Austin Community Foundation announces its first impact investment, a $200,000 investment in PeopleFund to provide loans to low-income or minority entrepreneurs starting a small business in Central Texas.
“PeopleFund is a trusted resource in our community, providing entrepreneurs access to low-cost capital that they may otherwise not be able to access,” says Mike Nellis, CEO of Austin Community Foundation. “Our investment in PeopleFund will help drive economic development in East Austin and other neighborhoods where residents have low incomes.”
Since its founding in 1994, PeopleFund has provided small business loans, as well as business assistance and education, to people with otherwise limited access to such resources. The group targets minority, women, and veteran business owners and those residing in low to moderate income census tracts. Over 50% of current loans are to startups and non-profit organizations. Through access to capital and educational opportunities, PeopleFund creates economic opportunity and financial stability for underserved people to build healthy small businesses.
Last fall Austin Community Foundation established its Impact Investment Fund to augment the Foundation’s grantmaking and put a greater portion of the organization’s assets to work doing social good in Central Texas than ever before. Impact investing is any type of investment structured to generate a measurable social return and a financial return.
Through its Impact Investment Fund, the Foundation considers making loans or equity investments to nonprofits and social enterprise companies working in Central Texas that offer a unique or innovative solution to a local need. Investments are made ideally for 3-5 years and no more than 7 years.
Investments may range up to $250,000.
“Through our Impact Investment Fund, the Foundation can put a greater portion of our resources to work than ever before,” says Nellis. “Investing in PeopleFund means we can supplement our traditional grantmaking and recycle philanthropic capital, doing more social good.”
Call for Investments
The Foundation has an open process for receiving and reviewing investment opportunities. Interested nonprofits or for-profit social ventures are invited to submit an online Letter of Inquiry. Learn more: www.austincf.org/WhatWeDo/ImpactInvesting
About Austin Community Foundation
Austin Community Foundation fosters an ecosystem of philanthropy to create meaningful change in Austin and Central Texas. The Foundation offers efficient and effective giving tools for donors, impactful grants and loans for nonprofits and social ventures and collaborative leadership around the most pressing needs in our community. The Foundation grants more than $20 million annually, mostly through donor advised funds. Founded in 1977, the community foundation is the third largest charitable foundation in Central Texas by grants distributed. Through long-term investment strategies the Foundation creates assets for tomorrow while building a community of givers today. More info: www.Austincf.org
See next page for “Economic Opportunity Success Stories,” featuring three ventures that received loans from PeopleFund.
Economic Opportunity Success Stories
Austin Community Foundation announces its first impact investment, a $200,000 investment in PeopleFund to provide loans to low-income or minority entrepreneurs starting a small business in Central Texas. These three ventures that received loans from PeopleFund are representative of the types of entrepreneurs who will receive loans as a result of Austin Community Foundation’s Impact Investment.
Five years ago, Kelly Jadele was a struggling single mom looking for a way to provide for her family. Kelly turned her ability to keep organized and maintain a tidy home into Let Kelly, an all-encompassing cleaning and personal services business. After numerous banks turned Kelly away, PeopleFund welcomed her with open arms, providing the resources Kelly needed to grow her business. Thanks to PeopleFund, Kelly moved her business out of her home, hired 12 employees, and grew her business by 40% in the last year. www.letkelly.com/
Founded in 2013, bunglo is led by artist and designer Shay Spaniola. Before starting bunglo, Shay’s free spiritedness and curiosity took her across the globe, filling her with cultural touchstones and a diverse color palette. Her design studio focuses on eclectic, one-of-a-kind fabric patterns and art inspired by nature. Her items are ethically produced and resources from PeopleFund allowed Shay to purchase inventory to grow her budding business. Since she received funding from PeopleFund, Bunglo has been featured in Bloomingdales, Anthropologie, Neiman Marcus, and many other elite retailers. www.bunglo.co
African American Youth Harvest Foundation
The African American Youth Harvest Foundation (AAYHF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing culturally competent, family centered educational, health and human services, and economic development opportunities to African American youth and other at-risk populations. AAYHF provides after school programs, alternative suspension programs, coding and technology training, workforce development, college readiness, and scholarship programs to young people of color. In 2012, PeopleFund approved a revolving line of credit for working capital in support of AAYHF programs, which have supported both job creation and youth counseling efforts. www.aayhf.org
PeopleFund is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established in 1994. It is a U.S. Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and SBA certified lender. PeopleFund provides business loans up to $350,000 to Texas businesses that do not qualify for bank loans. It also provides client business assistance and education. The target market is minority, women, and veteran business owners and those residing in low to moderate income census tracts. Over 50% of current loans are to startups and non-profit organizations. Through access to capital and educational opportunities, PeopleFund creates economic opportunity and financial stability for underserved people to build healthy small businesses. PeopleFund inspires, educates, funds, and elevates entrepreneurs on the path to prosperity and the American dream. www.peoplefund.org