Let’s Build Community Wealth & Power
Entrepreneurs of color are powerful engines of change who play a major role in building a more equitable economy, yet they face disproportionate challenges establishing and scaling vibrant businesses.
Black and Brown-owned businesses are less likely to be approved for bank loans; and if they are approved for loans, often receive less money. The devastating realities of the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated the problem as these businesses were more likely to shut down and less likely to receive government support through the Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Without sustained support, many of these businesses will disappear from our communities for good.
REAL People’s Fund directly addresses systemic failures that entrepreneurs have to navigate in accessing the capital and holistic support their businesses need to thrive. Our entrepreneurship program combines patient, non-extractive capital; individualized business advising & training courses provided by our partner Uptima Entrepreneur Cooperative; and political powerbuilding through community organizing to set entrepreneurs up for success – both as business owners and as community leaders.
Approval rates for loans or lines of credit were
for minority business-owners than white business-owners.
How Do I Get Started?
- Submit: Complete our Entrepreneur Interest Form.
- Connect: We schedule a call with you to get to know each other better. Our team reviews mission-alignment and capital-readiness for your business.
- Learn: You participate in pre-capital advising or training, at no cost to you, through our partner Uptima. When you’re ready, your advisor recommends you for our capital program.
- Apply:: We invite you to apply. You present to our credit committee made up of advisors, business leaders, and local community members who are prepared to support your growth. Upon approval, you receive funding.
- Ongoing Support: You participate in ongoing business advising, local organizing, and become part of our vibrant community of entrepreneurs.
|Friends & Family||Early Stage||Growth Stage||Profit Share Financing|
|Term||5 years||6 years||7 years||Variable based on profits|
|Interest Rate||3%||4%||4%||Variable payments based on profits|
|Payment Schedule||2-yr Interest Only||2-yr Interest Only||1-yr Interest Only||4-yr grace period|
We are seeking those who are seeking us: mission-aligned entrepreneurs who want to make a positive social, environmental, or economic impact in the community.
- You are an BIPOC* entrepreneur, at least 18 years of age, and currently residing in and/or have your business located in Alameda county or Contra Costa county.
- Your business has the potential for meaningful positive social, environmental, and/or economic impact in your local community.
- You are growing a small business or cooperative with the potential for employing others in the community.
- You value and are receptive to working with advisors, taking outside advice, and participating in our community.
- You have a for-profit business that is generating consistent sales/revenue.
- You are excited about participating in our full social entrepreneurship program, including pre- and post-capital advising and training, as well as political engagement offerings.
What’s NOT part of our Criteria
- No minimum credit score is required, and past credit issues are permissible. However, all existing debt must be disclosed and the applicant must be current on all payments. The applicant may not currently be in foreclosure, bankruptcy, or under any liens.
- We do not require any collateral or personal guarantees.
- We do not conduct background checks, and do not screen for incarceration history or citizenship status.
- At this time we do not not fund any businesses that touch the cannabis flower but we can fund auxiliary services in the cannabis industry.
*BIPOC includes Black, Indigenous, Spanish-speaking/Latine, Asian/AAPI, low income, immigrant, undocumented, formerly-incarcerated and working-class communities of color