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Vision, Values, & History

We envision a prosperous, equitable, and resilient Appalachian region.

Invest Appalachia’s vision is bold: regional-scale transformation that accelerates key sectors; increases racial and socioeconomic equity; builds community wealth, local ownership, and quality jobs; and advances climate resilience and long-term sustainability.

We believe in new economic opportunities for Central Appalachia. Healthy, resilient, and equitable communities are possible across the region. We see the region’s unique cultural, environmental, and human assets as the foundation for sustainable economies that create broadly shared local wealth. Mission-oriented investors, entrepreneurs, community organizations, and local leaders must work together to advance lasting and inclusive economic opportunity. We all have a role to play in a brighter future, and partnership is the pathway to get there. 

These values illuminate our path.

Invest Appalachia changes the relationship between communities and capital. We are committed to outcomes and processes that embody our values: Participatory, Accessible, Transparent & Democratic, Equitable, Self-Reliant.

Our investments are targeted to drive outcomes including racial and socioeconomic equity, local wealth-building, sustainability, climate resilience, and community health. Our goal is to expand access to investment and opportunity that diversifies local economies and builds wealth among underserved populations. We are committed to a strategy that takes the best principles of impact investing and catalytic capital and makes them work for Central Appalachia, an area of the country where investment has historically been extractive, inequitable, or nonexistent. 


We are rooted in collaboration.

Invest Appalachia was born out of a series of conversations and deep collaboration to identify new pathways to drive investment into a region where capital historically does not flow into communities. 


Regional foundations, federal agencies, national experts, academics, social entrepreneurs, community development professionals, lenders, and researchers begin meeting to map the region’s investment ecosystem + identify obstacles and pinch points preventing larger-scale investment


Collaborative research, data analysis, and identification of needed capacities and capital tools


Task team forms to design interventions that will improve the region’s ability to attract and absorb investment


Task team converges on a central concept - a new financial intermediary that blends grants and financing to enhance existing investment networks and infrastructure + build capacity along the way


Stakeholders form transition team to select a regionally representative board and file to create a new organization - Invest Appalachia.


Board members conduct a nationally competitive hiring process and hire Andrew Crosson as CEO.


IA board and CEO navigate turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic’s health and economic tolls, uprisings for racial justice, and political unrest, while building out committees and establishing governance policies


IA selects LOCUS Impact Investing to be the Investment Manager for the future Invest Appalachia Fund


IA and LOCUS staff collaborate with regional CDFI leaders to guide the development of IA’s investment and credit policies, Fund formation and fundraising materials, financial modeling and products, stakeholder engagement, and pipeline approach


IA Fund Investment Committee and IA Community Advisory Council are formalized to guide and ground Invest Appalachia’s work


New staff and contractors help to build up the organization's internal capacity, programs, and operations


Structuring and fundraising for the IA Fund continues, with a First Close of $18.95 Million in investor commitments in November 2022


Initial funding is deployed from the Catalytic Capital Fund


Initial investment is deployed from the Invest Appalachia Fund, LLC


Ongoing blended investment from IA Fund and Catalytic Capital continues


IA Fund has it’s Final Close with $35.5 Million in total investor commitments

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