Propeller Opens Applications for $1mm Loan Fund

Despite an entrepreneurial renaissance since Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans’ emerging ventures, particularly those founded by entrepreneurs of color, continue to face difficulty accessing capital. The Social Venture Fund provides a vehicle to scale and prepare the innovative ventures of entrepreneurs of color for follow-on funding and access to the formal banking system.

17 November 2017

(New Orleans, LA) Last night at Propeller’s annual fundraiser Propeller Pop, the organization announced applications are now open for its Social Venture Fund, a $1mm loan fund for small businesses and nonprofits tackling social and environmental inequities in New Orleans. Despite an entrepreneurial renaissance since Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans’ emerging ventures, particularly those founded by entrepreneurs of color, continue to face difficulty accessing capital. The Social Venture Fund provides a vehicle to scale and prepare the innovative ventures of entrepreneurs of color for follow-on funding and access to the formal banking system.

The $1mm Social Venture Fund is structured to meet the needs of local for-profit and nonprofit entrepreneurs, while maintaining interest rates lower than those that are currently being offered by Community Development Financial Institutions, banks, online lenders, credit cards, and payday loans: the fund will make below-market rate loans between $20,000 to $100,000 with terms that stretch between 2-7 years. All loan recipients will also receive technical assistance from Propeller to better prepare them for repayment and growth.

Developed in partnership with the Foundation for Louisiana, the Fund was made possible by lead investor Living Cities, alongside investors the Reinvestment Fund, the blue moon fund, the Ella West Freeman Foundation, and the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation.

"This Fund will address a long-ignored funding gap faced by New Orleans’ small businesses, especially those owned by women and entrepreneurs of color, by offering loans with terms and mentorship that encourage the growth and continued success of our borrowers." Flozell Daniels, CEO & President, Foundation for Louisiana

"We believe in this partnership between Propeller and Foundation for Louisiana because they have a proven track record of empowering talented entrepreneurs, especially entrepreneurs of color." Ben Hecht, President & CEO, Living Cities

The Social Venture Fund is founded on the belief that entrepreneurship, especially social entrepreneurship, can be a powerful tool to narrow racial and gender disparities. For questions regarding The Social Venture Fund, visit GoPropeller.org/funding/Social-Venture-Fund or contact Fund Program Manager, Kris Khalil at fund@gopropeller.org.

ABOUT PROPELLER’S SOCIAL VENTURE FUND

The Propeller Social Venture Fund is a $1mm loan fund that provides loans between $20,000 and $100,000 to social entrepreneurs tackling social and environmental disparities in the areas of food, water, health, and education. The fund also provides loans to entrepreneurs of color located in the South Broad commercial corridor. The fund exists to provide financial support to businesses and nonprofits advancing a more equitable future where everyone can lead healthy, fulfilling lives free of racism, poverty, and other systems of oppression.

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