Kauffman Foundation puts up $1.2 million for microlending to underserved entrepreneurs



The U.S. economy could add a million businesses and 9.5 million jobs if minorities started and owned companies at the same rate as whites, according to the Kauffman Foundation.

The entrepreneurship-focused foundation will make grants of $300,000 to each of four microlenders in Kansas City, Missouri, including AltCap, Women’s Business Center, KC Hispanic Economic Development Corporation and Justine PETERSEN.

The program is based on a Chicago initiative led by Jonathan Brereton, a principal at Revolve. “In Chicago we learned the key to improving sustainability among microlenders is developing the ability to sell microloans to local banks,” said Brereton.

The initial capital will provide funds to 20 to 30 Kansas City businesses, says Brereton, a consultant to Kauffman. As the funds turn over, he says, “microlenders can help underserved entrepreneurs for years to come.”

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