PeopleFund Blog

BIPOC Small Business Accelerator Announcement: Houston and Fort Worth

PeopleFund is proud to announce that we deployed over $1.5M in loans and $120,000 in grants to 28 small businesses in Austin and Dallas during our inaugural cohorts. Applications open today for BIPOC Small Business Accelerator’s second set of cohorts in Fort Worth and Houston. This program will continue to provide small business owners with the tools that are needed to succeed in their entrepreneurial journey and improve their business acumen. This includes an 8-week training program and access to capital for small businesses. 

“We at PeopleFund congratulate and thank the participants in these first two cohorts. Working with them was an inspiring and powerful learning experience. Today, as we launch two new cohorts, we are even more resolved to take this initiative to every corner in Texas. We also want to thank our sponsors and partners for making this initiative possible. It is a perfect addition to the programs we already offer for women, veterans, and underserved communities across the state,” said Gustavo Lasala, President and CEO of PeopleFund. 

“The BIPOC program helped me push my business to a level I wasn’t sure I was able to get to. It not only assisted financially, but it enriched my knowledge of how to create, build, and maintain a successful business from an abstract dream. Giving me the skills and tools to grow my business has been the most beneficial. I couldn’t be more grateful for the administrators, mentors, facilitators, loan officers and underwriters, and all who had a hand in founding and funding this program. It is truly unmatched and I appreciate you all,” said Shantell Jennings, BIPOC Small Business Accelerator graduate and owner of Smell’em Candle Co. 

The BIPOC Small Business Accelerator would not have been possible without the generous grant of $3 million in loan capital from Truist Financial Corporation, along with a co-investment from Austin Community Foundation and support from Starbucks, AppSumo, The Regions Foundation (a nonprofit funded primarily by Regions Bank), Capital One, BBVA (now part of PNC), Woodforest National Bank, U.S. Bank, Amarillo National Bank, and numerous other institutions and individuals. Additionally, PeopleFund would like to recognize the Southern Dallas Progress CDC and The North Texas Entrepreneur Education and Training Center for their integral partnership in launching and facilitating the program.  

If you are interested in learning more or filling out an application form for this program, please visit   

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