The Innovate Fund has a passion for transforming communities across the state of South Carolina. As a Community Development Entity, The Innovate Fund has leveraged federal New Markets Tax Credit dollars to maximize the flow of private capital into some of the most economically depressed communities in South Carolina. We partner at a local level with community organizations to identify projects that are transformative to the community, but are lacking in access to capital.
One area where South Carolina cannot boast many positive indicators is in health and wellness. South Carolinians rank poorly in areas such as obesity and obesity-related health issues. Currently over 30 percent of South Carolinians are considered obese, and South Carolina ranks in the worst ten states for obesity-related issues, such as diabetes and hypertension. Even more troubling is the trend in childhood obesity across the state: South Carolina has the second highest rate of obesity amongst 10-17 year olds throughout the country. The Innovate Fund seeks out projects that can transform a community’s access to facilities supporting health and wellness activities in hope of reversing these trends.
While South Carolina can boast many positive economic indicators, the fact remains that there is a significant wage gap not only across our state, but as compared to the rest of the United States. South Carolinians consistently rank in the bottom three of the fifty states in per capita income, earning almost 30 percent less per year than the average American. Therefore, we are lacking in quality jobs. The Innovate Fund lends money to borrowers who commit to bringing higher paying quality jobs that also offer employee benefits. We believe that it’s the right jobs that transform communities, not just more jobs.
The Innovate Fund believes economic prosperity and health and wellness are interconnected. We believe that by financing employers who increase wages and funding organizations that create health and wellness services, our communities can be transformed. We believe in South Carolina, and more importantly, we believe in South Carolinians.