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CDFI boosts small business lending with private partner

by | Apr 3, 2024 | News

April 3, 2024 (SAN DIEGO) — In a new partnership, Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) and Mission Driven Finance aim to accelerate and expand its place-based small business lending. This partnership leverages the respective strengths of CRF and Mission Driven Finance to solve community finance challenges, including difficulties faced by many small businesses in accessing conventional sources of capital.

Since 2016, Mission Driven Finance has created accessible stepping stones of capital for small businesses and nonprofits to grow and advance an inclusive economy. Mission Driven Finance brings experience in inclusive and holistic underwriting practices, offering loans that do not require credit scores or personal guarantees, as well as Islamic and revenue-based financing options. This strength in innovative underwriting and deal flow development aligns with CRF’s impact philosophy and complements its core business.

CRF recently participated in three loans supporting small businesses, supplying 90% of capital in these transactions and enabling Mission Driven Finance to flow more capital into the community through their place-based investment strategy Advance California.

To date, the small businesses supported by this partnership include Rore, a woman of color-led construction management company headquartered in San Diego with offices in Honolulu; Mireles Landscaping, a San Diego-based company that provides landscape maintenance, irrigation repair, and general business and site maintenance primarily to commercial clients; and Stratia, a woman-owned skincare retailer based in Los Angeles.

CRF believes that when small businesses have access to capital and resources, they empower people, build sustainable communities, and help close wealth gaps. For more than 35 years, CRF has worked alongside partners to complement and amplify the scale and effectiveness of the small business ecosystem. Leveraging its balance sheet in innovative ways, like it is doing through this partnership, is one way in which CRF collaborates with mission-aligned lenders, CDFIs, and other small business support organizations to ensure entrepreneurs have access to the affordable capital needed to thrive.

“CRF’s primary goal is to ensure small businesses, especially those with a history of underrepresentation, have access to responsible capital,” said Alexis Dishman, SVP & Small Business Chief Lending Officer at CRF. “Mission Driven Finance is an incredible partner in these efforts and through this innovative collaboration our two organizations will be able to serve more California small businesses in need of larger amounts of flexible capital.”

“Providing inclusive access to creative credit products since 2016, Mission Driven Finance’s place-based Advance investment strategy started with the goal of closing capital gaps for small businesses and nonprofits in San Diego,” said Stephen Nunes, VP of Capital Initiatives at Mission Driven Finance. “We’re grateful to be in strategic partnership with CRF, a mission-aligned organization, to help us amplify and expand the impact of Advance across the country, starting with California.”

In addition to CRF’s participation, the loan to Rore further benefits from California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank)’s Small Business Finance Center Small Business Loan Guarantee program. The program “encourages lenders to provide funds to small businesses to help them grow and prosper,” ultimately helping small businesses create jobs and reinvest in their communities.

With other companies in the pipeline, this partnership can continue to allow Advance to expand its impact from Mission Driven Finance’s hometown of San Diego to the rest of California.

Visit CRF and Mission Driven Finance to learn more.

About Community Reinvestment Fund

Founded in 1988, Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) is a national non-profit organization with a mission to improve lives and strengthen communities through innovative financial solutions. A leading Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), CRF supports mission-driven organizations, increases economic mobility, and builds strong local economies through the development of solutions aimed at creating an equitable financial system. CRF has injected more than $3.6 billion to stimulate job creation and economic development and support community facilities.

About Mission Driven Finance 

Mission Driven Finance is an impact asset management firm dedicated to building a financial system that ensures good businesses have access to sufficient, affordable capital. Built from the ground up with a single purpose—to make it easy to invest in your community—all of their funds and structured products are designed to close financial gaps that will close opportunity gaps. They work with local and national investors to help them create the impact they want and work with businesses and community partners to help them get the capital they need. Mission Driven Finance was launched in 2016 in San Diego, CA, and is a Certified B Corporation. In 2024, Mission Driven Finance was selected again for ImpactAssets’ IA 50 Fund Manager list, a category for experienced impact fund managers with a minimum three-year track record. Learn more at missiondrivenfinance.com.

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Media contact:

Mission Driven Finance
Wilda Wong
858-880-0252 x708
[email protected]

Community Reinvestment Fund, USA
Phill Lundberg
[email protected]

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