Program 101

Program Status: Open
Application Deadline: July 29, 2016
Notice of Solicitation of Application (pdf) | Posted: April 25, 2014

What does this program do?
This program provides a Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) license to newly formed venture capital organizations to help meet the equity capital investment needs in rural communities.

Who may apply for this program?
Eligible applicants for the RBIC license include newly formed:

  • For-profit entities, or
  • Subsidiary of an entity

All Applicants:

  • Must have relevant experience in venture capital or community development financing
  • Must raise a minimum of $10 million in private equity capital
  • May be structured as limited partnerships, limited liability companies, or corporations

What is an eligible area?
There are no restrictions on the location of eligible applicants for RBIC licenses. The goal of each RBIC is to help fill the need for business and development capital in rural areas.

How may funds be used?

  • A minimum of 75% of funds must be made in rural areas with a population of 50,000 or less.
  • A minimum of 50% of funds must be invested in smaller enterprises 
  • A maximum of 10% of RBIC investments may be made in urban areas 

How do we get started?
Applications for this program are accepted on an annual basis. A Notice of Solicitations of Applications (NOSA) is posted in the Federal Register.

Who can answer questions?
David Chesnick in our National Program Office can assist with planning, application, and servicing. He can be reached at (202) 690-0433 or David.Chesnick@wdc.usda.gov.

What governs this program?

  • Code of Federal Regulation, 7 CFR Part 4290
  • This program is authorized by the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill)

Why does USDA Rural Development do this?
Access to capital is vital to businesses and often scarce in rural areas.

NOTE: Because citations and other information may be subject to change please always consult the program instructions listed in the section above titled "What Law Governs this Program?" You may also contact our National Program Office for assistance.

Forms & Resources

NOTE: Please contact David Chesnick, (202) 690-0433 in our National Program Office before attempting to fill out any forms or applications. This will save you valuable time in completing your application.

Preliminary Actions Required

To complete an application for this program, you must be pre-registered with the System for Award Management (SAM) and also have a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number. Neither of these applications cost money, but they can take time so be sure to get this taken care of right away. If you are already registered with these systems, you do not need to do it again.

RBIC Application

If you are interested in applying as a non-leveraged RBIC, please first read the RBIP Rules in 7 C.F.R. Part 4290 (pdf) and the Application Procedure (pdf).