For Immediate Release February 3, 2022
Seattle, WA, February 2022 –
The Veteran Loan Fund aims to fill the financial and training gap that underserved Veterans face when building a small business. This fund includes a network of Veteran service organizations focused on technical assistance and formal business coaching coupled with a network of twelve specialized capital providers, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). Eligible Veterans benefit from free business coaching and loans with interest rates of 10% or less.
“Business Impact NW is excited to join partner CDFIs to help ensure our amazing Veteran-Owned businesses have access to capital and technical assistance to make their businesses even stronger. It is a small way to help those who have already served our country [to] continue their service to community“ said Joe Sky-Tucker, President and CEO of Business Impact NW.
It has been demonstrated that Veterans returning to civil life, have a high preference for independence and entrepreneurship but lack access to capital, formal business training and a network of peers. The Veteran Collaborative, now rebranded Veteran Loan Fund, was born in 2017 as an effort to consolidate best business practices to engage with and support veteran entrepreneurs.
Specialized technical assistance partners include Bunker Labs, Vet Met, Vet to CEO, as well as local partnerships with Veteran Business Outreach Centers, SCORE and SBDCs. The full list of member CDFI’s of this nationwide collaboration are, Access to Capital For Entrepreneurs (GA), Black Business Investment Fund (FLA), Business Impact Northwest (WA, OR), Colorado Enterprise Fund (CO), Dream Spring (NM), Economic and Community Development Institute (OH), Pathway Lending (TN, AL, KY), PeopleFund – managing member (TX), Pursuit – formerly Excelsior Growth Fund (NJ, NY, PA), Wisconsin Women Business Initiative Corporation (WI).
The Veteran Loan Fund’s first $15 million round is made possible by a $5 million commitment of long-term, below market rate lending capital from Bank of America as the lead investor, along with historic support from other major institutions in the form of loan capital and grants. The fund plans to grow to $100 million within five years, an amount equal to the estimated annual demand for capital from Veteran entrepreneurs that do not receive any kind of funding.
“Business Impact NW’s Veterans Business Outreach Center is honored to be a specialized technical assistance partner with other organizations. Through this collaboration, we can better fulfill the joint mission of helping eligible Veterans access funding and business training. I look forward to helping more Veterans realize their dream of starting their own business through the Veteran Loan Fund.” says Steve Watts-Oelrich, Program Director of the Veterans Business Outreach Center at Business Impact NW.
About Business Impact NW:
Business Impact NW is a community lender and nonprofit dedicated to economic development. We provide coaching, classes and access to capital to small businesses, with a focus on historically underserved populations including communities of color, women, veterans, immigrants, refugees, LGBTQ+ and low-income entrepreneurs in the Pacific Northwest. Our mission is to grow businesses that create jobs in underserved communities while promoting long-term positive economic change. Business Impact NW is located in Seattle, WA and offers technical assistance in Washington State, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska through the Washington Women’s Business Center and the Veterans Business Outreach Center. Our loan department offers lending services in Washington State and Oregon. To learn more about our services or to make a donation, visit www.businessimpactnw.org. You can also contact Business Impact NW Communications Team at [email protected]
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About the author
Carolina is responsible for leading the Marketing and Communications department. She has a vast professional experience in marketing, market research and consulting, working with clients and organizations across many industries and in multiple Latin American countries. She earned her B.A. in Business Administration from Universidad Austral de Chile, a Master of Finance from Universidad de Chile, and a Certificate in Marketing from UC Berkeley. Outside of work she enjoys hiking, watching documentaries and volunteering.