Partner Community Capital™ is a small business loan fund that supports entrepreneurs who are creating jobs and businesses in underserved communities in central Appalachia and the Southeast.
Roots in Appalachia and Environmental Stewardship
By providing flexible capital and advisory services to small businesses, non-profits, and farms, Partner Community Capital (PCAP) catalyzes environmentally and socially responsible business development and wealth creation in rural, minority, and low-wealth communities.
Throughout our region, unemployment and underemployment—and the poverty and social ills that result—remain a fact of life for many, as traditional industries—coal, timber, textiles, furniture, and tobacco—have declined or moved offshore. We focus on locally owned triple-bottom-line (TBL) small businesses because they build wealth for entrepreneurs and their families, create steady employment, are committed to their community, and operate in concert with the environment.
Partner Community Capital was founded as “Natural Capital Investment Fund” in 2000 as a supporting organization to The Conservation Fund, a national nonprofit organization with a dual mission of advancing conservation that makes economic sense. Our initial goal was to address the lack of access to capital for small businesses and farms in rural communities adjacent to rich natural resources; a need identified by the Appalachian Regional Commission and WV Small Business Development Center. In 2001, Partner Community Capital was certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) by the U.S. Treasury and, in 2004, we expanded to serve all of West Virginia, becoming the first and only – still – statewide small business lender.
In 2007, we expanded to North Carolina and Virginia with support from the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation. Over the past decade, we have expanded our lending and technical assistance services to a nine-state region, spanning central Appalachia and the Southeast, including West Virginia and North Carolina and the Appalachian regions of Maryland, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia.
In 2021, we renamed our organization Partner Community Capital™! Our new name and brand reflect our deep commitment to working with borrowers, other lenders, funders, investors, and community leaders as partners in helping communities develop healthy, resilient local economies that support their goals and dreams.
In 2022, Partner Community Capital separated from The Conservation Fund and operates as an independent 501(c)3 organization.
For a year-by-year history of Partner Community Capital, see our 2015 Impact Report!