The USDA has certified the $31 million Innova Ag Innovation Fund IV LP as an investment pool for small and startup rural businesses.
The fund will support 30 to 45 companies that have the potential to generate more than $200 million in economic activity and create 600 jobs, according to a statement from the USDA.
“This certification is another tool USDA provides to help rural businesses, to create jobs and to attract private-sector capital to rural communities,” said Roger Glendenning, acting deputy under secretary of Rural Development.
“Geography should not be a barrier to economic success. This pool will offer rural business owners the same access to capital as their counterparts in metropolitan areas.”
The fund will provide capital for high-growth companies in the biosciences, technology and agricultural technology industries under the Rural Business Investment Program (RBIP).
The funds were pooled from members of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network a group of banks and lenders chartered to serve agriculture and the US rural economy.
Innova has three other funds that are not part of the Rural Business Investment Program which have collectively invested $20 million in 75 startup companies, attracting $90 million of outside capital and creating approximately 250 jobs, according to the statement.
Rural Development provides loans and grants to support infrastructure improvements, business development, homeownership, community services and high-speed internet access in rural areas.