Durham, North Carolina

Durham, NC

Updated December 2018

Durham was once best known for its textile mills and tobacco factories, including the “Bull Durham Tobacco and Company” and “Duke & Sons.” However, in the late 1980s Durham hit hard times, marked by the closure of Erwin Mills (Burlington Industries) in 1986 and, just one year later, the American Tobacco factory.

Located in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill “Research Triangle” region of North Carolina—anchored by Duke University, the University of North Carolina, North Carolina Central University, and North Carolina State University in Raleigh— Durham has sought in recent years to reinvent itself as the “Medicine City.” Today, the city houses roughly 300 medical and health-related companies and medical practices with a combined payroll that exceeds $1.5 billion annually.

The Research Triangle region is home to over 1.5 million people. The city of Durham, like the rest of its surrounding region, has grown rapidly in recent years.  According to Census estimates, in 2017 Durham’s population grew to 267,743 residents, an increase of 17 percent from 2010.  Durham is now 48 percent white, 40 percent black, 5 percent Asian, and 3 percent two or more races. Roughly 14 percent of Durham's population identifies as Hispanic or Latino.

Despite the city’s growth, poverty remains a significant challenge.  In fact, between 2000 and 2015—a period in which Durham’s downtown attracted $1.7 billion in public and private investments—the city’s poverty rate increased from 15 to 19 percent.  Durham’s Hispanic and black residents fare considerably worse, with 32 and 24 percent, respectively, living below the poverty line, compared to just 8 percent of the city’s white residents.  Homeownership also varies significantly by race:  while nearly three-fourth of all white residents own homes, well under half of all Hispanic (43 percent) and black (46 percent) residents are homeowners.  Moreover, housing affordability is a severe challenge with only 34 affordable units available for every 100 extremely low-income households.

Working to address these challenges are a range of community wealth building organizations and initiatives.  For example, Durham Community Land Trustees (DCLT), catalyzed in 1987 by residents concerned with rising home prices, absentee landlords, and housing disrepair, builds, manages, and advocates for permanently affordable housing.  The land trust now owns and manages 282 units that provide rental and homeownership opportunities to 325 low-income people.  Another innovative organization is The Forest Foundation, which is creating green jobs by converting local restaurants’ waste oil into fuel for a green transportation business and using compostable matter from the collection to revitalize a brownfield site. 

Moreover, many of the city’s anchor institutions are working to mitigate Durham’s socioeconomic challenges.  For example, since 2007, Duke University has maintained $2.4 million in deposits with the Latino Community Credit Union (a Durham-based CDFI), helping thousands of credit union members obtain low-cost financial products.  In July 2018, Duke increased its total deposits to $6 million, enabling 88 Durham first-time homebuyers to secure affordable mortgages. Duke also runs a supplier diversity program to increase its annual spend with local businesses that encounter obstacles to market entry, customer access, and financial growth. 

An overview of community wealth building efforts follows:

 

Anchor Institutions

Duke University

Duke University strives to leverage its resources as a local anchor institution to build a stronger, more vibrant Durham.  For example, since 2007, the University has maintained $2.4 million in deposits with the Latino Community Credit Union (a Durham-based CDFI), funds that have been used to help thousands of the CDFI’s members to obtain low-cost financial products.  In July 2018, Duke increased its total deposits to $6 million, enabling 88 Durham first-time homebuyers to secure affordable mortgages.  Recognizing that supplier diversity is critical to both overcoming systemic barriers stemming from historic inequity and adding value to its university and hospital system, Duke implemented a supplier diversity program to increase its annual spend with local businesses that encounter obstacles to market entry, customer access, and financial growth.  Focused on increasing procurement from small, local, women, and minority-owned firms, the program ensures diverse suppliers participate in competitive bidding, matches diverse suppliers with Duke buyers, promotes the use of diverse suppliers within the Duke community, and helps connect high performing suppliers to other businesses and organizations.  Also committed to sustainability, Duke has a Green Purchasing Program that encourages buyers to select more environmentally friendly products when quality and cost performance are equal or superior.

ReCity

ReCity is a 12,000 square foot co-working center dedicated to supporting Durham nonprofits and residents addressing challenges related to race, gender, wealth, and opportunity.  The Center is credited with saving its members $25,000 a year while boosting their credibility, impact, services, and staff morale.  Through ReCity’s Unity Fellowship program, the nonprofit also aims to boost the capacity of Durham’s nonprofit leaders by training them in organizational practices and leadership skills that promote long term organizational stability and effectiveness.

Triangle Community Foundation

Established in 1983, the Triangle Community Foundation stewards 850 philanthropic funds totaling over $209 million in assets.  In 2016, the foundation awarded more than $21 million in grants and individual scholarships to nonprofit organizations and individuals in the Triangle region (Durham, Chatham, Orange, and Wake counties).  Through the foundation’s Community Development program, the Durham-based nonprofit supports multi-faceted approaches helping families and communities overcome persistent poverty.

Community Development Corporations (CDCs)

United Durham Inc. Community Development Corporation

Founded in 1974, United Durham Inc. Community Development Corporation (UDI/CDC) aims to raise the economic welfare and education of low-income Durham residents.  UDI’s development projects include a 91-acre industrial park that employs 300 people, a retail shopping center anchored by a Food Lion in a neighborhood previously lacking a major grocer, a 3.5 acre urban farm, and 82 units of affordable housing.  The nonprofit also has a revolving loan fund credited with providing over $1 million in loans to small businesses.

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)

Latino Community Credit Union

Founded in 2000 as a grassroots response to a wave of robberies and muggings targeting Durham’s Latino immigrants, Latino Community Credit Union (LCCU) aims to serve as a safe place for Latinos to save money, access credit, and build wealth.  The credit union has 75,000 members, 65 percent of whom were previously unbanked, and has $277 million in assets.  To enable deposits to serve as community assets, LCCU offers CDs that provide members with a way to earn interest while providing capital that can be used to help area residents purchase a first home or afford higher education.  The credit union also partners with the Latino Community Development Center to provide free financial literacy workshops in branches across North Carolina.

Self-Help

Founded in Durham, Self-Help has grown into a CDFI comprising an advocacy group, a loan fund, and two credit unions serving over 145,000 members across North Carolina, California, Florida, and the greater Chicago region.  Since its establishment in 1980, Self-Help has made 146,000 loans to families, individuals, and organizations, and has provided $7.1 billion in financing to projects credited with creating or maintaining 45,000 jobs.

Community Land Trusts (CLTs)

Durham Community Land Trustees

Catalyzed in 1987 by residents concerned with rising home prices, absentee landlords, and housing disrepair, Durham Community Land Trustees (DCLT) builds, manages, and advocates for permanently affordable housing.  The land trust now owns and manages 282 units, which provides rental and homeownership opportunities to 325 low-income people.  Committed to supporting local businesses, DCLT procured over $300,000 in services from small, local subcontractors in 2017.

Cooperatives (Co-ops)

Durham Co-op Market

Opened in 2015, the Durham Co-op Market is a grocery that aims to return as much revenue as possible to the community by supporting local farms, selling locally-made products, and supporting local jobs.  The cooperative employs 60 people, over half of whom live within a mile of the store.  To help ensure affordability, the co-op offers people who qualify for SNAP benefits a discounted membership and ten percent off on all purchases.

Piedmont Wholesale Flowers

Operating out of Durham’s Bull City Cool food hub, Piedmont Wholesale Flowers is a cooperative of local flower farmers who supply a reliable source of high quality seasonal flowers and foliage to area wholesale buyers.  The cooperative currently includes nine small farms located in central North Carolina.

Green Economy

Greenway Transit

Greenway Transit is the first and only green transportation company in the Southeast with vehicles that run exclusively on human energy or biofuels.  Aiming to help revitalize a brownfield site located within a low-income Durham community, Greenway established its headquarters at The Forest Foundation’s GOAL campus.  Since its launch in 2008, Greenway has created dozens of green jobs while providing carbon-free transportation services to thousands of people on a monthly basis.

The Forest Foundation

Launched in 2001, The Forest Foundation aims to improve relationships among people and the planet.  Through its GOAL initiative, the nonprofit is working to revitalize a brownfield site in Durham while creating green jobs by collecting waste vegetable oil from local restaurants, converting it into fuel for a green transportation business and members of a local bio-fuel cooperative, and using compostable matter from the collection to mitigate the site’s soil and nourish vegetable gardens.  The Forest Foundation also runs a green job training program, Green Tracks, which has trained 100 community members since its start in 2012.

The Scrap Exchange

Founded in 1991 to create a sustainable supply of high-quality, low-cost materials for artists, educators, and other creative people, The Scrap Exchange is a nonprofit focused on promoting creativity, environmental awareness, and community through reuse.  In 2016, the nonprofit helped divert 266 tons of reusable materials from the waste stream and served 477,154 people at its Creative Reuse Center, which includes its retail store, an art gallery, classrooms, and a community garden.  The Scrap Exchange is currently re-developing a 12.5 acre under-utilized shopping mall into the Reuse Arts District, a site it envisions housing new Scrap Exchange facilities and arts programs, as well as community gardens, a sculpture park, affordable housing, and other amenities.

Impact Investing

Duke University’s CASE i3 Initiative on Impact Investing

Launched in 2001, Duke University’s CASE i3 Initiative on Impact Investing develops resources and activities to support the growth of the impact investing field.  One such resource is CASE Smart Impact Capital, an online toolkit focused on how to raise impact investment capital.  From its launch in October 2017 to July 2018, 15,281 people from 130 countries accessed the toolkit.  Through its CASE i3 Consulting Program (CASE i3CP), the Initiative also helps about six organizations each year research a question or challenge related to impact investing, assess options, and develop actionable solutions.

Investors’ Circle Social Venture Network

Headquartered in Durham, the Investors’ Circle Social Venture Network (IC-SVN) was formed in January 2018 when Investor’s Circle (the nation’s first early-stage impact investing network) and Social Venture Network (a group dedicated to demonstrating the ‘triple bottom line’ potential of valuing people, planet, and profit) merged.  By combining their resources and expertise, the organizations aim to more effectively serve a network of capital and resource providers working to support the growth of social and environmental impact-oriented enterprises. IC-SVN has facilitated over $220 million in investments into more than 330 early-stage social ventures and boasts over 500 members, making it the largest and most active early-stage impact investing network in the U.S.

SJF Ventures

Guided by a mission to catalyze the development of highly successful businesses driving lasting, positive changes, SJF Ventures (originally known as the “Sustainable Job Fund”) invests in high-growth companies creating a healthier, smarter, and cleaner future. Since its launch in 1999, SJF has invested in more than 50 ventures, creating over 8,300 jobs.  To further its impact, SJF also advocates for policies that foster a more sustainable, just economy.

Individual Wealth Building

American Underground

American Underground provides high-growth potential technology, consumer product, digital health, and social enterprise startups with a range of resources including workspace, free one-on-one consultations with local business and innovation experts, and business development programs.  Launched in Durham in 2010, American Underground now operates four locations across the Durham area and supports about 275 start-up companies, nearly half of which are led by women and/or people of color.  From 2016-2017, American Underground companies created 608 jobs, obtained $39.4 million in total funding, and spent nearly $2 million at local businesses.

Helius Foundation

The Helius Foundation provides small businesses and necessity-driven entrepreneurs (i.e., people who cannot find traditional, living wage employment) with free business training and coaching, and access to low-interest microloans.  In 2017, the nonprofit supported 47 entrepreneurs, eight of whom launched businesses.

iNvictus

iNvictus is a coworking office space that offers mentoring, consulting, and other supports to Durham area entrepreneurs and startups, with a focus on minority entrepreneurs.  Through its EMERGE (Entrepreneurship, Mentorship, Economic Development, Research, Growth & Education) Forward Outreach initiative, iNvictus aims to provide minority entrepreneurs with the consulting and mentorship needed to grow strong, sustainable businesses.  Since the program’s launch in 2010, it has supported about 300 enterprises.  EMERGE Forward also runs a range of initiatives to expose youth to entrepreneurship including camps, after-school programs, and in-school curriculum.

MDC

Founded in 1967 to provide job training for workers transitioning from an agricultural, segregated economy to an industrial, integrated one, MDC (formerly know as Manpower Development Corporation) now works to catalyze economic progress across the South through training and employment, community college improvement, rural economic development, strategic philanthropy, workforce competitiveness, school reform, and grassroots community leadership.  Through its Work Supports Initiative, MDC created and now manages The Benefit Bank of North Carolina (TBB-NC), a statewide effort that connects low and moderate-income North Carolinians to work and educational supports such as tax credits, food and health benefits, and student financial aid.  Since 2010, TBB-NC has helped 32,000 low-income households access $48 million in supports.

The Community Empowerment Fund

Founded in 2009, The Community Empowerment Fund (CEF) is a student-run nonprofit cultivating opportunities, assets, and communities that support the alleviation of homelessness and poverty.  To do so, CEF provides support, workforce development, financial education, and matched savings accounts to individuals experiencing or at-risk of experiencing homelessness in Durham and Orange Counties.  In 2016, the nonprofit supported 1,033 people, including 185 who participated in the matched savings program, saving nearly $223,000.

University of North Carolina’s Small Business and Technology Development Center

Established in 1984, the University of North Carolina’s Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) focuses on helping North Carolina businesses grow and create new jobs.  To do so, SBTDC provides free management counseling and educational services to small and mid-sized businesses, as well as research, planning facilitation and strategy development to public and private sector organizations so they can foster and enhance their communities’ business environment.  With 17 offices located across the state on University of North Carolina campuses, SBTDC can tap into University faculty, staff, and student expertise and connect area businesses interested in additional support to student interns.

Local Food Systems

Bull City Cool

Opened in 2015, Bull City Cool is a shared dry storage warehouse where local farmers’ fresh food is aggregated and then distributed to those in need.  The project was catalyzed by Reinvestment Partners, a Durham-based community development corporation, to facilitate access to healthy, fresh food for hunger relief nonprofits.  To support area farmers, the Hub also conducts educational workshops.

Durham Farmers’ Market

Operating since 1999, the Durham Farmers’ Market sells fresh produce, artisanal foods, and handcrafted wares from more than 65 vendors who live no more than 70 miles from the market.  To help ensure all area residents can access healthy, fresh food, the market accepts SNAP/EBT benefits and has a Double Bucks Program that matches SNAP transactions up to $10 (thus, SNAP recipients spending $10 can buy $20 of food).  The market also participates in the Farmer Foodshare's Donation Station Program, an effort that collects fresh food and cash (used to buy additional fresh food) from market customers and donates the food to those in need.

Farmer Food Share

Aiming to nurture a healthier world in which all people can access nutritious food, Farmer Food Share works to remove barriers to growing and accessing local, healthy food across North Carolina.  To do so, the Durham-based nonprofit’s core programs include:  1) Donation Stations located at roughly 40 farmer’s markets across the state at which shoppers can donate food and money; 2) a Whole Market, which buys fresh produce from farms and sells it to nonprofits serving low-wealth communities, schools, groceries, and other institutions; and 3) Food Ambassadors who provide nutrition and related education to agencies and individuals.  In 2017, the nonprofit’s work was credited with supporting over 600 local farmers and providing fresh food to 92,770 people.

South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces (SEEDS), Inc.

Founded in 1994, South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces (SEEDS) nurtures youths’ capacity to respect life, the earth, and each other through growing, cooking, and sharing.  To do so, the nonprofit has a two-acre urban garden and kitchen classroom from which it operates a range of youth-focused programs including a summer camp and a free after-school farm club.  The nonprofit also helped launch the Durham Farmers Market in 1998, a venue from which it sells produce.

Municipal Enterprise

City of Durham Sanitary Landfill

The City of Durham Sanitary Landfill is a city-owned landfill containing 3.6 million tons of waste.  Since 2009, the City has been capturing the gas produced as organic material in the landfill decomposes and converting it to electricity.  The effort has the capacity to produce two megawatts of electricity, which is used by Duke Energy to provide power for about 1,900 residential customers.

GoDurham

City-owned since 1991, GoDurham provides bus and paratransit services across Durham.  In 2016, GoDurham operated 24 bus routes and served 5.9 million passengers.  To help encourage ridership, all of its buses are equipped with free WiFi, and seniors and children ride for free.

New State & Local Policies

Durham People’s Alliance

Founded in 1976, Durham People’s Alliance (PA) is a grassroots, membership organization working to foster a more just and equitable Durham and North Carolina.  Committed to broad participation and democratic decision-making, PA makes all major decisions at its full membership meetings and encourages members to lead new organizing efforts.  PA is credited with being the driving force behind Durham’s “livable” wage ordinance and securing funds to support free tax preparation services. To incentivize private employers to pay a living wage, PA developed the Durham Living Wage Project, which certifies and publicly recognizes employers that pay at least the City’s current livable wage to all full- and part-time workers.  PA currently has over 1,000 members.

Social Enterprise

Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers

Founded in 1994, Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers (TROSA) is a substance abuse, residential treatment facility that supports more than 500 recovering individuals on a daily basis.  A core part of TROSA’s program is its social enterprises, which provide work-based vocational training to its residents while generating about 70 percent of the nonprofit’s total revenues.  TROSA’s social enterprises include a moving company (which has grown into the largest independent mover in the Triangle region), a lawn care maintenance enterprise, a thrift store, and a Christmas tree business.

State Asset Building Initiatives

Center for Responsible Lending

Based in Durham, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) aims to ensure that the financial marketplace is fair and inclusive for all responsible borrowers regardless of their income.  To do so, the nonprofit conducts research on the extent and impact of predatory lending and develops and promotes policy solutions designed to reform lending practices at the state and federal level.  Launched in Durham in 1999, the nonprofit now works with state coalitions across the country and has offices in Washington, D.C. and Oakland, California.

Land Loss Prevention Project

Established in 1982 by the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers to help curb the epidemic losses of black-owned land in the state, the Land Loss Prevention Project (LPP) now provides legal support and assistance to all of North Carolina’s financially distressed and limited resourced farmers and landowners.  Through LPP’s SmartGrowth Business Center, the nonprofit also offers consultation and legal assistance to help farmers meet their business goals and area residents who are considering agricultural entrepreneurship.

Reinvestment Partners

Established in 1986 as a project of North Carolina Legal Services, Reinvestment Partners (formerly named the Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina) works to promote economic justice and opportunity.  To do so, the nonprofit has three core focuses:  1) Local services, through which it provides housing counseling and free tax preparation services to thousands of families on an annual basis; 2) Community development, a program credited with financing North Carolina’s first manufactured housing community land trust; and 3) Policy advocacy and research.

The Institute

The Institute (formerly named the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development) aims to strengthen the asset base of diverse populations through policy, education, and opportunity.  The nonprofit’s four core programs include:  1) Women Business Development, which helps women launch, operate, and grow successful enterprises; 2) Construction Business Diversity, which includes matchmaking and other services to diversify the construction industry; 3) Transportation Business Diversity, which boosts the capacity of small and disadvantaged businesses interested in bidding on federally funded transportation projects; and 4) Public Allies, which offers young adults paid apprenticeships designed to help them grow into community leaders. Since its formation in 1986, the nonprofit is credited with serving over 10,000 clients and helping people access financial and contract awards totaling $700 million.

University & Community Partnerships

Duke Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE)

Based at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) aims to help leaders and organizations develop the business skills needed to achieve lasting social change.  Since 2002, CASE has educated thousands of MBA students and worked with thousands of organizations, funders, government agencies, and researchers to define, connect theory and practice, and advance the field of social entrepreneurship.  Most recently, CASE has expanded its work from supporting social entrepreneurs to building an ecosystem through which social entrepreneurs can succeed and scale their operations.

Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (Duke I&E)

Aiming to help entrepreneurial leaders and scholars turn knowledge into action while pursuing innovative solutions to the world’s pressing problems, the Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (Duke I&E) serves as a hub for entrepreneurship at Duke University, building programs and collaborating with colleges, institutes, centers, and initiatives across Duke and the Duke Health System.  Through its Innovation & Entrepreneurship Academy, Duke I&E offers free sessions to students, faculty, staff, and community members designed to expand innovation and entrepreneurial skills.  The Initiative also includes the Duke Angel Network, which is credited with investing $6.1 million into 16 companies affiliated with the university.

Worker Cooperatives

Carolina Common Enterprise

Based in Durham, Carolina Common Enterprise (CCE) aims to help people, especially those living in low-income and socially disadvantaged rural and urban areas, to create, expand, and improve community-based enterprises, with a focus on those that are cooperatively or mutually owned and governed.  Services include business and organizational guidance, technical assistance, and cooperative education.  To date, CCE has helped launch three cooperatively-structured enterprises.

Tangerine Clean

Tangerine Clean is a locally-owned natural home cleaning cooperative serving the Durham and Chapel Hill area.  Committed to creating a more sustainable world, the co-op only uses natural and organic cleaning agents.

Individual Wealth Building

American Underground

American Underground provides high-growth potential technology, consumer product, digital health, and social enterprise startups with a range of resources including workspace, free one-on-one consultations with local business and innovation experts, and business development programs.  Launched in Durham in 2010, American Underground now operates four locations across the Durham area and supports about 275 start-up companies, nearly half of which are led by women and/or people of color.  From 2016-2017, American Underground companies created 608 jobs, obtained $39.4 million in total funding, and spent nearly $2 million at local businesses.

Helius Foundation

The Helius Foundation provides small businesses and necessity-driven entrepreneurs (i.e., people who cannot find traditional, living wage employment) with free business training and coaching, and access to low-interest microloans.  In 2017, the nonprofit supported 47 entrepreneurs, eight of whom launched businesses.

iNvictus

iNvictus is a coworking office space that offers mentoring, consulting, and other supports to Durham area entrepreneurs and startups, with a focus on minority entrepreneurs.  Through its EMERGE (Entrepreneurship, Mentorship, Economic Development, Research, Growth & Education) Forward Outreach initiative, iNvictus aims to provide minority entrepreneurs with the consulting and mentorship needed to grow strong, sustainable businesses.  Since the program’s launch in 2010, it has supported about 300 enterprises.  EMERGE Forward also runs a range of initiatives to expose youth to entrepreneurship including camps, after-school programs, and in-school curriculum.

MDC

Founded in 1967 to provide job training for workers transitioning from an agricultural, segregated economy to an industrial, integrated one, MDC (formerly know as Manpower Development Corporation) now works to catalyze economic progress across the South through training and employment, community college improvement, rural economic development, strategic philanthropy, workforce competitiveness, school reform, and grassroots community leadership.  Through its Work Supports Initiative, MDC created and now manages The Benefit Bank of North Carolina (TBB-NC), a statewide effort that connects low and moderate-income North Carolinians to work and educational supports such as tax credits, food and health benefits, and student financial aid.  Since 2010, TBB-NC has helped 32,000 low-income households access $48 million in supports.

The Community Empowerment Fund

Founded in 2009, The Community Empowerment Fund (CEF) is a student-run nonprofit cultivating opportunities, assets, and communities that support the alleviation of homelessness and poverty.  To do so, CEF provides support, workforce development, financial education, and matched savings accounts to individuals experiencing or at-risk of experiencing homelessness in Durham and Orange Counties.  In 2016, the nonprofit supported 1,033 people, including 185 who participated in the matched savings program, saving nearly $223,000.

University of North Carolina’s Small Business and Technology Development Center

Established in 1984, the University of North Carolina’s Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) focuses on helping North Carolina businesses grow and create new jobs.  To do so, SBTDC provides free management counseling and educational services to small and mid-sized businesses, as well as research, planning facilitation and strategy development to public and private sector organizations so they can foster and enhance their communities’ business environment.  With 17 offices located across the state on University of North Carolina campuses, SBTDC can tap into University faculty, staff, and student expertise and connect area businesses interested in additional support to student interns.

Local Food Systems

Bull City Cool

Opened in 2015, Bull City Cool is a shared dry storage warehouse where local farmers’ fresh food is aggregated and then distributed to those in need.  The project was catalyzed by Reinvestment Partners, a Durham-based community development corporation, to facilitate access to healthy, fresh food for hunger relief nonprofits.  To support area farmers, the Hub also conducts educational workshops.

Durham Farmers’ Market

Operating since 1999, the Durham Farmers’ Market sells fresh produce, artisanal foods, and handcrafted wares from more than 65 vendors who live no more than 70 miles from the market.  To help ensure all area residents can access healthy, fresh food, the market accepts SNAP/EBT benefits and has a Double Bucks Program that matches SNAP transactions up to $10 (thus, SNAP recipients spending $10 can buy $20 of food).  The market also participates in the Farmer Foodshare's Donation Station Program, an effort that collects fresh food and cash (used to buy additional fresh food) from market customers and donates the food to those in need.

Farmer Food Share

Aiming to nurture a healthier world in which all people can access nutritious food, Farmer Food Share works to remove barriers to growing and accessing local, healthy food across North Carolina.  To do so, the Durham-based nonprofit’s core programs include:  1) Donation Stations located at roughly 40 farmer’s markets across the state at which shoppers can donate food and money; 2) a Whole Market, which buys fresh produce from farms and sells it to nonprofits serving low-wealth communities, schools, groceries, and other institutions; and 3) Food Ambassadors who provide nutrition and related education to agencies and individuals.  In 2017, the nonprofit’s work was credited with supporting over 600 local farmers and providing fresh food to 92,770 people.

South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces (SEEDS), Inc.

Founded in 1994, South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces (SEEDS) nurtures youths’ capacity to respect life, the earth, and each other through growing, cooking, and sharing.  To do so, the nonprofit has a two-acre urban garden and kitchen classroom from which it operates a range of youth-focused programs including a summer camp and a free after-school farm club.  The nonprofit also helped launch the Durham Farmers Market in 1998, a venue from which it sells produce.

Worker Cooperatives

Carolina Common Enterprise

Based in Durham, Carolina Common Enterprise (CCE) aims to help people, especially those living in low-income and socially disadvantaged rural and urban areas, to create, expand, and improve community-based enterprises, with a focus on those that are cooperatively or mutually owned and governed.  Services include business and organizational guidance, technical assistance, and cooperative education.  To date, CCE has helped launch three cooperatively-structured enterprises.

Tangerine Clean

Tangerine Clean is a locally-owned natural home cleaning cooperative serving the Durham and Chapel Hill area.  Committed to creating a more sustainable world, the co-op only uses natural and organic cleaning agents.

State Asset Building Initiatives

Center for Responsible Lending

Based in Durham, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) aims to ensure that the financial marketplace is fair and inclusive for all responsible borrowers regardless of their income.  To do so, the nonprofit conducts research on the extent and impact of predatory lending and develops and promotes policy solutions designed to reform lending practices at the state and federal level.  Launched in Durham in 1999, the nonprofit now works with state coalitions across the country and has offices in Washington, D.C. and Oakland, California.

Land Loss Prevention Project

Established in 1982 by the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers to help curb the epidemic losses of black-owned land in the state, the Land Loss Prevention Project (LPP) now provides legal support and assistance to all of North Carolina’s financially distressed and limited resourced farmers and landowners.  Through LPP’s SmartGrowth Business Center, the nonprofit also offers consultation and legal assistance to help farmers meet their business goals and area residents who are considering agricultural entrepreneurship.

Reinvestment Partners

Established in 1986 as a project of North Carolina Legal Services, Reinvestment Partners (formerly named the Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina) works to promote economic justice and opportunity.  To do so, the nonprofit has three core focuses:  1) Local services, through which it provides housing counseling and free tax preparation services to thousands of families on an annual basis; 2) Community development, a program credited with financing North Carolina’s first manufactured housing community land trust; and 3) Policy advocacy and research.

The Institute

The Institute (formerly named the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development) aims to strengthen the asset base of diverse populations through policy, education, and opportunity.  The nonprofit’s four core programs include:  1) Women Business Development, which helps women launch, operate, and grow successful enterprises; 2) Construction Business Diversity, which includes matchmaking and other services to diversify the construction industry; 3) Transportation Business Diversity, which boosts the capacity of small and disadvantaged businesses interested in bidding on federally funded transportation projects; and 4) Public Allies, which offers young adults paid apprenticeships designed to help them grow into community leaders. Since its formation in 1986, the nonprofit is credited with serving over 10,000 clients and helping people access financial and contract awards totaling $700 million.

Municipal Enterprise

City of Durham Sanitary Landfill

The City of Durham Sanitary Landfill is a city-owned landfill containing 3.6 million tons of waste.  Since 2009, the City has been capturing the gas produced as organic material in the landfill decomposes and converting it to electricity.  The effort has the capacity to produce two megawatts of electricity, which is used by Duke Energy to provide power for about 1,900 residential customers.

GoDurham

City-owned since 1991, GoDurham provides bus and paratransit services across Durham.  In 2016, GoDurham operated 24 bus routes and served 5.9 million passengers.  To help encourage ridership, all of its buses are equipped with free WiFi, and seniors and children ride for free.

University & Community Partnerships

Duke Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE)

Based at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) aims to help leaders and organizations develop the business skills needed to achieve lasting social change.  Since 2002, CASE has educated thousands of MBA students and worked with thousands of organizations, funders, government agencies, and researchers to define, connect theory and practice, and advance the field of social entrepreneurship.  Most recently, CASE has expanded its work from supporting social entrepreneurs to building an ecosystem through which social entrepreneurs can succeed and scale their operations.

Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (Duke I&E)

Aiming to help entrepreneurial leaders and scholars turn knowledge into action while pursuing innovative solutions to the world’s pressing problems, the Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (Duke I&E) serves as a hub for entrepreneurship at Duke University, building programs and collaborating with colleges, institutes, centers, and initiatives across Duke and the Duke Health System.  Through its Innovation & Entrepreneurship Academy, Duke I&E offers free sessions to students, faculty, staff, and community members designed to expand innovation and entrepreneurial skills.  The Initiative also includes the Duke Angel Network, which is credited with investing $6.1 million into 16 companies affiliated with the university.

Anchor Institutions

Duke University

Duke University strives to leverage its resources as a local anchor institution to build a stronger, more vibrant Durham.  For example, since 2007, the University has maintained $2.4 million in deposits with the Latino Community Credit Union (a Durham-based CDFI), funds that have been used to help thousands of the CDFI’s members to obtain low-cost financial products.  In July 2018, Duke increased its total deposits to $6 million, enabling 88 Durham first-time homebuyers to secure affordable mortgages.  Recognizing that supplier diversity is critical to both overcoming systemic barriers stemming from historic inequity and adding value to its university and hospital system, Duke implemented a supplier diversity program to increase its annual spend with local businesses that encounter obstacles to market entry, customer access, and financial growth.  Focused on increasing procurement from small, local, women, and minority-owned firms, the program ensures diverse suppliers participate in competitive bidding, matches diverse suppliers with Duke buyers, promotes the use of diverse suppliers within the Duke community, and helps connect high performing suppliers to other businesses and organizations.  Also committed to sustainability, Duke has a Green Purchasing Program that encourages buyers to select more environmentally friendly products when quality and cost performance are equal or superior.

ReCity

ReCity is a 12,000 square foot co-working center dedicated to supporting Durham nonprofits and residents addressing challenges related to race, gender, wealth, and opportunity.  The Center is credited with saving its members $25,000 a year while boosting their credibility, impact, services, and staff morale.  Through ReCity’s Unity Fellowship program, the nonprofit also aims to boost the capacity of Durham’s nonprofit leaders by training them in organizational practices and leadership skills that promote long term organizational stability and effectiveness.

Triangle Community Foundation

Established in 1983, the Triangle Community Foundation stewards 850 philanthropic funds totaling over $209 million in assets.  In 2016, the foundation awarded more than $21 million in grants and individual scholarships to nonprofit organizations and individuals in the Triangle region (Durham, Chatham, Orange, and Wake counties).  Through the foundation’s Community Development program, the Durham-based nonprofit supports multi-faceted approaches helping families and communities overcome persistent poverty.

Impact Investing

Duke University’s CASE i3 Initiative on Impact Investing

Launched in 2001, Duke University’s CASE i3 Initiative on Impact Investing develops resources and activities to support the growth of the impact investing field.  One such resource is CASE Smart Impact Capital, an online toolkit focused on how to raise impact investment capital.  From its launch in October 2017 to July 2018, 15,281 people from 130 countries accessed the toolkit.  Through its CASE i3 Consulting Program (CASE i3CP), the Initiative also helps about six organizations each year research a question or challenge related to impact investing, assess options, and develop actionable solutions.

Investors’ Circle Social Venture Network

Headquartered in Durham, the Investors’ Circle Social Venture Network (IC-SVN) was formed in January 2018 when Investor’s Circle (the nation’s first early-stage impact investing network) and Social Venture Network (a group dedicated to demonstrating the ‘triple bottom line’ potential of valuing people, planet, and profit) merged.  By combining their resources and expertise, the organizations aim to more effectively serve a network of capital and resource providers working to support the growth of social and environmental impact-oriented enterprises. IC-SVN has facilitated over $220 million in investments into more than 330 early-stage social ventures and boasts over 500 members, making it the largest and most active early-stage impact investing network in the U.S.

SJF Ventures

Guided by a mission to catalyze the development of highly successful businesses driving lasting, positive changes, SJF Ventures (originally known as the “Sustainable Job Fund”) invests in high-growth companies creating a healthier, smarter, and cleaner future. Since its launch in 1999, SJF has invested in more than 50 ventures, creating over 8,300 jobs.  To further its impact, SJF also advocates for policies that foster a more sustainable, just economy.

Cooperatives (Co-ops)

Durham Co-op Market

Opened in 2015, the Durham Co-op Market is a grocery that aims to return as much revenue as possible to the community by supporting local farms, selling locally-made products, and supporting local jobs.  The cooperative employs 60 people, over half of whom live within a mile of the store.  To help ensure affordability, the co-op offers people who qualify for SNAP benefits a discounted membership and ten percent off on all purchases.

Piedmont Wholesale Flowers

Operating out of Durham’s Bull City Cool food hub, Piedmont Wholesale Flowers is a cooperative of local flower farmers who supply a reliable source of high quality seasonal flowers and foliage to area wholesale buyers.  The cooperative currently includes nine small farms located in central North Carolina.

Community Land Trusts (CLTs)

Durham Community Land Trustees

Catalyzed in 1987 by residents concerned with rising home prices, absentee landlords, and housing disrepair, Durham Community Land Trustees (DCLT) builds, manages, and advocates for permanently affordable housing.  The land trust now owns and manages 282 units, which provides rental and homeownership opportunities to 325 low-income people.  Committed to supporting local businesses, DCLT procured over $300,000 in services from small, local subcontractors in 2017.

New State & Local Policies

Durham People’s Alliance

Founded in 1976, Durham People’s Alliance (PA) is a grassroots, membership organization working to foster a more just and equitable Durham and North Carolina.  Committed to broad participation and democratic decision-making, PA makes all major decisions at its full membership meetings and encourages members to lead new organizing efforts.  PA is credited with being the driving force behind Durham’s “livable” wage ordinance and securing funds to support free tax preparation services. To incentivize private employers to pay a living wage, PA developed the Durham Living Wage Project, which certifies and publicly recognizes employers that pay at least the City’s current livable wage to all full- and part-time workers.  PA currently has over 1,000 members.

Green Economy

Greenway Transit

Greenway Transit is the first and only green transportation company in the Southeast with vehicles that run exclusively on human energy or biofuels.  Aiming to help revitalize a brownfield site located within a low-income Durham community, Greenway established its headquarters at The Forest Foundation’s GOAL campus.  Since its launch in 2008, Greenway has created dozens of green jobs while providing carbon-free transportation services to thousands of people on a monthly basis.

The Forest Foundation

Launched in 2001, The Forest Foundation aims to improve relationships among people and the planet.  Through its GOAL initiative, the nonprofit is working to revitalize a brownfield site in Durham while creating green jobs by collecting waste vegetable oil from local restaurants, converting it into fuel for a green transportation business and members of a local bio-fuel cooperative, and using compostable matter from the collection to mitigate the site’s soil and nourish vegetable gardens.  The Forest Foundation also runs a green job training program, Green Tracks, which has trained 100 community members since its start in 2012.

The Scrap Exchange

Founded in 1991 to create a sustainable supply of high-quality, low-cost materials for artists, educators, and other creative people, The Scrap Exchange is a nonprofit focused on promoting creativity, environmental awareness, and community through reuse.  In 2016, the nonprofit helped divert 266 tons of reusable materials from the waste stream and served 477,154 people at its Creative Reuse Center, which includes its retail store, an art gallery, classrooms, and a community garden.  The Scrap Exchange is currently re-developing a 12.5 acre under-utilized shopping mall into the Reuse Arts District, a site it envisions housing new Scrap Exchange facilities and arts programs, as well as community gardens, a sculpture park, affordable housing, and other amenities.

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)

Latino Community Credit Union

Founded in 2000 as a grassroots response to a wave of robberies and muggings targeting Durham’s Latino immigrants, Latino Community Credit Union (LCCU) aims to serve as a safe place for Latinos to save money, access credit, and build wealth.  The credit union has 75,000 members, 65 percent of whom were previously unbanked, and has $277 million in assets.  To enable deposits to serve as community assets, LCCU offers CDs that provide members with a way to earn interest while providing capital that can be used to help area residents purchase a first home or afford higher education.  The credit union also partners with the Latino Community Development Center to provide free financial literacy workshops in branches across North Carolina.

Self-Help

Founded in Durham, Self-Help has grown into a CDFI comprising an advocacy group, a loan fund, and two credit unions serving over 145,000 members across North Carolina, California, Florida, and the greater Chicago region.  Since its establishment in 1980, Self-Help has made 146,000 loans to families, individuals, and organizations, and has provided $7.1 billion in financing to projects credited with creating or maintaining 45,000 jobs.

Social Enterprise

Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers

Founded in 1994, Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers (TROSA) is a substance abuse, residential treatment facility that supports more than 500 recovering individuals on a daily basis.  A core part of TROSA’s program is its social enterprises, which provide work-based vocational training to its residents while generating about 70 percent of the nonprofit’s total revenues.  TROSA’s social enterprises include a moving company (which has grown into the largest independent mover in the Triangle region), a lawn care maintenance enterprise, a thrift store, and a Christmas tree business.

Community Development Corporations (CDCs)

United Durham Inc. Community Development Corporation

Founded in 1974, United Durham Inc. Community Development Corporation (UDI/CDC) aims to raise the economic welfare and education of low-income Durham residents.  UDI’s development projects include a 91-acre industrial park that employs 300 people, a retail shopping center anchored by a Food Lion in a neighborhood previously lacking a major grocer, a 3.5 acre urban farm, and 82 units of affordable housing.  The nonprofit also has a revolving loan fund credited with providing over $1 million in loans to small businesses.