The Veteran Collaborative Announces the Creation of the Veteran Loan Fund

Group of twelve Community Development Financial Institutions, with Bank of America as lead investor, honor our nation’s military veterans

 

 

AUSTIN, TEXAS – The Veteran Loan Fund aims to fill the financial and training gap that underserved military veterans often face when building a small business. This new 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 will benefit from free business coaching and loans with interest rates of 10% or less.

It has been demonstrated that many veterans returning to civilian life have a high preference for independence and entrepreneurship but often lack access to capital, formal business training, and a network of peers. The Veteran Collaborative, now rebranded as the Veteran Loan Fund, was established in 2017 as an effort to consolidate best business practices to engage with and support veteran entrepreneurs.

“Veterans make great entrepreneurs. As a veteran, it is an honor to launch the Veteran Loan Fund to provide the capital and resources that they need to start and grow their small business. In doing so, we are helping them attain the American Dream.” says Grant Bennett, Director of Veteran Programs and Operating Manager of the Veteran Loan Fund.

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 current list of member CDFIs 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), DreamSpring (NM), Economic and Community Development Institute (OH), Pathway Lending (TN, AL, KY), PeopleFund – managing member (TX), Pursuit – formerly Excelsior Growth Fund (NJ, NY, PA), and 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 lead investor, along with historic support from other major institutions. 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 for their businesses.

“The flow of capital has a significant role to play in advancing opportunities for veterans,” said Dan Letendre, CDFI Lending and Investing executive at Bank of America. “By investing in the Veteran Loan Fund, we can help bring untapped potential among our local veteran entrepreneurs to the forefront and help to drive innovation, expanding job growth and creating generational wealth across our communities.”

For more information, please visit https://www.vet.loan.

Bank of America

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Reporters may contact:

Jenny Palecek, PeopleFund

Phone: 1.512.222.1005

JPalecek@peoplefund.org

 

Vanessa Cook, Bank of America

Phone: 1.980.683.2247

vanessa.a.cook@bofa.com