Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) announced that respected financial crusader Inez Long has been named recipient of the 2020 Ned Gramlich Lifetime Achievement Award for Responsible Finance. Presented annually by OFN, a leading network of community development financial institutions (CDFIs), the Gramlich Award is the CDFI industry’s highest individual honor.
Long is the president and CEO of the Black Business Investment Fund (BBIF), the largest minority-led CDFI in Florida. Founded in 1987, BBIF helps Black-owned businesses statewide gain access to business development training and capital. Long has helmed BBIF for nearly three decades. During this time, the organization has provided loans totaling more than $60 million to roughly 655 Black, minority, and underserved businesses. These investments translate to more than 14,707 jobs in BBIF’s region.
“Inez is an exemplary leader among CDFIs, providing unparalleled local impact through her organization,” said Lisa Mensah, president and CEO of OFN. “She is a former banker, a barrier breaker, and a bridge builder. Her vision, commitment, and determination have created opportunity for thousands of Black, minority, and underserved small businesses—and with today’s heightened awareness of racial and economic injustice, she has set a course for others in the finance industry to follow.”
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