Today, local community development financial institutions (CDFIs) NewCorp, Inc. and TruFund Financial Services, Inc. announce a new collaboration with the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund (EOCF) aimed at expanding access to capital and other resources to minority-owned businesses in the crescent city.

The EOCF is a program managed by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and largely supported by investment from JPMorgan Chase. The EOCF is designed to not only get much-needed capital directly into the hands of African American, Latinx, and other small business owners, but to also provide critical support such as coaching, operational guidance, and training. In addition, through a specialized loan fund, the EOCF also purchases participations in previously originated minority business loans from designated CDFI partners to free up capital for additional lending to entrepreneurs of color.

“The New Orleans Business Alliance has been engaged in partnership with these two CDFI’s since the 2019 launch of its InvestNOLA initiative, through which Newcorp and TruFund are directly responsible for deploying more than $12 million in capital to local business owners of color. NOLABA was thrilled to facilitate their access to the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund that will further increase the lending capacity of both CDFIs,” said Norman E. Barnum, IV, President & CEO of NOLABA.

“Creating a more equitable and inclusive economy is what this partnership is all about,” said Greg Rattler, a Market Leader for JPMorgan Chase in New Orleans. “Together, we will open doors of opportunity for black and brown business owners who can build wealth for their families and generations to come.”

The EOCF helps entrepreneurs of color start, sustain, and grow their businesses. Too often, African American and Latinx business run into obstacles raising money and struggle to secure loans or to come up with sufficient working capital to fund their ideas. They have been underrepresented among enterprises that grow using external financing (financing through household savings, social networks, or bank financing), and they have fewer opportunities to build businesses with a scale-based competitive advantage.

“The Entrepreneurs of Color Fund (EOCF) will nurture a diverse landscape of small businesses that reflect New Orleans’ rich culture and history,” said Steve Hall, Vice President with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. “The EOCF can help bridge capital gaps that constrain growth for minority owners and, in the process, support wealth-building for Black and Brown families, job creation throughout the city, and a more equitable local economy, where everyone has the chance to succeed."

Read the full article about CDFIs at LISC.