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These 4 Lenders Receive Small Business Leader Awards For Lending To Women

The Small Business Leader Award (SBLA) honors mission-driven lenders who create lending opportunities for women and entrepreneurs of color. For the third consecutive year, SBLA recognizes lenders who have demonstrated ambitious growth plans for small business lending and lending models that effectively target women and minority business owners.

The four lenders are CDFI lenders who work with small business owners to not only help them secure financing but also combat predatory lending practices. Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI) is a federal program consisting of financial institutions that provide funding which expands economic opportunities in low-income communities.

Small business lending leaders

The lenders include:

  1. Accion - this NYC-based micro lender who serves low-income communities and communities of color created a new product to address predatory merchant cash advance loans.
  2. Carolina Small Business Development Fund - this Raleigh, North Carolina, lender created a successful business lending model aimed specifically toward women and entrepreneurs of color.
  3. Community Reinvestment Fund, USA - was recognized for creating an innovative industry-wide technology solution to better serve low-income communities.
  4. Montana & Idaho CDC - was recognized for its lending operations and business model that helps small businesses thrive.

The 4 lenders were honored for their outstanding work in reaching more underserved small business borrowers. Stated Shawn Escoffery, program director of the Strong Local Economies at Surdna Foundation, “Their innovative strategies lay the groundwork for job growth and economic opportunity in communities of color and other historically disinvested communities.”