Non-traded BDCs invest in loans to private companies. A private company is not owned by stockholders but by a private entity. Just because a company is private does not mean it is small or insignificant; some very large, well-known companies are privately held. The federal government created BDCs in the 1980s to encourage investing in private companies and stimulate growth. Investors in a non-traded BDC receive income generated by the payments on the loans within the investment portfolio. These programs are generally for income purposes with very little growth associated (if any).