Trustee: Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center

San Francisco, CA

Why are you interested in becoming a Trustee?
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center provides small business training and support services to help motivated Bay Area women and men, from under-resourced communities, start and grow their own businesses as a means to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Our clients represent the diversity of the Bay Area: 84% are very low to moderate income, 68% are people of color, 72% are women, and include incarcerated and formerly incarcerated persons and monolingual Spanish-speaking individuals. Renaissance is eager to become a Kiva Trustee to provide our clients with access to the funding needed to start and grow small businesses but which is frequently unavailable for the clients Renaissance serves.
What is the mission of your organization?
The mission of Renaissance is to empower and increase the entrepreneurial capacities of socially and economically diverse women and men and thereby strengthen our communities through the creation of sustainable new businesses, new jobs and the promotion of financial self-sufficiency.
In the past, how effective have you been in achieving this mission?
Renaissance determines our impact based on number of business started and grown, jobs created, and revenue generated as well as number of clients served and their satisfaction with our programs. In 2012, Renaissance served 1,634 women and men who launched and grew 547 businesses and created employment for 1,094 individuals. According to our 2012 MicroTest survey, conducted by the Aspen Institute’s Fund for Innovation, Education, Learning and Dissemination (FIELD) program, which assessed clients one year after receiving services: • 98% of clients who entered Renaissance with an existing business remain in business. • 67% of clients who came to Renaissance in the pre-launch stage are now operating a business. • The median gross revenue of our clients who are in business full-time is $60,656. • 94% of Renaissance clients stated that “It would not have been possible to start or sustain a business without participation in Renaissance’s programs.”
Do you belong to any organizational networks -- nationally, regionally, or locally? If yes, please list.
Renaissance is member of: The Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC) - the national association for US SBA Women's Business Centers. The Association of Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) - the national association for micro-enterprise organizations. California Association of Micro Enterprise Organizations (CAMEO) – the state wide association of micro-enterprise organizations. The San Francisco Economic Development Alliance – the association of San Francisco based micro-enterprise and small business organizations.
How will you decide who to endorse as a borrower? What due diligence will you conduct?
All of the borrowers Renaissance will endorse will be graduates of our 10-24 session small business training classes. Each of these classes include 3-7 modules on financial education, including personal, household and business finance, budgeting, and creating and utilizing financial statements. In addition, endorsed clients will also receive individualized consulting on topics such as finance, credit building and credit repair, sales, marketing, operations and other areas of business development. During the course of our intensive classes and consultations, Renaissance instructors, consultants and staff develop relationships with our clients and become familiar with their characters as well as their business models and abilities. Renaissance will only endorse the applications of borrowers who have demonstrated a high level of integrity, and have sound written business plans. In addition to instructor, staff, and consultant recommendations, each borrower will be vetted by our Financing Resource Center Managing Consultant.
How do you plan to support the borrower, both before and after the loan is disbursed?
Prior to loan disbursement, Renaissance will support borrowers by working with them individually to help them plan for the use of their loans and confirm their repayment strategies. We will then provide ongoing post loan technical assistance, providing guidance and support in financial management, marketing and business growth strategies. Clients may also participate in Renaissance’s ongoing skill building and topical workshops, networking opportunities and advanced classes, as well as join our South of Market or San Rafael Business Incubators and Bayview Business Assistance Center.
How will you help us ensure that the loans you endorse have a significant and positive social impact?
Renaissance recognizes that business ownership is a key mechanism through which very low- to moderate-income individuals facing social and economic barriers to wage employment can achieve financial self-sufficiency for themselves and their families, build assets for future generations and contribute to the economic vitality of our diverse communities. Renaissance’s Centers are located in Bay Area communities that are among the most underserved: South of Market, Bayview Hunters Point, San Rafael (primarily serving Marin City, the Canal District and Novato), and East Palo Alto. By providing clients with endorsements and facilitating their access to Kiva’s vital funding and networks, Renaissance will further help them establish new businesses and grow existing businesses, as well as accelerate their abilities to create employment for themselves and other residents, improve their livelihoods, and contribute to economic development in our local communities.

About Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center

Trustee Type:
First Tier trustee
On Zip Since:
Sep 3, 2013
(35 months)
Loans Endorsed:
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