The U.S. Small Business Administration has licensed the first nationally focused impact investment fund, SJF Ventures III LP. The fund will make equity investments in cleantech and technology companies in communities nationwide as part of an impact investment initiative to invest up to $1.5 billion in high-growth small businesses.

SJF Ventures invests growth equity in companies with strong financial, community and environmental results. SJF’s areas of focus include: efficiency and infrastructure; reuse and recycling; sustainable agriculture and food safety; and technology enhanced services. The third fund managed by SJF Ventures will build upon a successful track record of returns and impacts across 34 SJF portfolio companies from its first two funds. Citi Community Capital, the community development lending and investing group of Citi, is the lead investor in SJF Ventures III LP, an unleveraged Small Business Investment Co. fund. The fund is committing up to $75 million of investment capital over the next five years. The impact investment initiative is expected to drive up to $1.5 billion into the hands of small businesses over the next five years. It provides funding for high-growth companies that will generate not only a financial but also a “social” return by focusing on businesses located in underserved communities or communities facing barriers to capital.

Through the initiative SBA will commit $1 billion to investment funds focused on investing in underserved markets or in sectors that have been defined as national priorities.

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