ReMix Ideas, FORGE Community Loan Fund partner to help entrepreneurs with limited resources



ReMix Ideas has partnered with FORGE Community Loan Fund, a community development financial institution, to create a pilot program called the Imani Fund that will provide low-income entrepreneurs in Arkansas with microloans ranging from $ 5,000 to $ 25,000, as well as free technical assistance.

The goal is to minimize the systemic barrier to access to capital that entrepreneurs with limited resources often face.

“Over the past few years, I have worked closely with black entrepreneurs, and I have witnessed many of their business dreams die in a bank parking lot due to low credit ratings and lack of collateral,” said Benito Lubazibwa, founder of ReMix Ideas. … “These economic constraints have denied the scarcity of resources for doing business for too long. Therefore, I am very pleased that we are launching this innovative capital-based loan product. ”

The Imani Foundation will use an unusual underwriting process that assesses the individuality and engagement of the community, rather than the collateral being considered for a loan. The word “Imani” means “faith” in Swahili.

Another unique feature is that the person’s potential to pursue a viable business model in the future outweighs the past relationship with personal debt. Loans for entrepreneurs from the Imani Fund will be provided by FORGE.

“Collateral, credit history and personal capital are important features of the traditional underwriting process. This is a reasonable assessment of lending risk management. However, when they are combined with the historical extraction of wealth from underserved communities, the result is that these communities are deprived of their traditional sources of capital, ”said Philip Adams, CEO of FORGE. “The opportunities and results created by the Imani Foundation should provide the larger financial system with a tool to spur open lending into a more inclusive future.”

Tim Turner, who owns Kingdom Made Treats with his wife, is the first recipient to receive loan approval through the Imani Foundation. The loan will be used for expansion and marketing expenses to help expand the Italian ice business, Turner said.


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