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Our Work

Invest Appalachia Fund

Finance is a powerful tool for creating equitable outcomes and systemic change if it is designed to serve community priorities. Through the Invest Appalachia Fund LLC (the IA Fund), Invest Appalachia creates new economic opportunities by offering strategic investments to businesses, intermediaries and real estate projects that have the potential to significantly benefit vulnerable populations and improve community infrastructure.

We partner with existing financial intermediaries who have their own capital sources, and collaborate on deal sourcing, underwriting, investment structuring, and servicing.

Fund terms

The Invest Appalachia Fund provides flexible, patient, and risk-tolerant loans to eligible businesses and projects. Our investments range from $100,000 to $3,000,000 (with exceptions), have terms of up to 7 years, and vary in interest rate and repayment structure. Investments may support fixed assets, equipment, real estate, facilities, construction, working capital, project finance, re-lending, and more.

To get started, submit an inquiry with the basic project information using our project submission form.


To be considered, projects must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be located in or primarily serving the Central Appalachian Region (Appalachian counties of KY, NC, OH, TN, VA, WV).
  • Create positive social, environmental, and economic impacts for communities in the region (not financially or environmentally extractive).
  • Align with one of IA’s sectors of focus, or otherwise contribute to quality jobs, local ownership, and community wealth.
  • Be financially viable (demonstrate meaningful revenue and repayment potential). Requests for non-repayable grants will not be considered.


The Invest Appalachia Fund is an affiliate LLC managed by Invest Appalachia (a 501c3). The investment policies and Investment Committee members are approved by the Invest Appalachia Board of Directors. The IA Fund is managed by LOCUS Capital, Inc., who coordinates the deal pipeline, underwriting, portfolio management, and administration. All investment decisions are made by the Investment Committee.

Lending partners

Place-based community lenders such as Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and loan funds are key partners for IA, and our investments are tailored to be compatible with these lending partners. We encourage prospective borrowers to start with their local community lender; IA may refer submitted projects to one or more of its lending partners for follow-up.

Are you looking for a lender in Central Appalachia? Check out this spreadsheet database featuring lenders serving all Central Appalachian states, compiled from an extensive Appalachian Regional Commission database.

Project Spotlights

Invest Appalachia has committed millions of dollars through the Invest Appalachia Fund to projects in Central Appalachia. Read about just a few.

Catawba Vale Collaborative

Old Fort, North Carolina

Project: The acquisition and redevelopment of a downtown building into mixed-use community real estate, by a BIPOC and female-led nonprofit developer, will create 60+ jobs and anchor equitable downtown revitalization in an economically distressed former mill town. 

Capital: The IA Fund partnered with a local CDFI to provide flexible bridge financing to purchase real estate and advance comprehensive redevelopment plans. IA capital: $925,000. Leverage: $1,075,000. 

Partners: Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation, Mountain Bizworks, Opportunity Appalachia. 


Redbud Financial Alternatives

Hazard, Kentucky

Project: This expanded credit flexibility for a payday alternative consumer lender provides emergency loans to hundreds of low-income and credit-invisible residents impacted by the E. Kentucky flooding of 2022.

Capital: The IA Fund provided a low-interest loan for re-lending, as well as a Catalytic Capital-funded loan loss reserve to backstop high-risk unsecured lending. IA capital: $275,000. Leverage: $290,000.

Partners: Redbud Financial Alternatives, Housing Development Alliance.

Martin's IGA

Martin, Kentucky

Project: A rooftop solar installation, energy-efficiency upgrades, and new equipment provide a locally owned rural grocery store with critical cost savings and the local community with job retention and continued food access for a community that would be a food desert without the store. 

Capital: The IA Fund partnered with a local CDFI to provide a flexible capital stack that included a subordinate loan from the IA Fund, a senior loan from the CDFI partner, and a loan guarantee from IA’s Catalytic Capital to cover the gap in collateral value. IA capital: $425,000. Leverage: $883,000. 

Partners: Mountain Association, Appalachian Solar Finance Fund. 

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