Bankable, an Anderson-based not-for-profit that supports Indiana’s small businesses, has launched a new loan fund for Black-owned companies.
The Indiana Black-Owned Business Loan Fund, which Bankable officially announced Tuesday morning, had a soft launch about two weeks ago. As of Friday, it had already received about 10 applications and at least two had already been approved, said Adam Hoeksema, Bankable’s executive director.
“I’ve been really surprised that we’ve already received as many applications as we have without really telling anyone about it,” Hoeksema told IBJ Friday afternoon.
Hoeksema said this is Bankable’s first loan specifically designed for Black-owned businesses. The larger goal, he said, is to help bridge the wealth gap that exists between Black entrepreneurs and their white counterparts.
“We thought we could try to be part of the solution,” he said.
According to a September 2020 report from the Federal Reserve, the median wealth of the typical Black family was $24,100 in 2019, compared with $188,200 for a white family.
The fund launched with $1.5 million from a variety of sources: the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, the Small Business Administration and partner banks.
The fund can make loans of up to $50,000. Its target borrowers are Indiana-based Black-owned businesses that are unable to secure a traditional bank loan.
Bankable was founded in 2010 by the Flagship Enterprise Center in Anderson. Since its inception, the organization has made more than $32 million in loans to small businesses all over Indiana. About 94% of Bankable’s loans are made to businesses with annual revenue of less than $1 million, and about 40% of its loans go to businesses that are less than two years old.