PeopleFund receives historic grant from Truist Foundation
Houston, Dec. 8, 2022 ─ Truist Foundation announced a $3.5 million grant to PeopleFund, a Texas-based Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and nonprofit 501(c)(3) that strives to create economic opportunity and financial stability for underserved people by providing access to capital, education and other resources to build healthy small businesses.
Truist Foundation’s grant provides long-term sustainability for PeopleFund’s Black, Indigenous, Person of Color (BIPOC) Small Business Accelerator, a program that provides business owners the capital, resources and network to start and grow their businesses and attain economic mobility. The accelerator was piloted in 2021 with a $100,000 grant from Truist Foundation and a $3 million low-interest loan from Truist Community Capital. These seed investments acted as catalysts for additional support.
Truist Chairman and CEO Bill Rogers, Truist Foundation President Lynette Bell and Truist Regional President Bill Toomey joined PeopleFund President and CEO Gustavo Lasala for the grant announcement at East End Maker Hub today.
“The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately devastated underserved Black and racially diverse small business owners. We are honored to support PeopleFund, an organization working to provide funding and unique services for diverse small business owners across Texas,” said Lynette Bell, president of Truist Foundation. “PeopleFund shares our belief that small businesses are the key to a healthy economy and that every person should have equitable access to the tools they need to become a successful entrepreneur with financial stability.”
These Texas-based grants are a part of Truist and Truist Foundation’s $120 million joint commitment to strengthening and supporting small businesses nationwide, with a focus on Black-, Latine- and women-owned businesses. By generating greater equity for small business owners, PeopleFund can continue to create jobs, economic opportunity and generational wealth in communities across Texas where these small businesses operate.
“PeopleFund’s BIPOC Small Business Accelerator could not have been possible without the leading support of Truist. This program boldly brought together institutions and individuals across Texas and beyond to lift barriers that impede underserved people of color attain financial freedom through entrepreneurship,” said Gustavo Lasala, President and CEO of PeopleFund. “We are deeply grateful and proud of Truist’s partnership. This grant will help this program scale and continue making a positive difference in underserved communities for years to come.”
PeopleFund is a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution, an SBA lender and serves as the managing member of the Veteran Loan Fund. Established in 1994, PeopleFund has almost 30 years of experience helping thousands on the path to financial security. PeopleFund programs focus on advancing economic opportunities for people of color, veterans, women and individuals of low-to-moderate income by providing capital, training and other resources needed to grow healthy small businesses. Since inception, PeopleFund has delivered almost $200 million in financial assistance to over 4,650 small businesses and $150 million in New Market Tax Credit allocations that attracted $750 million in investments—putting the direct impact in the Texas economy as approaching $1 billion. PeopleFund has also helped create and retain 20,000 jobs and delivered over 130,000 hours of business education. To learn more about PeopleFund please visit peoplefund.org.
About Truist Foundation
Truist Foundation is committed to Truist Financial Corporation’s (NYSE: TFC) purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. Established in 2020, the foundation makes strategic investments in nonprofit organizations to help ensure the communities it serves have more opportunities for a better quality of life. Truist Foundation grants and activities focus on building career pathways to economic mobility and strengthening small businesses. Learn more at Truist.com/Foundation.
Kristen Fraser, Truist
Jenny Palecek, PeopleFund