Socially Responsible Venture Capital Funds

CEI Ventures manages socially responsible venture capital funds. The company was founded in 1994 to mobilize private capital markets while advancing social goals. To date, we have raised three venture capital funds and have made $26 million in direct investments in nearly 50 companies.

We believe there is value added to financial returns by addressing a multitude of social concerns through all stages of the investment process. We have successfully identified compelling investment opportunities in a range of markets underserved by the financing community. Through investing in these companies, we create quality employment opportunities, especially for people with low to moderate incomes, promote progressive management practices, support socially beneficial products and services, enrich distressed communities, and foster environment sustainability.

By investing in innovative companies exhibiting rapid growth and dynamic transformation or emergence, we build partnerships with passionate entrepreneurs and quality management teams with relevant experience, visionary leadership, and deep commitment. These management teams develop business models to generate rapid growth based upon compelling market opportunities with realistic projections, as well as appropriate enterprise valuation and pragmatic exit plans. Our portfolio companies secure competitive advantages through proprietary technology, intellectual property, and distributions systems, while providing broad reaching social benefits.

Social Agreement

We identify entrepreneurs committed to good corporate citizenship and environmental stewardship, and each new portfolio company agrees to advance our broad ranging social goals by entering into a Social Agreement. With each investment, we bring our knowledge of socially responsible management practices, working together with CEI to introduce workforce development specialists along with environmental, technical assistance, and consulting relationships.

Coastal Enterprises Inc (CEI) was founded in 1977 as a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit Community Development Corporation (CDC) and is certified by the US Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Headquartered in Brunswick, Maine, CEI’s mission is to create economically and environmentally healthy communities in which all people, especially those with low incomes, can reach their full potential. CEI organized CEI Ventures as a separate for-profit subsidiary to further this important goal. With a history of accomplishments spanning more than 30 years, CEI provides financing, counseling and support in the development of job-creating small businesses, natural resources industries, community facilities, and affordable housing.

CEI’s Workforce Solutions department serves as a workforce intermediary, linking CEI’s lending and investment functions to the employment and training needs of people with low-to-moderate incomes. As a workforce intermediary, CEI utilizes a variety of workforce interventions to support businesses, incumbent workers, and job seekers. These services include linking people to jobs, expanding human resource capacity, implementing public and private services and programs, creating workforce development policy, and developing needs-based training promotions.