The Lead Entity for the Promise Zone, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation (KHIC) was founded in 1968 with the mission of providing economic opportunity for residents of southern and eastern Kentucky. Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation is in its forty-eighth year of being a leading catalyst for community and economic development activities in the region. Since 1968, KHIC has made hundreds of commercial loans and equity investments, together totaling more than $270 million. Throughout its history, KHIC has continued to expand its various development tools to include investment tax credits and federally guaranteed loans. Among its many pioneering initiatives, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation was one of three First Round Federal Empowerment Zones, was the first non-bank lender certified by USDA Rural Development for the Business & Industry Guaranteed Loan program, the first SBA Community Advantage Loan originator in the nation, and the only designee by USDA as a Rural Business Investment Corporation (RBIC) in the United States.