A new partnership between online business loan marketplace Funding Circle and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) will help businesses owned by people from minority groups secure much-needed funding.
Funding Circle staff will teach financial education classes to students at the MBDA’s network of business centers across the country. Topics include how to access alternative capital, business strategy development and financing transparency as outlined in the Small Business Owner’s Bill of Rights.
The MBDA stated poor capital access is the top impediment to the success of the eight million small businesses owned by people from minority groups.
Funding Circle Co-Founder and US Managing Director Sam Hodges believes they can help.
“The success of minority-owned businesses is vital to a strong and sustainable U.S. economy, but too many of these great entrepreneurs simply don’t have access to affordable growth capital from traditional lenders. We believe small businesses deserve better and are proud to partner with the MBDA to help minority business owners understand their options and secure the financing they need to grow.”
Such partnerships are becoming more common in an increasingly crowded space as companies seek business through the provision of value-added experiences to homogeneous segments of the marketplace. Alejandra Y. Castillo, the MBDA’s National Director believes they will benefit the people she helps.
“This incredible achievement demonstrates the power of public/private partnerships. New financing options, delivered through marketplace lenders like Funding Circle, have the potential to level the playing field for the nation’s minority entrepreneurs and business owners because lack of financing is the biggest obstacle they face.”