Aligning Resources to Spur Market Development and Attract Investment Capital
Central Appalachia is a region full of contradictions, rich with cultural heritage and natural beauty, and plagued by persistent poverty and unemployment. Spread across more than two hundred and thirty counties throughout rural West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee, much of Central Appalachia suffers from chronic underinvestment and geographic isolation. At the same time, these communities are full of creativity, entrepreneurial energy, and economic potential. The Central Appalachia-based Connect Capital team is working to identify investment opportunities and aggregate and distribute blended capital resources throughout the region, with a particular focus on attracting financing from mission-driven investors. Crucially, the team is working across jurisdictional boundaries to diversify local economies, create good jobs and foster a more robust, cohesive region.
A primary goal of the Central Appalachia-based Connect Capital team is to shift the region’s narrative away from one of poverty towards one of opportunity, innovation and capacity. The team also seeks to strengthen the region’s well-being and economic health by increasing local business ownership.
The Central Appalachia Connect Capital travel team consists of staff from area foundations, a nonprofit developer, a Community Development Financial Institution, and nonprofit organizations focused on regional economic development. The larger home team includes representation from the Federal Reserve Bank system, state and regional officials, and advocacy organizations.