AUSTIN, Texas – The Veteran Loan Fund announced that in its first year of operations, its members have deployed more than $15 million across the country, helping 231 businesses create or retain close to 1,200 jobs. 60% of the business owners receiving financial and technical assistance were people of color, 50% low or moderate income and 30% women. These impressive statistics show the importance of the work that this group of CDFIs and their technical assistance partners do, serving those who served for all of us.
“We are excited to announce the successful deployment of our first round and the launch of our online platform” says Grant Bennett, Director of the Veteran Loan Fund and a veteran himself, “We are even more excited to welcome new members, Appalachian Community Capital and Justine Petersen. These organizations significantly expand the reach of this initiative as we get closer to launch our second round of funding.”
The upcoming round will provide $25 million in loan capital to small businesses owned by veterans or veteran spouses. Veterans interested in receiving financial or technical assistance can now complete a simple online assessment at www.veteranloanfund.com to be matched with the CDFI or partner that best meets their needs. Eligible entrepreneurs can apply for a low-interest loan with their matched lender. These loans are designed to help early-stage veteran entrepreneurs start or grow their business. Participants in this program can also access free technical assistance (specialized business coaching and education) tailored to their needs whether or not they receive financial assistance.
Historically underserved, veteran-owned businesses face obstacles accessing the capital needed to succeed. The estimated annual demand in capital for veteran entrepreneurs is $100 million which the Veteran Loan Fund plans to achieve within five years.
Thank you to our partners and investors that who made this possible, including Bank of America as lead investor and Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Northern Trust, Siemens Foundation, and Tawani Foundation.
For more information on the Veteran Loan Fund, please visit https://www.veteranloanfund.com.
About Veteran Loan Fund:
Veteran Loan Fund is a collaborative effort of a national group of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) with the mission to help underserved veterans and their spouses start and grow small businesses. The fund provides a specialized source of capital and a forum to share best practices and conduct advocacy efforts for lenders to originate loans and grow their local veteran programs.
Specialized technical assistance partners include Bunker Labs, Vet Met, Vet to CEO, the Institute for Veterans & Military Families, as well as local partnerships with Veteran Business Outreach Centers, SCORE and SBDCs. Member CDFIs include Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (GA), Appalachian Community Capital (VA), Black Business Investment Fund (FLA), Business Impact Northwest (WA), Colorado Enterprise Fund (CO), DreamSpring (NM), Economic and Community Development Institute (OH), Justine Petersen (MO), Pathway Lending (TN), PeopleFund (TX), Pursuit (NJ), and Wisconsin Women Business Initiative Corporation (WI). Learn more at https://www.veteranloanfund.com.
Jenny Palecek, PeopleFund, SVP of Philanthropic Partnerships