U.S. Bank launched $25 million fund to support more than 30,000 women of color-owned microbusinesses: Funds go to African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs, Grameen America and LISC

5 mins read
Greg Cunningham

In May, USBank revealed the details of the $ 25 million USBank Access Fund, a fund for colored micro-businesses that was first announced in February. The fund is a collaboration between the USBank Foundation and the USBancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC). ), includes long-term grant investments and equity financing for three partners: CDFIs African American Alliance of Black CEOs (the Alliance), Grameen America, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).The fund is part of the U.S. Bank Access Commitment, the company’s long-term approach to helping build wealth while redefining how the bank serves different communities and provides more opportunities for different employees. The Access Fund will support more than 30,000 women from black micro-businesses for three years, with black women entrepreneurs being given priority.

Micro-businesses, defined as 10 or fewer employees led by women of color, are among the fastest growing in the country.This fund will help maintain and create new job opportunities and provide access to capital, technical assistance and networking opportunities. USBank executives will also share their experiences with business owners in a series of personalized seminars and panel discussions. “The U.S. Bank Access Fund recognizes the economic power that women entrepreneurs represent in their communities and in the economy, ”said Greg Cunningham, chief diversity officer at U.S.Bank. “This fund is different because it breaks down structural barriers to business owners run by women of color, gives priority to black women, and focuses on the smallest but most common type of business: micro-businesses. Investing in these women and their businesses will not only create wealth but also have a multiplier effect in the communities hardest hit by the pandemic. ” The fund includes $ 20 million in debt from USBCDC and $ 5 million – Dollars in grants from Foundation USBank and focuses on creating systemic change by ensuring that both CDFIs and micro-businesses get the support and capital they need to be successful.

Alliance, Grameen and LISC will work with their local offices and nonprofit partners to develop the capacity within the US bank of the CDFI network and provide capital, technical assistance and mentoring for local micro-businesses across USBank space “The Afro-American Alliance of CDFI CEOs is excited to partner with USBank, “said Donna Gambrell, Chairman of the Board of Directors of” This multi-year capital commitment from the US Bank Access Fund is the largest investment in the Alliance d since his training in 2018.We couldn’t be happier to partner with USBancorp Community Development Corporation and the USBank Foundation to provide business and capital advisory services to women of black micro-businesses, with a particular focus on black women entrepreneurs. Supporting this segment of the micro business sector to fill America’s racist wealth gap. “

” This important partnership with USBank, invested through their Access Fund, will advance our shared vision of delivering equity to communities in the wake of COVID19, “said Andrea Jung, President and CEO of Grameen. America. ”With this new investment in California, Chicago, and Omaha, we will accelerate our proven model in the United States to nurture more underserved minority women with the goal of owning more than 29,000 small businesses over the next three years Support women. ” ” If we are to drive widespread prosperity, especially as we exit COVID19, we need to expand access to flexible and affordable capital for business owners who otherwise won’t be able to look at the funding they need to grow, ”said Lisa. Glover, President and CEO of LISC. “USBank is helping CDFI, like LISC, fill the capital gaps that prevent minority women from building their businesses, creating new opportunities for them to increase their incomes, create jobs and contribute to the vitality of the communities in which they live live and work. “

U.S.Bank has been a strong advocate of CDFIs for decades, recognizing the critical role these institutions play in providing investment and resources to underserved communities and those who may not be eligible for traditional small business finance. ensure that more than $ 450 million in capital was available to CDFIs and their clients. “We understand that servicing small businesses is an important task,” said Reba Dominski, director of social responsibility for the U.S. Bank. “Therefore, this fund deliberately focuses not only on capital, but also on developing the capacities that CDFIs, which focus on black-run CDFIs, need in order to be successful and to expand.

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