Delivering Credit to Entrepreneurs of Color Impacted by COVID-19


August 5, 2020
2:00pm ET

Why Community Financial Institutions Are Essential

Prior to the global pandemic, the relatively high small business start and ownership rates among entrepreneurs of color were a bright spot in a period of declining US entrepreneurship. But small businesses have endured some of the hardest stresses of the pandemic, as forced closures and physical distancing have decimated earnings for restaurants, salons, childcare centers, and other services we all rely on. Businesses owned by entrepreneurs of color have been particularly impacted by declining revenues, and despite government efforts to get money into people’s hands, many small businesses have not received the support they need. This is partly a problem with the delivery systems used: programs that flow through banks miss those that have historically been underserved. Fortunately, there are lenders who serve these businesses and communities: Community Development Financial Institutions. CDFIs are mission-driven lenders that serve the parts of America that too often get left behind, including people of color, returning veterans, new citizens, and more.

In this conversation," Delivering Credit to Entrepreneurs of Color Impacted by COVID-19: Why Community Financial Institutions Are Essential," we’ll talk about the role CDFIs can play in supporting entrepreneurs and advancing equity during this uncertain time. And we'll discuss how can policymakers, investors, philanthropy, and others support the work of CDFIs.

This discussion will feature Bill Bynum (Chief Executive Officer, HOPE); Michael Barr (Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy, Frank Murphy Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, Roy F. and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Professor of Law, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan); Nicole Jordan-Reed (Owner and Founder, Nicole Jordan Catering, LLC); and more speakers to be announced soon. 

The Economic Opportunities Program’s Opportunity in America in-person discussion series is taking a pause as we all do what we can to slow the spread of COVID-19. But the conversations about the changing landscape of economic opportunity in the US and implications for individuals, families, and communities across the country remain vitally important. We hope you will participate as we bring our discussions to you in virtual formats, and we look forward to your feedback.

Registration fee: 


Type of event: 

Partner Events

Learning area: 

Economic Development
Racial Equity


Aspen Institute