• Lenderfit – Simplifying Small Business Lending

    After several years of work in the microlending space, with the generous support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, we’re announcing our latest endeavor to increase access to capital through the creation of a new customizable digital platform called Lenderfit. Lenderfit will allow other lenders to offer the same non-collateralized, non-credit based loan product that…

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  • Community Development Collaboration

    In many communities today, it is still increasingly difficult for individuals to start a successful business. Most entrepreneurs (81% - according to the latest data from the Kauffman Foundation) require some degree of alternative finance - they rely on their own savings and credit, turn to family and friends, and work to create early sales…

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  • Are Credit Scores Exclusionary?

    A major hurdle that any small business owner must overcome is that of poor or nonexistent credit in an imperfect financial system. In the US there are three major Credit Bureaus who operate as “trusted third parties” to help evaluate repayment risks. All three rely on evaluation methodology created by the Fair Isaacs Corporation, commonly…

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  • Solutions To Economic Exclusion

    The institutions which facilitate our economic life are prone to excluding the most vulnerable consumers among us. Too many people find it difficult (or altogether impossible) to access many parts of the formal economy. For example, twenty-five million American households are underbanked, and nine million more do not have a bank account of any kind. Banks, in…

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  • Narratives Versus Credit Scores

    In conversations with small business lenders, it’s common to hear statements about there being “plenty of money to lend, but a lack of qualified borrowers.” With access to capital being a top issue for small business owners nationwide, there’s certainly no lack of demand. Businesses that would not only service debt if the opportunity were extended,…

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  • Helping Entrepreneurs Grow Small Businesses

    Starting the business from scratch was nearly impossible for Darryl Goodner, co-owner of Louisville Cream, a small batch ice cream company that uses local grass-fed milk to make a unique flavors that rotate from month to month. He is one of many hard-working entrepreneurs struggling to identify adequate sources of capital to grow their business.…

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  • Facilitating Conversations About Startup Ecosystems

    If you’ve attended one or more meetings in the past year in which there was a conversation about what was needed to help stoke your local startup scene, please take a moment to metaphorically raise your hand. Across the country, economic development groups, entrepreneurs, and community advocates are all trying figure out what makes a…

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  • Partnerships Between Funders And Nonprofits

    It is well established that non-profits define partnerships with funders as transactional; but this can’t be in the best interest of the communities being served. What I have found is there is often a stark disconnect between the perceived issues as it relates to “partnership”. Here are example comments I have heard when I ask…

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  • Alternative Solutions For Small Business Funding

    It’s a sunny summer day and the line for the craft ice cream stand you launched the year prior has a line that stretches five booths back. Your full-time day job prevents you from taking on more business, and even if you had the time, your ice cream mixer is not big enough to handle…

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  • Averting Financial Catastrophe In America

    Fifty-seven percent of Americans say that they are unable to cover an unexpected bill of $500. The financial insecurity of the average American has inspired thousands of entrepreneurs to build companies aimed at solving this problem, and our team at Village Capital has reviewed hundreds of them through our annual entrepreneur support programs in fintech (programs in which Access Ventures is a partner).…

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