Small Business

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Every small business will at some point need financing. Whether startup or growth capital, money helps businesses take root and thrive.

Yet, nationwide many bright, budding entrepreneurs, especially entrepreneurs of color, face the challenge of accessing low-cost capital – they don’t have the experience, cash flow, credit profile, or equity needed for a traditional bank loan. Often this leads small business owners to predatory, expensive financing. In many cases, it means talented, hardworking entrepreneurs never see their dreams realized.

We invest in bright ideas and passionate people with vision and talent. We help diverse entrepreneurs build a thriving economy.

CDFIs provide safe, responsible options when banks won’t or can’t lend. We fill small business financing gaps, offering financing and technical expertise to help small businesses launch, grow, and succeed.

Employees at Minnesota Ice, known as the world’s largest manufacturer of sculpture-grade ice, stand in front of an ice sculpture.

Capital Plus

More than capital providers, CDFIs are “Capital Plus.” We tailor loans to fit people not a credit box and offer training, coaching, and support for small business entrepreneurs.

Wood artists Anna and Nathanael Bailey stand in their Duluth, Minnesota workshop.

Specialized Lenders

For decades, CDFIs have lent successfully to businesses in low-wealth communities. In 2021, certified CDFIs had more than $25 billion small business and microloans in their portfolios. With a cumulative net charge-off rate of less than 1%, CDFIs lend productively in low-income, low-wealth markets. CDFIs were also instrumental in delivering Paycheck Protection Program relief to very small, minority-owned, and women-owned businesses, outperforming larger lenders.


What is a CDFI?

CDFIs invest in people and places not credit boxes.

Learn about CDFIs
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CDFIs Help Small Businesses Thrive

CDFI clients are determined entrepreneurs with great ideas and drive to succeed.

Read CDFI stories
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CDFIs are Everywhere

CDFIs work in rural, urban, and Native communities nationwide.

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Support the backbone of the American economy.

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