New York, NY – March 20, 2019 – Women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S. yet less than 5 percent of small business lending – only $1 in $23 – goes to women.

TruFund Financial Services, Inc. (TruFund) a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), today announces partnership with CNote aiming to close this lending gap for women entrepreneurs through the Wisdom Fund.

Created in partnership with mission-driven lender CDC Small Business Finance, the Wisdom Fund funnels money from accredited investors – institutions, funds, foundations, family offices and individuals – into business loans for low-to-moderate income women and women of color. TruFund is one of the three inaugural lenders that will provide loans to women entrepreneurs through the fund.

“We hear a lot about the gap in venture capital funding for women, but the vast majority of women who need capital are not forming hyper-growth startups; they are starting small businesses to pursue economic freedom, flexibility and independence. The financial system is not serving them well, and we’re very much failing women of color in particular,” said Catherine Berman, CEO and co-founder of CNote, an impact investing platform whose mission is to close the wealth gap in the U.S.

“With the Wisdom Fund, we’re taking a major step toward fixing a huge injustice—women’s businesses receive far less funding than they deserve,” said Berman. “We’re working with an amazing group of nonprofit community lenders nationally to entirely rethink lending to women.”

Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) like TruFund are perfectly positioned to take on this work. They’re distributed across the country, they have always invested in financially underserved communities, and they have enormous unrealized potential for financial and impact returns.

“Entrepreneurship is a key driver of prosperity and community resiliency in the U.S.; however, we recognize more can be done to create conditions in which women entrepreneurs will not just survive but thrive,” said James H. Bason, President & CEO of TruFund Financial Services, Inc. “TruFund proudly joins the Wisdom Fund collaborative effort to rise and empower women-owned business enterprises.”

TruFund also aims to close the gap in business development services to women entrepreneurs through its Women In Business: An EmpowHERment Program. The program provides innovative financial solutions, education, hands-on business advisory services as well as intellectual capital essential for achieving economic success.
“We are confident that our multi-faceted approach to promoting capital access, business advisory services, shared learning, and cross-sector partnerships will drive increased entrepreneurship, scale, and wealth creation among women owned small businesses,” said Aisha Benson, Executive Vice President of TruFund Financial Services, Inc. “This partnership with the Wisdom Fund enhances our ability have long lasting impact on the women owned small businesses we serve.”

About TruFund Financial Services

TruFund Financial Services, Inc. is a wholly independent national non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). TruFund seeks to stimulate economic development in communities that are underserved by traditional banking institutions by providing fair and accessible capital, hands-on technical assistance and innovative solutions to small businesses and nonprofit organization.

About CNote

CNote is an award-winning, first-of-its-kind financial platform that allows anyone to make money investing in causes and communities they care about. With the mission of closing the wealth gap, CNote directs every dollar invested toward funding female- and minority-led small businesses, affordable housing and economic development in financially underserved communities across America.