TMCF-OFC Merger - History of OFC
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HISTORY OF OFC
The Opportunity Funding Corporation (OFC) was created in 1970 to facilitate the ownership of for-profit business entities by minorities and other disadvantaged persons through provision of investment capital. At inception, OFC’s primary mission was to be a risk taker, which tested various models for the stimulation of minority business development. The United States Office of Economic Opportunity, under President Richard Nixon’s administration, funded OFC in the amount of $7 million. OFC Governor David Hertz and the late John G. Gloster, a former Atlanta bank executive and OFC official, presented the OFC concept directly to President Nixon. Subsequently, OFC was spun out of the federal government during the Carter administration as a not-for-profit organization.
The Opportunity Funding Corporation (OFC) has made a significant impact on closing the African American “entrepreneurship gap” by playing a key role in developing successful US-based minority businesses, like BET and Radio One, over the past 40 years. By utilizing guarantees, direct loans and equity investments, OFC generated over $66 million in capital for over 184 minority owned companies in 35 states. Through equity investments in financial intermediaries such as OFC, Inc., Syndicated Communications, Inc., and S&L Acquisition Company, Inc., OFC has generated another $200 million in financings from banks, insurance companies, venture capital companies and others for literally hundreds of additional small business concerns.
In 2013, Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) acquired OFC, merging the two organizations with TMCF becoming the parent organization. The merger was a perfect match because both organizations share a similar mission of providing service to the HBCU community, particularly in the area of talent identification. One of TMCF’s core strengths is identifying the most talented HBCU students and introducing them to some of the world’s largest and most well-known employers. OFC, while continuing its efforts to enhance the entrepreneurship curriculum within public and private HBCUs, will now focus on identifying the most promising future entrepreneurs and introducing them to potential investors and very successful entrepreneurs. With the appointment of Scott Lilly as OFC’s first President, the OFC ’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program can now reach more students and ensure the HBCU community does its part to guarantee that there is a talented and diverse pipeline of future entrepreneurs.