JUL 8, 2021
EPISODE 27 – THE SOAR FUND: SPURRING SMALL BUSINESS GROWTH IN THE SOUTH
CDFIs are coming together at an unprecedented pace to work collaboratively and solve problems at scale. One example is the Southern Opportunity and Resilience (SOAR) Fund. In the South, long-standing structural discrimination, persistent poverty, and a history of inequities coupled with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a disproportionate lack of capital, compared to funding elsewhere in the country. In this episode of the Impact Lenders Podcast, High Impact President Peter Schaeffing speaks with Beth Bafford, Vice President of Syndications and Strategy of Calvert Impact Capital, and Aisha Benson, COO of TruFund Financial Services, to discuss how the SOAR Fund was developed, how it drives small business growth in underserved Black, Latino and rural communities, and how CDFIs can help change the trajectory and overcome barriers that have been systemically built over the years.
MAY 20, 2021
EPISODE 26 – LEVERAGING THE POWER OF CDFIS AND GOVERNMENT RESOURCES TO CATALYZE SMALL BUSINESS GROWTH
High Impact President Peter Schaeffing has a candid conversation with Leah Fremouw, SVP & Director of Community Innovation at Virginia Community Capital (VCC) and Andrea Longton, C.F.A., Founder and Author-Administrator of The Social Justice Investor™, two of the key driving forces behind a new initiative that was recently approved and funded by the state government in Virginia. Not only do they cover their personal journeys and passion for growing their communities, but they also discuss lessons learned on coalition building and recognizing the strength in numbers that CDFIs can have.
APR 20, 2021
EPISODE 25 - CDFIS BRIDGE FINANCIAL GAPS FOR VETERAN ENTREPRENEURS
Veterans have unique challenges and opportunities when it comes to entrepreneurship and securing business loans. On the one hand, the military provides leadership and strategic training, but deployment and frequent relocations can interfere with maintaining good credit and securing meaningful business relationships. That’s why veteran lending initiatives are crucial to bridge the gap between military service and business. We sat down with Grant Bennett of Austin-based People Fund, to talk about his work addressing veteran financing for this episode of the Impact Lenders Podcast.
NOV 3, 2020
EPISODE 24 - BUILDING A HIGH GROWTH CDFI
Impact lenders tackle huge problems–the affordable housing crisis, structural racism, predatory lending, and many more. Yet impact lenders are typically locked out of the kinds of growth capital that allow for-profit ventures to quickly scale. Capital Good Fund, a nonprofit loan fund that provides ethical payday loans, energy efficiency loans, and car loans, has created a model that others can follow to break that pattern. Listen to this episode to learn about the model, Capital Good Fund’s successes to date, and the long, exciting road ahead to reach the scale that a problem of this magnitude deserves.
JUN 25, 2020
EPISODE 23 - RECOVERY LENDING AT SCALE WITH CONNECT2CAPITAL
The full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet known, but one thing is certain: PPP loans and other short-term emergency loan programs will not be enough to save many small businesses. Community Reinvestment Fund is mobilizing its one-stop-shop business lending platform, Connect2Capital, in order to ensure the survival and long-term success of businesses in low-income areas, many of which are led by women and/or minority entrepreneurs. Patrick Davis of CRF appears on today’s episode to tell us about the platform and how other CDFIs can use it to amplify their impact in the recovery.
APR 23, 2020
EPISODE 22 - FOUNDATIONS' ROLE IN RESILIENCE AND RECOVERY
As the economic damage of COVID-19 becomes clear, foundations are looking for new ways to support their communities. For many foundations, mission-focused lending to nonprofits is not in their standard playbook, let alone funding small businesses directly. In today’s episode, Deb Markley of LOCUS Impact Investing encourages foundations to find new ways to work. She proposes ways for foundations to promote economic recovery and long-term resilience in their communities through innovative partnerships and flexible PRIs to small businesses and nonprofits alike.
APR 9, 2020
EPISODE 21 - STARTING AN EMERGENCY LOAN PROGRAM
As we begin to deal with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, many impact lenders are leaping into action to offer forbearance to existing borrowers and low-interest loans to new borrowers. This is new territory for a lot of lenders, so on today’s episode we talk with two experts from New Jersey Community Capital, a CDFI that ran a successful loan program for shuttered businesses in the wake of Superstorm Sandy in 2012. They share their experience during that time and talk about what lessons they learned as they begin to implement NJCC’s newest loan fund, the Garden State Relief Fund, in response to the current crisis.
MAR 25, 2020
EPISODE 20 - TAPPING CORPORATE TREASURY TO CAPITALIZE CDFIS
CDFIs have long relied on a few mainstays for capitalization–banks, foundations, and the CDFI Fund. Recently, though, we have started to see increased investment interest from non-bank corporations. Today’s episode profiles one of the CDFIs that has been doing this the longest and with the most success, as demonstrated by a high-profile $50 million investment from Google last year. Understanding how CDFIs can work with non-bank partners to receive meaningful investments, and not just small grants, may be a critical new tool in the industry’s toolbox.
FEB 10, 2020
EPISODE 19 - COMING TO A CITY NEAR YOU: CDFI FRIENDLY AMERICA
CDFIs strive to deploy capital where it is most needed. Nevertheless, a lot of smaller and midsize cities are left without a CDFI to serve them, even as larger CDFIs seek to continue to grow their markets. After observing this gap, Mark Pinsky, former CEO of the Opportunity Finance Network, decided to develop a solution. The result: CDFI Friendly America, a new firm led by Mark and long-time CDFI consultant Adina Abramowitz. CDFI Friendly America has developed a framework to help small cities connect to CDFIs who can serve them. Learn more about their unique approach and how it could serve a city near you on this episode of the Impact Lenders Podcast.
AUG 14, 2019
EPISODE 18 - BRINGING ENERGY EFFICIENCY TO COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Many impact lenders struggle with energy efficiency financing–sure, we all support the idea, but without technical expertise in the area it can be hard to get credit committees comfortable with utility cost savings that justify added upfront costs. Inclusive Prosperity Capital, a spin-off of the Connecticut Green Bank, aims to solve this problem. By specializing in energy efficiency, Inclusive Prosperity Capital is confident that it can bring cost and energy savings to community development projects nationwide. Listen to this episode to learn more about their model and how they might be a good partner in your own project financing.
JUL 11, 2019
EPISODE 17 - OPPORTUNITY ZONES: GETTING CDFIS IN THE GAME
Opportunity zones have been a hot topic in the impact finance industry since their announcement, but do CDFIs and other impact lenders have a role to play? Michael Swack and Charles Tansey think so. They join us on this episode to discuss their recent white paper, “The Potential Role for CDFIs in Opportunity Zones,” which was published by the University of New Hampshire Carsey School of Public Policy with the support of Enterprise Community Investment. In a discussion that will be of interest to any practitioner evaluating how to use the opportunity zones program for social good, Michael and Charles encourage CDFIs to identify partners with access to equity investors, build pipeline, lend into opportunity zone projects, and consider creative ways to get in the game.
MAR 27, 2019
EPISODE 16 - AN ENTREPRENEUR'S TAKE ON CDFIS
Sometimes it seems like everyone in the CDFI industry knows each other, and that many of us have been committed to the industry for our whole careers. Our guest on this episode is not one of those familiar faces. Jim McSherry is a career entrepreneur and, for two years, took over lending operations at the Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation with the mandate to restart microlending and put the program on a sustainable, positive trajectory. His outsider perspective and diverse life experiences allow him to give us a fresh perspective on the CDFI industry in this episode, along with a host of compelling ideas for microlenders and others to pursue.
JAN 23, 2019
EPISODE 15 - LENDING TO SMALL DEVELOPERS FOR SMALL BUILDINGS
Small buildings make up more of America’s housing stock than the large multifamily developments we often think about in the finance world. That means that to serve all the needs of a community, addressing the small building stock is essential. In this episode, two of the leading CDFIs in this space offer the lessons they’ve learned on how to overcome the difficulties of small building finance.
PUBLISHED BY ILP TEAM
AT HIGH IMPACT FINANCIAL ANALYSIS
The Impact Lenders Podcast is produced by High Impact Financial Analysis. High Impact is an impact lending consultancy that underwrites individual transactions, analyzes risks in impact portfolios, and helps lenders build and manage a strong lending infrastructure. Impact Lenders Podcast is an extension of our goal to build capacity and share best practices within the impact lending industry.