This week Pacific Community Ventures joined President Bill Clinton as the Clinton Foundation kicked off “Building an Inclusive Recovery,” a Clinton Foundation series to address racial, ethnic, tribal, economic, and health disparities in wake of COVID-19. Featured participants included Ajay Banga, chief executive officer of Mastercard; Mayor Randall Woodfin, Birmingham; Wole C. Coaxum, founder and chief executive officer, MoCaFi (Mobility Capital Finance); and Andrea Jung, president and chief executive officer, Grameen America.
The virtual conference included announcements of new commitments from a variety of philanthropic and private sector organizations designed to support small businesses, invest in digital technology, spur economic development, and improve financial systems in underserved communities.
Watch the announcements below:
These include commitments by Inclusiv, to create accessible training programs and shared capitalization platforms to enable community finance institutions to offer solar finance in low-income communities and communities of color; Pacific Community Ventures to support the economic resiliency of 3,000 small businesses owned by women, immigrants, Black people, Latino people, Indigenous people, and other underserved communities through PCV’s pro bono BusinessAdvising.org platform; and, as an extension of their commitment to provide $500 million in support of Black communities through products, services, technology, and financial support, Mastercard, in partnership with the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), will support the economic resilience of 300 Black-owned small businesses in St. Louis through the development and deployment of “virtual Chief Financial Officer (CFO)” technology.
Full commitment descriptions below:
- Inclusiv, in partnership with the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey School of Public Policy Center for Impact Finance, commits to create accessible training programs and shared capitalization platforms that enable community-based financial institutions to offer solar finance in low-income communities and communities of color. Solar energy is a powerful tool to drive economic revitalization by building energy affordability and reliability. For small businesses, solar energy provides a unique business opportunity to invest in a proven technology with decreasing costs and improving project economics in most markets. Despite widespread growth in the renewable energy sector, many individuals and small businesses in low-income communities and communities of color have not been able to equally access solar energy investments and capitalize on the opportunities. To address this issue, Inclusiv will provide solar lending and program development training and support to 120 lending professionals in 30 community-based financial institutions. These institutions will deploy at least 180 solar loans in their communities, and at least one-third of these loans will reach low-income communities and communities of color.
- Pacific Community Ventures (PCV), in partnership with Appalachia Community Capital, Hope Credit Union, LISC, and dozens of other CDFIs and community-based organizations, commits to supporting the economic resiliency of 3,000 small businesses owned by women, immigrants, Black people, Latinx people, Indigenous people, and other underserved communities through PCV’s pro bono BusinessAdvising.org platform, over the next three years. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, small business owners who had an advisor were twice as likely as business owners who lacked advisors to survive at least five years. Now, during these unprecedented economic challenges, small business owners need expert advice more than ever to refinance, pivot online, and reopen safely for workers and customers. But these underserved business owners are less likely than their white, male counterparts to have access to affordable advising services. With this announcement, PCV is expanding on their 2019 commitment, which scaled their platform nationally to reach 1,500 small business owners. By closing the advice gap for small businesses led by underserved communities, PCV aims to help small businesses to survive this crisis and build back better.
- In its sustained efforts to build a more inclusive global digital economy, Mastercard has committed $500 million in support of Black communities over the next five years. This commitment includes products, services, technology, and financial support, as well as concentrated investments that will focus on providing Black-owned businesses and Black people access to affordable financial tools and capital. As an extension of this commitment, Mastercard, in partnership with the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) will support the economic resilience of 300 Black-owned small businesses in St. Louis through the development and deployment of “virtual Chief Financial Officer (CFO)” technology designed to address gaps in cash flow and liquidity and equip Black-owned small businesses with the digital tools to efficiently absorb and deploy the capital they receive. By piloting this technology platform with Black-owned small businesses in St. Louis, Mastercard and partners will utilize their extensive existing network in the city and develop a technology scalable to Black communities and other communities of color throughout the country.