capital® and Altura Capital, a firm with over 15 years of experience empowering diverse businesses.

Impact Investing Contacts

Doug Schaeffer

EVP and CRA Executive Director


Noelle St.Clair Lentz

SVP, Impact Investing and Strategic Initiatives


See more of our CRA Team

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Member FDIC Equal Opportunity Employer - Equal Housing Lender Equal Housing Lender
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