Article by Josh Wallace
Development and Communications Intern
Beginning a new job can be tough. When I first started my internship at PeopleFund I had to learn a lot of new names, how to make the printer work, and what exactly PeopleFund does. Knowing the mission that drives an organization is crucial for any member of a team, but it is especially important for a development and communications intern like me. Having worked for other nonprofits in the past, I know how difficult it can be to summarize all the great things that an organization does and what sets it apart. I learned quickly that PeopleFund is both a nonprofit and community development financial institution (CDFI) whose mission is to create “economic opportunity and financial stability for underserved people by providing access to capital, education, and resources to build healthy small businesses,” but over time I have realized that PeopleFund truly stands out because of its clients and its team.
PeopleFund’s unique mission separates it from other nonprofits by producing results that are visible all over Austin and across Texas. Learning just how numerous and diverse PeopleFund’s list of clients was surprised me at first. This list includes other nonprofits, numerous schools, and some of the best local coffee shops. My favorite part of working for PeopleFund has been watching these businesses, nonprofits, and startups succeed. All the hard work PeopleFund does and the money it receives goes toward the success of its clients. Seeing the impact of that work ripple out in small businesses across the city is really exciting, especially considering that many banks have refused loans to these businesses in the past. PeopleFund’s loans give its clients confidence and allow them to implement their own entrepreneurial ideas.
PeopleFund does more than just provide loans, after all “Fund” is only half of the name. The PeopleFund team provides education and business assistance to make sure that its clients, the “People,” have a strong plan and their endeavors succeed. The time that PeopleFund spends working with clients sets it apart from banks and other lending institutions. PeopleFund invests time and money in clients who have been otherwise ignored, giving them a unique opportunity to create jobs, become financially independent, and give back to the community.
None of this amazing work could happen without an equally amazing team. I have really enjoyed getting to know the people working to make a difference here at PeopleFund. They have been extremely gracious, and they are clearly passionate about the important work that they do. It has been really refreshing to see so many different business professionals working hard to help others succeed. During my short time here I have learned a tremendous amount about economic development, the inner workings of a nonprofit, and the importance of pursuing a job that you love. I have really enjoyed playing a role on this team, and I look forward to watching both PeopleFund and its clients continue to grow and achieve success.