The Puerto Rico Community Foundation recently launched the Community Investment Fund to attract public and private investors into an instrument whose purpose is to provide access to capital to nonprofit organizations.
The tool is modeled after similar stateside funds designed by community foundations, many of which start it their own funds. The Puerto Rico Community Foundation followed suit, by pumping an initial $500,000 into the new fund, publicly unveiled during an event at the Puerto Rico Museum of Art.
The fund will focus on financing economic development and housing rehabilitation projects proposed by nonprofit organizations. It is projected that through the fund’s growth and increased financing capacity, it could create and maintain 600 jobs over a three- to four-period.
The event at the museum brought together public and private sector representatives who spoke of different components of the economy and the need to invest in them to lay the foundation to rebuild. Among other options proposed is providing micro-credit opportunities to reach a broader swath of would-be entrepreneurs.
“The basis for economic reconstruction can not be based solely on downsizing the government, nor depending only on large enterprises. We must stimulate investment in communities, so that a spiral of economic development is generated from the base, and the necessary jobs are created, which will foster a fairer and less dependent society,” said José Joaquín Villamil, an economist and president of Technical Studies, Inc.
The newly created fund will offer low-interest loans with easy repayment terms, said David Haddock, vice president of programs and management at the Puerto Rico Foundation.