Trustee: RISE Financial Pathways

Los Angeles, CA

Why are you interested in becoming a Trustee?
As a nonprofit CDFI it is our mission to provide pathways to economic opportunity for dis-invested areas of Los Angeles County, especially the neighborhoods that occupy South Los Angeles, East Los Angeles and everywhere in between. Access to capital is a common challenge for most start up businesses. As a Trustee we would like to help close this gap, especially in areas of Los Angeles that historically have been closed off to financial resources. Our organization is interested in supporting aspiring entrepreneurs that intend to make a social impact and bring economic vitality to their neighborhoods.
What is the mission of your organization?
The mission of our organization is to create and enhance the economic wealth and capacity of the residents and businesses of disinvested areas of Los Angeles by delivering quality community development programs and facilitating collaborative efforts among businesses, the community, and the government. Not only do we provide alternative financial resources for families and small businesses, but we also support residents through education, technical assistance and referrals.
In the past, how effective have you been in achieving this mission?
Our track history demonstrates to-date we have lent over $1,184,100 in micro-loans (ranging from $500-$5,000) and created/retained over 3,435 jobs from the start of our programs. To help close the "money gap" between asset deficient communities and financial resources, we have created and maintained a number of programs that address the need for capital. Our popular Capital Partners program, modeled after Grameen Bank/Grameen USA, uses a peer-based lending model to target very low- and low-income entrepreneurs. Through this program we have graduated several businesses - many of which continue to be successful today. Additionally, we successfully piloted a loan fund for healthy food vendors that lends street vendors and food businesses micro-loans up to $5,000 or their business.
Do you belong to any organizational networks -- nationally, regionally, or locally? If yes, please list.
We belong to the Magnolia Place Family Network, a local organizational network that serves the Pico-Union neighborhood of Los Angeles. We are members of the Building Healthy Communities Initiative of South LA and Boyle Heights, the FamilySource Network and the Los Angeles Food Policy Council.
How will you decide who to endorse as a borrower? What due diligence will you conduct?
As we are already accustomed to qualifying borrowers for micro and small business loans, we will mirror those procedures in endorsing a particular borrower. We will require a business plan, cash-flow statement, and proof that the business is producing income in order for a borrower to be considered. Additional due diligence will be requested on a case-by-case basis. Borrower requirements are outlined below: • Your total outstanding debt must be less than 30% of your income • You don’t have any past due debt (defined as more than 30 days past the due date, except up to $1,000 medical debt)* • Loan is less than 75% of your income • You are not currently in foreclosure or bankruptcy • You have an annual income less than $100,000 • You are over 18 years of age • You must have a basic social media presence (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)** • Your business has a social impact • Your business showed a profit last year (proved by tax returns) • You must provide a copy of your business plan • You must be a current member of our Capital Partners program o Borrower must complete at least Level I training and be current on any loans • You attend our networking events and related CFRC/RISE events for small businesses *Although credit score is not used to qualify borrowers, a credit report will be pulled to confirm any past due debt. **If the borrower does not have one, they will need to create an account with at least 5 contacts.
How do you plan to support the borrower, both before and after the loan is disbursed?
The organization will provide on-going business training and counseling before and after the loan is disbursed. The borrower must attend at least two levels of training prior to applying and at least two counseling sessions afterwards. Specific training topics include: How to write a business plan, A 'crash course' in Accounting, Consumer Psychology, and a Social Media boot camp, among others.
How will you help us ensure that the loans you endorse have a significant and positive social impact?
We will market Kiva Zip loans to borrowers who can demonstrate social impact - including healthy food-based businesses operating in/serving South LA and Boyle Heights; two areas identified as "food deserts" with low access to fresh, healthy foods. Borrowers will be asked to show how their business contributes some social impact, be it environmental, economic, or other.

About RISE Financial Pathways

Trustee Type:
non-profit Community Development Financial Institution
Pilot Tier trustee
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On Zip Since:
Mar 5, 2014
(29 months)
Loans Endorsed:
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