LEAF’s mission is to promote human and economic development by providing financing and development assistance to cooperatives and social purpose ventures that create and save jobs for low-income people. Since its founding over 30 years ago, LEAF has invested and leveraged over $91 million, resulting in the creation or retention of more than 6,600 jobs.
LEAF lends nationally, with a focus on community-owned natural food cooperatives that create high quality jobs and provide access to healthy food in urban and rural communities; low-income cooperative housing developments; and worker-owned firms and other community-based businesses and social enterprises.
Since 2001, the U.S. Treasury has certified LEAF as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). This assures investors that capital invested in LEAF helps the organization carry out its mission. LEAF is one of only three CDFIs in the country with a focus on cooperatives.
Through strategic partnerships with other CDFIs and technical assistance providers, LEAF is able to provide loans to communities across the country, including those in Persistent Poverty Counties.