Recently, our Co-founder and Director of Community Engagement Lauren Grattan sat down with NPR to talk about discrepancies in access to capital for lower-income communities and how we can level the playing field. We’re delighted that national media is looking for bright spots of what’s working so we can scale inclusive community growth with sensible capital.
It’s not uncommon for people who want to start businesses in lower-income neighborhoods to have trouble getting bank loans. But increasingly, there are investors looking specifically to help businesses in those areas, with the aim of reversing the cycle of disinvestment.
“There are always reasons to say no to a borrower. We are looking for reasons to say yes,” says Lauren Grattan, a founder of the San Diego-based investment company Mission Driven Finance. She explained that her company doesn’t look at personal credit scores. “We instead look at the validity of the business and how well can you repay from the business earnings.”
Her company’s goal is to fill the gap between more traditional profit-motivated investing and philanthropy that focuses on economic development.