ImpactAlpha, October 28 — Expanding Black Business Credit, a consortium of Black-led community development financial institutions, or CDFIs launched the fund even before the pandemic. “The demand for our work is greater now than it’s ever been,” said HOPE’s Bill Bynum, who chairs the consortium (see “Agent of Impact; Bill Bynum”).
The racial uprisings in 2020 have shone a light on how Black communities have been historically excluded from banks, government wealth building programs and more. CDFIs have become increasingly popular investment vehicles for government, foundations, and corporations as a means of advancing racial economic justice through fair and affordable capital.
Despite the increase in capital committed to advance racial equity and Black communities, “a lot of the resources that are being deployed haven’t reached communities of color as they should,” said Bynum.
The Black Vision Fund will provide debt financing for the seven CDFIs that make up EBBC to invest in their communities — Hope Credit Union, Metropolitan Economic Development Association, Black Business Investment Fund, National Community Investment Fund, Community First Fund, City First Bank Broadway and Texas Mezzanine Fund.
Recent commitments to the Black Vision Fund include a $5 million loan from Packard Foundation (for context, see “Packard Foundation commits $25 million to address racial disparities in credit”). Wells Fargo provided $10 million in seed grant capital for the fund. Other investors include Ceniarth, Amalgamated Bank and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).