A coalition of Kansas City organizations have joined forces to launch a new partnership that will invest in the region’s Black-owned small businesses through flexible debt and equity financing, grant funding and business advisory services, the group announced Thursday.
“Unfortunately, many Black entrepreneurs are left out of the financial mainstream when it comes to business financing,” said Ruben Alonso III, president of AltCap. “This partnership is an opportunity to provide accessible, impact and growth-focused capital throughout the lifecycle of a Black-owned business: from a grant to a microloan to a business banking relationship, and even a potential equity investment.”
“By aligning the strengths of these small business allies, which share a common goal to dismantle barriers that hinder minority-owned businesses from achieving their potential, Black entrepreneurs will have improved access to capital and critical resources that will help their businesses grow,” the group said in a press release.
The pipeline of opportunity will begin with grants and technical assistance services offered by G.I.F.T. Initiated by a movement to cement a better future for all, G.I.F.T was established to begin reversing the effects of systemic racism in the local economy by providing Black innovators a chance to fill gaps in the Kansas City urban core.
“G.I.F.T. provides grant funding and technical assistance resources for the Black-owned businesses in Kansas City,” said Brandon Calloway, CEO and co-founder of G.I.F.T. “We are working to create more jobs and convert what has historically been an economically disadvantaged area into one of promise and opportunity.”
Click here to begin a conversation with G.I.F.T.
For entrepreneurs in need of expanded capital, AltCap and Lead Bank will both provide flexible loan financing, as well as help support G.I.F.T.’s coaching and technical assistance services.
“An integral part of Lead Bank’s strategy is meeting the financing needs of businesses and people whom the banking industry has traditionally underserved,” said Josh Rowland, CEO and vice-chairman of Lead Bank. “Lead Bank is committed to finding responsible ways to provide high-quality financial services for Black and Brown entrepreneurs in Kansas City. Our partnership with G.I.F.T, AltCap, and equity2 is a step in the right direction.”
Equity investments will also be provided by a local impact investing firm and AltCap affiliate organization equity2.
“Building a more equitable regional economy isn’t an abstract concept,” said Emily Lecuyer, Managing Director of equity2. “This partnership means that more Black-owned businesses will have a pathway to accessing friendly equity investment capital. It also means that impact investors who want to take some of what’s sitting on Wall Street and put it to work in their community can easily do that.”
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.