TruFund Announces the Launch of the Wisdom Fund, Closing the Lending Gap for Women

NEW ORLEANS – Women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S. yet less than 5 percent of small business lending – only $1 in $23 – goes to women.

On Thursday, March 21, TruFund Financial Services, Inc. (TruFund) a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), announced a partnership with CNote aiming to close this lending gap for women entrepreneurs through the Wisdom Fund. Details were shared in a press release.

Created in partnership with mission-driven lender CDC Small Business Finance, the Wisdom Fund funnels money from accredited investors – institutions, funds, foundations, family offices and individuals – into business loans for low-to-moderate income women and women of color. TruFund is one of the three inaugural lenders that will provide loans to women entrepreneurs through the fund.

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"We hear a lot about the gap in venture capital funding for women, but the vast majority of women who need capital are not forming hyper-growth startups; they are starting small businesses to pursue economic freedom, flexibility and independence. The financial system is not serving them well, and we're very much failing women of color in particular," said Catherine Berman, CEO and co-founder of CNote, an impact investing platform whose mission is to close the wealth gap in the U.S.

"With the Wisdom Fund, we're taking a major step toward fixing a huge injustice- women's businesses receive far less funding than they deserve," said Berman. "We're working with an amazing group of nonprofit community lenders nationally to entirely rethink lending to women."

Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) like TruFund are perfectly positioned to take on this work. They're distributed across the country, they have always invested in financially underserved communities, and they have enormous unrealized potential for financial and impact returns.

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"I'm excited that TruFund is a part of the inaugural group of lenders with the Wisdom Fund." said Myla R. Poree, vice president – managing director for Louisiana. "This fund further helps TruFund become a vehicle of change for women entrepreneurs in Louisiana, helping them grow and scale their businesses."

TruFund also aims to close the gap in business development services to women entrepreneurs through its Women In Business: An EmpowHERment Program. The program provides innovative financial solutions, education, hands-on business advisory services as well as intellectual capital essential for achieving economic success.

"Like entrepreneurship, women have been a cornerstone in building strong and resilient communities, said LaShaunda Pickett – Rene' AVP, program manager – Louisiana. "It has been our pleasure and privilege here at TruFund, to create and hold space for women entrepreneurs to examine where they are in their entrepreneurial journey, identify where they want to be in the near and long-term and to define for themselves what success looks like today."

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To learn more about the Wisdom Fund and Women In Business: An EmpowHERment Program, join TruFund Financial Services, Inc. during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week for a formal press conference where they will honor legacy business owner and female entrepreneur Leah Chase of Dooky Chase's with the first InnovatHER Award.

The press conference will be followed by the second annual Krewe of InnovatHERs: An EmpowHERment discussion for women in business on building business resiliency, capacity building and opportunity. The panel is comprised of top earning female entrepreneurs of the region.

Register for Krewe of InnovatHERs: An EmpowHERment Discussion


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