PeopleFund Blog

BIPOC Small Business Accelerator

PeopleFund proudly announces launching our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Small Business Accelerator.

Our new signature initiative strategically aims to meet diverse community needs that have been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted small businesses and people of color. We are thrilled to launch our first cohorts in Austin and Dallas with the goal of taking this program to underserved communities across the entire state of Texas.

“With this initiative, PeopleFund is further responding to our community needs and to our stakeholders’ readiness to advance economic justice. It is an honor to launch this program with the leading support from Truist as sponsor of the first cohort, Austin Community Foundation, and the support from all individuals and institutions that are making this program a reality. This is a true community effort,” said Gustavo Lasala, PeopleFund’s President and CEO.

Katherine Sobel, Director of Training and Education, explains “the BIPOC Small Business Accelerator is grounded in a plan to graduate 20 entrepreneurs of color per quarter, providing participants with the network, tools, and resources needed to grow their businesses. In addition to continued access to business coaching, participants who successfully complete the program receive a loan of up to $50,000 along with a grant of 10% of the loan amount.”

“Providing access to capital, education, and resources to build healthy small businesses is among the ways we fulfill Truist’s purpose of inspiring and building better lives and communities,” said Keitt King, head of Truist Community Capital. “Our loan commitment and grant to the BIPOC Small Business Accelerator supports minority-, women- and veteran-owned small businesses in under-served areas around Texas on their journey to financial stability and independence, and will help create thousands of jobs.”

“To reverse the growing wealth gap in Central Texas, we must invest in economic opportunities and foster small business growth among undercapitalized populations,” Mike Nellis, Chief Executive Officer, Austin Community Foundation, said. “By partnering with PeopleFund on the BIPOC Business Accelerator program, Austin Community Foundation is able to leverage its resources and further increase the economic security of Black, Indigenous and people of color working to overcome the challenges exacerbated by COVID-19.”

The BIPOC Small Business Accelerator is made possible through a generous seed grant and a $3 million loan capital commitment from Truist Financial Corporation, along with a co-investment from Austin Community Foundation, and support from AppSumo, The Regions Foundation (a nonprofit funded primarily by Regions Bank), Capital One, BBVA (now part of PNC), Woodforest National Bank, U.S. Bank, and numerous other institutions and individuals.

Contact [email protected] to learn how you can support this program. For more information re: eligibility and the application process for the BIPOC Small Business Accelerator please visit us at:

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