As many California small businesses continue to plan for growth, most are looking for more and more ways to maintain success and sustainability. Opportunity Fund, a California-based Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) member, made small business headlines at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America meeting this week, with the announcement of its partnership with Lending Club. This is on the heels of AEO’s announcement in early June that its TILT Forward Initiative originated more than $1 million in loans to Main Street and underserved entrepreneurs. In its pilot phase, the partnership between Opportunity Fund and Lending Club will provide $10 million in loan capital to small businesses in California, with the potential to help an estimated 400 businesses. This partnership can be seen as an example of the current vitality of the lending industry, and may signal that U.S. microfinance is strong and investment-ready.
Opportunity Fund Founder and CEO Eric Weaver, said, “By partnering with Lending Club, we can draw on the best of both worlds from technology and community-based lending. We think this points to the future of responsible business lending, and has the potential to take it to a whole new scale.” Opportunity Fund and Lending Club aren’t the first cross-sector groups to partner up, and they most likely won’t be the last. Collaboration is becoming increasingly attractive to the small business lending industry, and AEO leaders think it is what will “propel entrepreneurs in our communities into a more vivacious and viable future.” This may be big news for emerging small businesses and entrepreneurs looking for funding or loans. If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur in California in need of capital for growth, consider looking into AEO’s Opportunity Fund’s partnership with Lending Club: Across Sectors. In Collaboration. For Community.
Photo Credit: Leah Atkins, Flickr