Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses recently announced that PIDC Community Capital, PIDC’s CDFI subsidiary, was selected as one of 24 mission-driven small business lenders to participate in the Small Business Finance Collaborative. This unique program is designed to increase small business capacity in lending in underserved communities in the U.S. This new program will build the capacity of CDFIs (community development financial institutions) and other mission-driven lenders to deliver responsible and affordable loans to small businesses and entrepreneurs across the nation.
Each participant, including PIDC Community Capital, will create and implement a strategic growth plan to improve lending strategies and practices, while maintaining asset quality. Participants will report regularly on growth goals and adopt best practices. The Small Business Finance Collaborative is run by OFN and funding is provided by Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses with additional support from Surdna Foundation.
“Our nation’s economic recovery has been very uneven, with minority and women-led small businesses in underserved communities experiencing barriers to the credit they need to succeed. The participants in the Collaborative are uniquely positioned to reach these communities, helping owners avoid high cost loans. They will build strategies to aid small business and encourage sustainability, growth, and job creation,” said Mark Pinsky, president and CEO of OFN.
The Small Business Finance Collaborative is built upon a successful prior initiative in 2011-2013 where participants reported doubling their assets, increasing their self-sufficiency ratio, and number of small businesses reached. Participants in the Finance Collaborative will expand on concepts learned in a previous training, including value proposition, innovation, talent management, and the lending life cycle. The curriculum’s foundation is adapted from the Babson-designed Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses education program.
“Research shows that small businesses are the leading drivers of economic growth and job creation in this country. Our partnership with OFN will continue to support mission-driven lenders, so that even more entrepreneurs gain access to the capital they need to succeed,” said Esta Stecher, CEO of Goldman Sachs Bank USA. “These lenders were chosen because of their expertise and leadership in this area. We look forward to seeing the impact they will have in underserved communities.”
PIDC Community Capital builds sustainable neighborhoods, revitalizes business corridors, and supports business by making investments that create jobs, grow businesses, leverage outside capital, eliminate blight, and provide goods and services to low-income communities throughout Philadelphia. PIDC Community Capital delivers additional resources to Philadelphia’s underserved, low-income communities in support of PIDC’s mission of community investment.
“We are thrilled to participate in the Small Business Finance Collaborative”, said Wanda Speight, SVP Financial Services PIDC who will represent PIDC Community Capital in the Small Business Finance Collaborative. “This opportunity allows PIDC Community Capital to enhance our small business financing capabilities and will dramatically increase the volume of our small business lending especially in underserved low income communities. We are privileged to be selected and look forward to working with an outstanding group of CDFIs”.
The Finance Collaborative members reflect the diversity of mission-driven small business lenders and approaches. Some participants have a national presence, while others serve local communities. Working in urban, rural, and Native communities, these lenders offer a range of lending products and business models. Collectively, the 24 participants have cumulative assets exceeding $862 million with over 7,500 small business loans outstanding totaling nearly $600 million. The 2015-2016 Small Business Finance Collaborative participants are:
- Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, Inc. (ACE)
- Accion New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada
- Bridgeway Capital
- Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union
- California Coastal Rural Development Corporation (Cal Coastal)
- CDC Small Business Finance
- Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF)
- Community First Fund
- Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF)
- Entrepreneur Fund
- Excelsior Growth Fund
- Growth Capital
- Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation (KHIC)
- LiftFund, formerly known as Accion Texas
- Montana Community Development Corporation (Montana CDC)
- Northern Initiatives
- Pacific Community Ventures
- PIDC Community Capital
- The Support Center
- Virginia Community Capital (VCC)