Launching in 2021, the REAL People’s Fund provides a unique opportunity for philanthropy and social impact investors to partner with community members to create opportunities for locally-grown BIPOC entrepreneurs and businesses, and contribute to building a more equitable and inclusive economy. The REAL People’s Fund responds to community needs by offering flexible capital on fair terms and pairing loan recipients with ongoing business advising support.

The fund is professionally administered through a partnership between lenders RUNWAY and Community Vision. It provides a continuum of capital, from friends and family and recovery loans of up to $50,000 to loans of up to $250,000 for growing businesses. Loans are paired with hands-on business support through Uptima Entrepreneur Cooperative.

We democratize financial systems and shift the power of financial-decision-making into the hands of six well-respected East Bay community organizations.

Here’s what makes us unique:

We’re community-driven

We were designed and are democratically governed by six grassroots organizations, giving low-income people power over investment in their own communities.

We build community wealth

We focus on the least-served entrepreneurs and neighborhoods, building community wealth through business ownership and good jobs.

We address systemic failures

We directly address the systemic failures that prevent entrepreneurs in Black communities, Indigenous communities, and communities of color from accessing the financing their businesses need to thrive.

We support a restorative economy

We’re part of a broader movement to build a restorative and inclusive economy in the East Bay.

We’re looking for the following support:

Investment to support the target raise of $10 million for lending in our community

Credit enhancements, including subordinated debt or guarantees

General operating grant support, helping to lower costs to borrowers

Business advising grants to provide culturally-relevant support services, improving outcomes for small businesses

Integrated capital small grants to help launch under-resourced entrepreneurs

Note Offerings

Type of NoteDebt TypeInterest RateTerm Length
Impact NotesSenior debt1%7 years
Mission NotesSubordinated debt0%10 years

Funding Partners

san francisco foundation
the rockefeller foundation
kataly foundation

Join Us

In this critical moment, the REAL People’s Fund presents an opportunity to invest in a collective vision of equity, care, and accessibility. We have a shared responsibility to address the systemic failures that have kept Black people, Indigenous people, and communities of color, from accessing the resources and opportunities they need to thrive.

Through the REAL People’s Fund, private, corporate, and community foundations have the opportunity to prioritize investments into BIPOC-owned small businesses and communities. Join us in building community power, wealth, and investing in justice.

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