Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) is an expert in rural business, development and financing. A private, nonprofit Community Development Corporation (CDC) and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) based in Wiscasset, Maine, CEI was founded in 1977 to support job-creating natural resource and small business ventures in rural regions of Maine, its primary market, and areas of northern New England and upstate New York. With its New Markets Tax Credit Program, venture capital funds, and 7(a) lending license, CEI is able to invest in projects throughout rural America.
CEI does its work by funding, lending and investing in small and medium sized businesses and projects, and providing business support and technical advising services to promote economic opportunity for all people, particuarly for those with low incomes. A pioneer in its field, CEI is one of the nation’s premiere rural CDC/CDFIs.
CEI has subsidiaries and affiliates that enable it to expand its programs and services, such as:
- CEI Capital Management, LLC manages CEI’s $683 million allocation under the New Markets Tax Credit program
- CEI Investment Notes, Inc., which provides a way for individuals and institutions to invest in the local economy in order to reap social, environmental and economic benefits, and
- CEI Ventures, Inc., which invests venture capital in promising job-generating businesses
CEI embraces a comprehensive approach to building community assets, linking business financing to job creation, entrepreneurship, sustainable development, policy advocacy and research. The organization operates in primarily rural markets where financial returns are often insufficient to attract traditional investment, but where CEI’s goal of achieving economic, social and environmental benefits can be satisfied.