PeopleFund is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote economic vitality and opportunity in Austin's low-income areas by providing financing and technical assistance to businesses, community organizations, and affordable housing ventures. Since 1994, PeopleFund has invested $16 million and leveraged an additional $9 million in bank partnership financing for a total investment in the community of $25 million.
- Loan Fund-In 2006, PeopleFund will invest $2.6 million in loans to approximately 34 community ventures and facilitate $3.6 million in total investment (i.e., PeopleFund loans and partnership loans) in PeopleFund's low-income focus areas. To date, PeopleFund has made over $13 million in loans to community ventures.
- Entrepreneur Development Program- PeopleFund offers business management assistance to clients helping them to create strong, sustainable ventures. In 2006, PeopleFund plans to offer over 1,500 hours of financial education through a variety of innovative programs including one-on-one mentoring, advisory board programs, workshops, and partnerships with university MBA programs.
- Outreach and Research- Residents and business owners in low-income communities have often become disenfranchised from civic life. PeopleFund hosts public forums to provide community leaders and residents access to economic information, nationally respected speakers, and an opportunity to become involved in the policy process and leadership development for the long-term vitality of the community.
- Community Housing Trust- In partnership with the CHDO Roundtable and the City of Austin, PeopleFund coordinates a training and capacity building program for local nonprofit housing developers. PeopleFund is also in the process of creating the first Community Land Trust in Texas.
PeopleFund works to build prosperity for low-income people by providing financing and training to ventures that will have a positive impact in the community. PeopleFund's primary clients are African-American and Hispanic owned businesses located in low-income communities with an average of seven employees. Approximately 15 percent of PeopleFund clients are nonprofit organizations that provide needed services to low-income people. These entrepreneurs face unique challenges entering the economic mainstream due to limited business networks, lack of access to financial savings and capital and reduced educational opportunities.
Since 1994 PeopleFund has grown to more than $6.6 million in assets, and made community development loans totaling more than $13 million. Leveraged against an additional $7.6 million in bank partnership financing, PeopleFund's total investment in the community is more than $20 million. This investment has:
- Created over 1,300 jobs for low-income residents.
- Enabled $7.7 million of physical improvements to Austin's blighted neighborhoods.
- Provided more than 200 loans to women and/or minority-owned businesses or community ventures.
- Expanded goods and services in Austin's low-income communities.
- Provided clients over 7,100 hours of business consulting services.