Virginia-based Freedom First Federal Credit Union is the recipient of the 2013 Seed Capital Award for its American Dreamer Loan product. The American Dreamer Loan product offers affordable, responsible financing to help Roanoke-area refugees, as well as immigrants who are legal permanent residents, apply for citizenship.
Small businesses need capital to grow, but in many low-income communities financing is hard to come by and entrepreneurs struggle to achieve their dreams. Opportunity Fund believes everyone, regardless of economic background, deserves a chance to succeed. California’s leading microfinance provider has developed a loan product—EasyPay—that’s putting capital in the reach of small business owners in even the most underserved communities.
Detroit faces tough odds. Since 2000, the city has experienced a drastic drop in population. Thousands of abandoned homes and vacant lots create a desolate urban landscape in an area where the average home value is well below the state’s average. And residents, disproportionately low-to-moderate income, confront a 20% unemployment rate. Yet in this seemingly hopeless situation, Capital Impact sees tremendous opportunity, and it is working to revitalize the city that at one time embodied the American dream.
Across the country, as the demand for rental housing increases, the amount of money available for the preservation of affordable housing is shrinking. Real estate developers are buying up unsubsidized affordable housing with the aim of taking it out of the affordable stock and increasing the rents. In the process, low-income families who live there are being displaced.
Opportunity Fund will expand its innovative EasyPay small business loan product to entrepreneurs who need it throughout California.
NCB Capital Impact will use its NEXT Award to develop Detroit's Woodward Corridor, bringing needed housing units, charter schools, and other critical services to the community.
Housing Partnership Network is a NEXT Awardee for expansion of the first REIT launched by nonprofits to acquire and preserve affordable housing throughout the U.S.