Certified Capital Company (CAPCO) Program represents a successful endeavor to increase the flow of private capital investment towards new or expanding small businesses. The CAPCO programs model has been implemented in the District of Columbia as well as in eight states, including New York, Louisiana, Texas, Colorado, Wisconsin, Florida, Alabama and Missouri. In general, the model combines private-sector’s expertise in finding and financing businesses with the public sector’s need for a developed local economy.

The goal of CAPCO programs is to strengthen local economies by

  • Building the infrastructure for venture capital,
  • Helping the young businesses that couldn’t get the traditional financing,
  • Increasing tax revenue,
  • Creating new job opportunities.

Professional venture capitalist manage CAPCO investment funds, which are used with a goal to create new job positions, and therefore attract and expand numerous businesses. Since CAPCOs make investments and are not a grant program, only the most competitive businesses can get the investment. Each business is assessed individually, since the terms of the funding are not determined by law. The basic requirements needed include:

  1. The headquarters and principal operations must be in the District of Columbia;
  2. At least 75 percent of the company’s employees must work in the District;
  3. At least 25 percent of the employees must be the District residents;
  4. The business must qualify under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s SBA loan eligibility requirements;
  5. The proof that the traditional financing was not possible.

It is important to know that meeting the program’s minimum qualifications is not a guarantee that the CAPCOs will be making investments into that business.

If the program’s minimum qualifications are met, there are still some things that can increase the chances of securing the investment:

  • The selected product or service that this company will be offering has to have a strong commercial potential;
  • A well-developed business strategy must be presented;
  • The management of the company has to be capable of leading a successful business.

If you are a business owner, you are certain that your business meets all the necessary requirements, and you have a good business plan and financial records ready (personal financial statement, payroll records and tax returns), you should contact Wilshire DC Partners or Enhanced Capital District Fund. You can email your contact information and a business plan. You can expect to be contacted only if your business represents a competitive investment. On the other hand, if you are interested in CAPCO program, but need some help with a business plan or with preparing financial records, there are organizations that can assist you.