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Equipping Latinos And Other DC And Baltimore Metro Area Residents With Skills And Financial Tools To Create A Better Future For Their Families And Communities


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BBVA Compass, Opportunity Finance Network Welcome

First Class of Opportunity Fellows to Birmingham

  • 25 professionals from diverse finance organizations participate in leadership program
  • Fellows to explore ways to give underserved communities better access to capital

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -  BBVA Compass and Opportunity Finance Network on Tuesday welcome their inaugural class of 25 Opportunity Fellows to Birmingham for a three-day training session where they'll explore how to lead the change necessary to give underserved communities equal access to capital. The Latino Economic Development Center's Oswaldo Acosta is one of the professionals selected for the program

 

"We are thrilled that Oswaldo was selected to participate in the 2017 Opportunity Fellows Program. It is a great opportunity for him and for LEDC to learn from the thoughtful curriculum and top-notch peers who will be joining him on the journey," said Marla Bilonick, Executive Director, Latino Economic Development Center. "As a graduate of OFN's prior leadership program, I can personally attest to the value and quality that OFN brings to bear in uniting ideas and people for the benefit of the industry."  

 

BBVA Compass and Opportunity Finance Network joined forces in October to develop the Opportunity Fellows Program. The program is designed to boost the leadership ranks and spur the transformation of Community Development Financial Institutions, or CDFIs, which are critical engines of opportunity in low-income communities. Nationally recognized experts in the field of community development chose the 25 Opportunity Fellows from nearly 100 highly qualified applicants, and together they represent emerging, mid-career and executive-level professionals from CDFIs across the country. Owaldo Acosta was selected to participate in the MID-CAREER level.

 

"This innovative and robust leadership program brings together participants with different levels of experience with a common goal: to increase opportunity for all people and in all communities across the country," said Pam Porter, Executive Vice President, Strategic Consulting at OFN. "We congratulate the 25 Opportunity Fellows, and we thank BBVA Compass for recognizing the impact this program will have and for its generous support."

 

The Opportunity Fellows Program provides nine months of training with world-class experts in leadership and racial equity from the University of Alabama Collat School of Business and Race Matters Institute. The program kicks off this week at the BBVA Compass headquarters in Birmingham, where participants will engage in interactive activities and experiences, and will learn from other leaders in microfinance. They will also spend time with experts to better understand the patterns and causes behind the growing inequity in racial and ethnic minorities, as well as tour the Innovation Depot business incubator.

 

"We could not be more proud of this leadership program, and of these participants," said BBVA Compass Director of Corporate Responsibility and Reputation Reymundo Ocañas. "We know that by investing in their future, we're investing in the future of all of our communities. These are the leaders of organizations who put capital to work directly in low- to moderate-income communities. The idea is to arm them with the tools and skills they need to flourish in this impactful field of community-oriented finance."

 

A complete list of participants is available at: http://ofn.org/opportunity-fellows 

 

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About the CDFI Fund:

Since its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $2.2 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations, and financial institutions through the CDFI Program, the NACA Program, the Bank Enterprise Award Program, the Capital Magnet Fund, and the Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program. To learn more about the CDFI Fund and its programs, please view the Fact Sheet or visit the CDFI Fund's website at www.cdfifund.gov.  

  

About BBVA Compass:

BBVA Compass is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates 672 branches, including 344 in Texas, 89 in Alabama, 75 in Arizona, 62 in California, 45 in Florida, 38 in Colorado and 19 in New Mexico. BBVA Compass ranks among the top 25 largest U.S. commercial banks based on deposit market share and ranks among the largest banks in Alabama (2nd), Texas (4th) and Arizona (5th). BBVA Compass was recently named Best Digital Bank in North America by global finance magazine Euromoney and the best regional bank in the South & West and best mobile app in Money magazine's 2015-2016 list of the Best Banks in America. Additional information about BBVA Compass can be found at bbvacompass.com, by following @BBVACompassNews on Twitter or visiting newsroom.bbvacompass.com

 

About OFN:

Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), the leading national network of private financial institutions, creates growth that is good for communities, investors, individuals, and the economy. Members of OFN are community development financial institutions (CDFIs) that deliver responsible lending to help low-wealth and low-income communities join the economic mainstream. Through 2015 OFN's network originated $48 billion in financing in urban, rural, and Native American communities. This financing has helped to create or maintain more than 1,044,000 jobs, start or expand nearly 191,000 businesses and microenterprises, and support the development or rehabilitation of nearly 1.5 million housing units and 9,800 community facility projects. For more information, visit ofn.org.

LEDC Gives First Ever $100,000 Loan to ANXO Bar & Pintxos Through CED Grant 

Washington, D.C. - On September 30th, 2016, LEDC was awarded a $400,000 grant from the Department of Health and Human Service's (HHS) through their Community Economic Development (CED) program. The funds are to be used to provide local DC businesses with financing to create jobs with living wages, benefits, and opportunity for advancement for low-income DC residents. 

The project allows LEDC to not only support job creation in the region, but test the disbursement of loans larger than its customary $50,000 size. LEDC issued the first loan through the project for $100,000 to Basque Bar LLC. The Basque Bar team will be using the funds to support two new locations. One of which was opened in 2016, Anxo Cidery & Pintxos Bar located at 300 Florida Avenue, and is DC's first cidery. They will produce their own cider and offer over 130 ciders from around the world.

"LEDC is thrilled to have the opportunity to support large-scale restaurant projects in the District that will create many jobs for low-income individuals in the city," said Marla Bilonick, Executive Director, Latino Economic Development Center. "This is an exciting chance to be on the forefront of DC's restaurant boom, while achieving important social outcomes by enhancing individual livelihoods."

Basque Bar LLC currently employs 21 full-time and 16 part-time employees. With these funds, they are hoping to expand their business by creating 5 full-time and 5 part-time positions.

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About Community Economic Development:

The Community Economic Development (CED) program is a Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Community Services (OCS) initiative designed to address the economic needs of low-income individuals and families through the creation of sustainable business development and employment opportunities.

Learn more about CED.

About ANXO Cidery & Pintxos Bar:

ANXO opened in July 2016. ANXO's first brick and mortar, located at 300 Florida Avenue NW, is the child of six founders: Managing Partners Sam Fitz and his sister, Rachel Fitz; Executive Chef Alex Vallcorba and his wife, Sara Vallcorba; Beverage Manager Tim Prendergast; and Bar Manager Cooper Sheehan. Combined, the team has over 50 years of experience opening and managing restaurants, including 2 Amys, Meridian Pint, Obelisk, Smoke & Barrel, and ChurchKey.

Learn more about ANXO.

Nearly 66% of Baltimore families of Color Lack the Savings to Sustain a Job Loss or Other Emergency  

New report calls for greater investment to address the city's racial wealth divide  

Baltimore, M.D. -  A new report from the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) reveals a troubling racial wealth gap in Baltimore. The Racial Wealth Divide in Baltimore finds that 66% of households of color are "liquid asset poor," meaning they do not have enough savings to sustain themselves at the poverty level for just three months if faced with a sudden job loss, medical emergency or other income disruption. That compares to 32% of White households, according to the report.

Additionally, the report finds that households of color are three times more likely to be unemployed and three times more likely to live in poverty. The greatest disparities are between White and Black households. The median income among Black households is $33,801, compared to $62,751 for White households, $50,531 for Asian households and $44,116 for Latino households.

With the release of the report, CFED's Racial Wealth Divide Initiative is joining with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy to announce the launch of the second phase of the Building High Impact Nonprofits of Color project, which will help strengthen the capacity of local nonprofits to expand economic opportunity in Baltimore and across the country.

"We will be working in Baltimore to build the capacity of local nonprofits led by people of color serving people of color, as these organizations are on the frontlines of addressing the most pressing needs of underserved Baltimoreans," said Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, Director of the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative at CFED. 

JPMorgan Chase provided financial support to CFED to develop the report and conduct trainings to equip more than 20 organizations to launch, expand or improve wealth-building initiatives for communities of color nationwide.

Eleven nonprofits were competitively selected in two cities-Chicago and Baltimore-to participate in the second phase of the project. In Baltimore, the selected nonprofits include Bon Secours Community Works, Center for Urban Families,Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, Inc., Latino Economic Development Center, Muse 360 Arts and Urban Alliance. In Chicago, the selected nonprofits include Chinese Mutual Aid Association,Gads Hill Center,Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation,North Lawndale Employment Network and Spanish Coalition for Housing. These organizations join cohorts in Miami and New Orleans, the two cities that were part of the initial phase of the project.

"LEDC is excited to participate in the 2017 cohort of CFED's Racial Wealth Divide initiative," said Marla Bilonick, Executive Director, Latino Economic Development Center. "The program is a great opportunity for us to build our capacity and strengthen our networks as we deepen our service to Latinos and other underserved populations in Baltimore." 

Some of the report's other key findings include:

  • 32% of Black households and 29% of Latino households in Baltimore have zero net worth, compared with 15% of White households.
  • The average value of Black-owned businesses is $40,879, compared to $801,075 for White-owned businesses.
  • Rent is the largest expense for 59.3% of Black households in Baltimore, 58.2% of Latino households, 47.3% of Asian households, and 47.2% of White households.

 For more information on CFED's Racial Wealth Divide Initiative, click here.

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CFED's work makes it possible for millions of people to achieve financial security and contribute to an opportunity economy. We scale innovative practical solutions that empower low- and moderate-income people to build wealth. We drive responsive policy change at all levels of government. We support the efforts of community leaders across the country to advance economic opportunity for all. Established in 1979 as the Corporation for Enterprise Development, CFED works nationally and internationally through its offices in Washington, D.C.; Durham, North Carolina, and San Francisco, California                                      
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