The TriplePundit Flash: New Fund Aims to Close Lending Gap for Women Entrepreneurs

Apr 10, 2019 11:00 AM ET

Shavon Marley (pictured above), owner and founder of Marley Transport & Trucking in Raleigh, North Carolina, is one of many women to benefit from this new impact investing fund.  Women are becoming entrepreneurs at a rate far faster than men in the U.S. Yet less than 5 percent of small business lending—only $1 in $23—goes to women. Fintech company CNote aims to change that with a new impact investment product directed at low- to moderate-income women and women of color.

The Wisdom Fund, a fixed income vehicle that increases capital access and lending for women-owned businesses, was created by CNote in partnership with mission-driven lender CDC Small Business Finance and four innovative nonprofits.

CNote is a financial platform that directs every dollar invested toward funding female- and minority-led small businesses, affordable housing, and economic development in financially underserved communities across America. The Wisdom Fund will funnel money from accredited investors—institutions, funds, foundations, family offices and individuals—into business loans for low- to moderate-income women and women of color.

Minority-owned businesses often face discriminatory lending practices and are less likely to be approved for small business loans, and even if they are, data indicates they receive smaller amounts at a much higher interest rate. Black women, as the fastest-growing group of business owners in the U.S., stand to benefit enormously from the kind of support that the Wisdom Fund offers.

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Image credit: CNote​