How You Can Help Support Our Efforts
The Evergreen Cooperative Development Fund was established by the Cleveland Foundation, Shorebank Enterprise Cleveland, the Ohio Employee Ownership Center at Kent State University, the Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland and the National Development Council to support the economic revitalization of the Greater University Circle neighborhoods in Cleveland.
The Fund is an investment vehicle that supports the Evergreen model of sustainable community economic development. In this model, community revitalization and stabilization are based on the creation of viable businesses owned by community residents who can generate profits that can be recycled to catalyze further business opportunities and local wealth creation.
Fund investments target start-up, Cleveland-based, employee-owned companies, with a focus on underserved industries and neighborhoods, particularly the city’s Greater University Circle area.
The Fund’s investments goal is to achieve economic returns for Fund investors while:
- Providing employment and ownership opportunities for low-income Cleveland residents;
- Meeting the business needs of area hospitals, universities and other leading nonprofit anchor institutions
- Empowering area anchor institutions and city, county and state governments to achieve their sustainability objectives
- Enhancing availability of debt financing to these institutions by providing equity or equity-like financing
The Fund’s social goals are to:
- Create new, living wage jobs for neighborhood residents
- Anchor capital within poor neighborhoods to jumpstart more local economic activity
- Promote asset accumulation for low- and moderate-income residents
- Build viable, locally owned economic enterprises that can help stabilize the neighborhoods
- Ensure income diversity and permanent housing affordability in the area