Lending Program Surpasses $2 Million Portfolio

Sequitta BanksContinuing its commitment to equip entrepreneurs with the capital to improve their lives and strengthen the small business community, LEDC’s Lending Program in May surpassed $2 million in active loans supporting small businesses in the Washington region. 

For Sequitta Banks, an $8,000 business loan helped finance the startup costs for her new law firm, including hiring a full-time administrative assistant. Banks was able to access financing through Kiva City DC, LEDC’s new partnership with Kiva and Capital One.

“Eventually, in the future, I would love to get a loan from a conventional bank,” Banks told the Washington Post in its April 19th article on the partnership. “But I don’t know how likely I would get a loan, being a new business. Most of the banks want us to be in business for two to three years.”

Since October, LEDC has provided approximately $1.4 million in new loans to DC-area business owners unable to access financing through the formal financial sector. 

The 103 loans – with an average loan size of roughly $14,000 – have helped a diverse group of business owners to start or expand their businesses, including a hair salon, a whole sale food distributor, and a pop-up coffee shop. Over the last 8 months, these funds are estimated to have helped create 120 new jobs and 25 new businesses in the Washington region.

“We know there are thousands of small biz owners that are excluded from the traditional financial sector,” said Cesar Lopez, CEO of the Community Asset Fund for Entrepreneurs, the new face of LEDC’s Lending Program. “They have the skills, they work hard, they have the business model, but for many reasons, they don’t have access to commercial loans to create, expand, or maintain their businesses. We’re working with them.”

Since the Kiva City DC partnership launched on January 8th, 22 business owners have been fully funded by Kiva’s community of lenders – a total dollar amount lent of $171,760.