About us

Strategic Development Solutions


Strategic Development Solutions (SDS), founded in 2001, uses a Triple Bottom Line approach to develop innovative market-driven funds that promote market rates-of-return for investors while fostering needed economic development.


The three bottom lines of these funds are:


  1. Market rates-of-return to investors,
  2. Positive economic and community development impacts, and
  3. Environmental sustainability.


SDS has built, capitalized, and currently manages or supports Double and Triple Bottom Line (DBL/TBL) funds totaling nearly$1.5 billion of investment capital. These investment fund efforts include the following three core activities:



SDS builds innovative TBL funds on behalf of its client partners – which often include business groups and government officials, including governors, mayors or other public policy makers who are interested in creating these economic development tools within their jurisdictions. SDS and its founder, Deborah La Franchi, have built more than $500M of such funds, undertaking activities ranging from market feasibility, fund structuring, and management selection to fund capitalization.




SDS continues to grow its family-of-funds, which is currently capitalized at $537M. Funds under management include the $477M National New Markets Fund (NNMF) and the $60M Develop Michigan Real Estate Fund (DMIRF).  SDS provides all day-to-day operational activities, including originations, investment approvals, transaction closing, asset management, loan servicing, accounting and reporting for NNMF and it supports many of these same activities for DMIRF.



SDS provides an array of finance services to clients on our SDS Advantage platform, which now has over $1B of assets on its platform ($532M of third-party client assets in addition to the $477M NNMF portfolio). We provide our loan and investment fund clients with loan servicing, accounting, tax and audit coordination, compliance and reporting services. We provide our third-party clients with cost-effective, highly transparent and accurate back office support, allowing them to focus on their core investment activities.