RuralWorks Aims To Boost Rural Economies, Climate-Smart Agriculture, Local Food Systems

Businesses in rural communities typically fall under the radar of growth-equity investors. “Traditional sources of venture capital don’t go to these markets,” says Melissa Obegi, president of impact investor Conduit Capital, U.S. “They often stick with a more tried-and-true footprint.”

That’s why RuralWorks Partners was formed. Launched last year by Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Community Reinvestment Fund, USA and Conduit, it aims to build wealth and economic and climate resilience in rural communities, along with the number and quality of jobs, by investing in growth-stage businesses with the potential to expand. “These companies are starved for the capital critical to bringing their full potential to bear on community resilience and job creation,” says Obegi, who is also a board member of RuralWorks.