Woodforest’s Small Business Growth Initiative

Small businesses are social economic drivers that provide local jobs, fill the gap for goods and services, and serve as a catalyst of change for community reinvestment. Our Small Business Growth Initiative is a multi-faceted approach aimed at building America’s small businesses and their ecosystem, particularly women- and minority-owned businesses. The following is a brief overview of our current small business programs. Talk to a Community Development Officer near you for details.

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)

Equity Equivalent (EQ2) in tandem with the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) is an initiative that provides added capital liquidity to CDFIs by providing a secondary market through seasoned portfolio acquisition. As the leading national network of CDFIs, OFN shapes policy, conducts research, and creates partnership and programs that helps its members deliver in financially stressed communities. OFN’s CDFI Community Investment Fund, LLC provides cost effective, flexible, subordinate long-term loan capital for CDFIs. Woodforest teamed up with OFN to design, market, capitalize and manage the fund. See Remarks from Cathy Nash, Woodforest’s President and CEO discussing the initiative at the 2016 OFN Conference.

Second Look Responsible Capital

Through innovative technology integration, small businesses have the opportunity to seamlessly explore additional responsible lending opportunities. For instance, Woodforest successfully teamed up with Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) as the only bank to test Project CUE, the 2015 CDFI Fund Innovation Challenge winner providing a "second" look opportunity to small businesses through CDFIs.

Open Source Entrepreneurship Platform

We support AEOs reimagining trusted guidance initiative by engaging with local, regional, and national small business advocates and practitioners to provide innovative resources for small business education and mentorship including the creation of an open-source state-of-the art entrepreneurship platform.

Woodforest Foundry

Woodforest Foundry is creative programming where entrepreneurs collaborate, create, test and launch their ideas. The Foundry blends practical mentorship through peers, professionals and mentors. The goals of the Foundry are to fail faster and freer of capital, turn passion into action, create a workforce development tool and revitalize underserved communities. Foundries have launched in San Antonio, TX and Pittsburgh, PA. We are finding innovative ways to bring foundry programing into our in-store branches.

Mentorship Network

Through Woodforest's our human capital, Woodforest stands ready to increase mentorship capacity of CDFIs, Small Business Development Centers, Community Development Corporations, Community Development Entities and other small business development providers throughout the communities they serve across our 17 states.

Small Business Capital Continuum

The goal of this project is to increase equity investments and impact Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs), intended to increase capital to companies with at least $1MM in revenue operating in low-to-moderate communities.

Woodforest National Bank

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