Why haven’t I heard of CDFIs before?

Why haven’t I heard of CDFIs before?

CDFIs
CDFIs are a tough acronym to remember. We get it. It stands for Community Development Financial Institutions - yet another mouthful. We think the easiest way to describe them is - lenders for the community. So..say you have a dream of opening up your own business. You have the drive, a great idea, and all you need is to borrow a few bucks to get it going or keep it going. Unfortunately, your options are not so great. Sorry to break the news, but not all lenders are the same and the online lenders you’ve heard of typically charge small businesses 6 to 7x more than large banks to access money. Yup. But wait, this is where CDFIs come in! They provide small businesses fair capital and business coaching. And…
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Coverage from TechCrunch

Coverage from TechCrunch

CDFIs, CNote
Today marks the day when the first financial product based on Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) is brought by CNote to individuals for the first time in history. The coverage from TechCrunch perfectly captures the nature of CDFIs and their social impact mission: Community development financial institutions are an integral part of economic development in the United States. They support affordable housing, minority owned business and other entities that may struggle to get the capital they need from traditional banks. CNote's aim is to democratize finance: we strongly believe that everyone is entitled to the benefits of financial innovation, not just the top 1%. Our first CDFI-based product is the first step in that direction. Soon all Americans will have access to the product and will be able to reap the returns,…
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Reflections post-CDFI conference

Reflections post-CDFI conference

CDFIs
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the national conference of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in Atlanta. CDFIs, as you've read in previous posts are the "good guys and gals of finance." They provide fair capital and coaching to underserved segments like women and minorities in a high integrity, transparent and personal way. While I was in Atlanta, I met many impressive professionals. Their financial acumen, industry prowess and commitment to their community was nothing short of impressive. But what really made me stop and pause was their stories. CDFI professionals never lose site that beyond the spreadsheets, technology and complex modeling that makes their industry sing, there is an underlying heartbeat that keeps them going -- the borrowers. CDFI borrowers have some of the most beautiful and…
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The Good Guys of Finance. (Yes, they exist)

CDFIs, Savings
Having worked in both venture capital and financial services, I have seen some of the best and worst faces of finance. But there is one financial segment that is largely ignored and vastly under-celebrated. I call them “the good guys and girls of finance” for many reasons, but also because it’s easier than their name: CDFI.CDFIs, or Community Development Financial Institutions, were created over 20 years ago by the U.S. Treasury Department to help ensure that our country’s most underserved populations – low-income neighborhoods, women and minorities – were getting fair access to capital. Think about it this way: large banks don’t always find it easy or prudent to lend capital to certain types of small businesses, including first time entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs who need less than 100K to start…
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