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Acceso Loan Fund

                             

The Wells Fargo Foundation has made a historic $10 million grant to NALCAB to support growth-oriented lending to minority-owned businesses nationwide through a network of Latino-led nonprofit business lenders.  The new Acceso Loan Fund is designed to help diverse entrepreneurs scale to a greater size, expanding their revenue, impact on the economy and ability to provide jobs.

By sharing the grant funds equally, NALCAB, LiftFund and each of ten other CDFI (Community Development Financial Institutions) partners in the NALCAB network will be co-owners of the fund.  The Acceso Loan Fund will provide small business loans in the range of $50,000 – $500,000 beginning in early 2020. Eligible businesses will be evaluated and referred directly through the ten CDFI partners.

The $10 million grant is part of Wells Fargo’s Diverse Community Capital program, a five-year initiative to grow diverse small businesses, and it is the largest grant to date within the program.

Background

In 2018, with critical support from the Surdna Foundation, NALCAB developed the concept for the Acceso Loan Fund based on experience structuring and managing collaborative business models among its Network members.  NALCAB worked closely with LiftFund to develop financial modeling and an operational approach for the Fund.  Thereafter, NALCAB invited ten CDFI business lenders in the NALCAB Network to join this effort.  The Wells Fargo Foundation provided initial financial support of $200,000 for the legal structuring and systems development to help make the concept a reality.  With the additional $10 million grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation, the Acceso Loan Fund now has its first round of equity to kick off the initiative. In the next year, the NALCAB participating Network Members will raise debt capital to expand the fund to a total of $30 million.

Small Business Impact

Over the course of the first three years, the Acceso Loan Fund aims to deploy over $27 million in loans, supporting the growth of approximately 186 small businesses, producing more than 500 jobs.   At least 60% of the borrowers will be Latino and more than 80% will be minorities.  Over 60% of the borrowers will be businesses with less than $1 million in annual revenue.  The Acceso Loan Fund is designed to be a financially viable and scalable model.

The Acceso Fund will engage in two related lines of business:

1) lending to small businesses (targeting an average loan size of $160,000) that have been referred by members of the NALCAB Network that provide small business development services;

2) purchasing portfolios of small business loans, of similar size and character, from NALCAB Network lenders.

Experienced Partners Leveraging a Network

The NALCAB Network includes more than forty-five organizations that provide culturally-relevant lending and small business development services to diverse business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.  In addition to NALCAB and LiftFund, the following 10 NALCAB Network business lenders, all certified CDFIs, will participate as equity holders of the Fund.

For more information about Acceso Loan Fund, please contact Sharon Garcia, Senior Communications Manager at sgarcia@nalcab.org.