Wells Fargo announced a new boost to diverse small businesses in South Carolina with a $500,000 grant to South Carolina Community Loan Fund (SCCLF), focusing on helping small-business owners with lending, technical assistance and community relationship-building with historically underserved small-business owners as a way to stimulate local economic growth and jobs. The grant, from the Wells Fargo Foundation, is part of the Wells Fargo Works For Small Business®: Diverse Community Capital (DCC) program, which offers capital and technical assistance to minority-owned small businesses as a way to create local jobs and strengthen neighborhoods.
The grant will support the evaluation, improvement and expansion of the Local Entrepreneur Acceleration Program (LEAP), which aims to support diversity in small business ownership by providing minority and women entrepreneurs with business plan development and the chance to compete for a $10,000 capital award. It will also allow SCCLF to increase lending to more diverse small-business owners.
“Reaching diverse entrepreneurs, particularly entrepreneurs of color and women, is an essential part of our mission,” said SCCLF’s CEO Anna Lewin. “The Diverse Community Capital program has been, and will continue to be, key to allowing us to expand upon the targeted services and resources available to support diverse small-business owners. We appreciate this continued partnership with Wells Fargo, and their support of our work to advance equitable access to capital across the state.”
As part of its new philanthropic strategy announced in June, Wells Fargo is focusing on three societal challenges: housing affordability, small business growth and financial health. The DCC program is a critical component to the small business strategy and supports business owners who are African American, Hispanic, American Indian/Pacific Islander, Asian American, women, veterans, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups.
Launched in 2015, the program is a collaboration with Opportunity Finance Network (OFN). According to OFN’s latest report, DCC awardees have already made loans to more than 16,000 loans to diverse entrepreneurs across 37 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. In addition, grant funding has provided for more than 322,000 hours of development services for 49,000+ diverse small-business owners. Wells Fargo is on track to invest more than $175 million in diverse small businesses’ growth through 2020.
About South Carolina Community Loan Fund
South Carolina Community Loan Fund (SCCLF) is a nonprofit CDFI with offices in Charleston, Columbia, and Spartanburg. SCCLF’s mission is to advance equitable access to capital to build assets and benefit communities and people most in need of economic opportunity. Since its inception in 2004, SCCLF has provided $52.8 million in loans throughout the state, resulting in the completion of more than $235.7 million in community development projects. For more information, visit sccommunityloanfund.org.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.