We’re excited to announce that Pacific Community Ventures has just been awarded $500,000 from Wells Fargo as part of its Diverse Community Capital program, which offers capital and technical assistance to minority-owned small businesses through Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). To date, the program has generated more than 103,000 jobs across the U.S.
“Small businesses are experiencing a time of rapid growth, but entrepreneurs are still struggling to reach their full potential,” said Jon R. Campbell, president of the Wells Fargo Foundation. “By working with CDFIs, we can fund efforts on the ground that remove barriers, expand highly personalized coaching and put more small businesses on a path to succeed, especially in underserved communities. Every community needs small businesses to create jobs and financial stability.”
Launched in 2015, the Wells Fargo Works For Small Business: Diverse Community Capital program is a collaboration with Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), of which Pacific Community Ventures is a member. According to OFN’s latest report, DCC awardees have already made more than 16,000 loans to diverse small business owners resulting in $785 million in lending across 37 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. In addition, grant funding has provided for more than 322,000 hours of development services for over 49,000 diverse entrepreneurs.
As a member of the inaugural DCC cohort, PCV received an initial DCC grant of $350,000. This first grant helped PCV serve six-times more borrowers in 2018 than we had in 2015, prior to the award, and each of the small businesses we worked with was a woman, a person of color, and/or located in an economically distressed community. PCV has been an active participant in DCC convenings, which enable us to share our work with other forward-thinking CDFIs while learning from what they are doing.
“The DCC program plays a critically important role in helping to strengthen economic mobility for diverse entrepreneurs around the nation,” said Donna Fabiani, OFN’s Executive Vice President of Knowledge Sharing. “These businesses in turn create employment opportunities in their communities. We’re proud to continue our longstanding partnership with Wells Fargo to ensure capital and capacity building resources flow to the small businesses that need them most.”
Pacific Community Ventures will use this $500,000 grant to help small business owners grow and create good local jobs through a “Good Jobs, Good Business” model that combines affordable loans with pro-bono mentoring, tools and incentives to create quality jobs, social impact evaluation and field building research.
Wells Fargo’s support for our “Good Jobs, Good Business” model supports small business owners like Oakland’s Chef Chew of Something Better Foods. Something Better Foods crafts meatless gourmet foods that empower people to experience a better quality of life. Chef Chew started out by crafting meatless proteins in his mom’s kitchen, and went on to launch and run successful restaurants over 13 years – but he still couldn’t find funding from a traditional bank when he tried to expand his business. So, he came to Pacific Community Ventures, where we funded him with a $50,000 loan to keep growing, create jobs, and fuel his dreams. The loan we provided Chef Chew is helping him move from a shared kitchen to his own facility, and helped him get into Whole Foods.