Farukh Kitchlew | Feb 19, 2024 | 0
Hello Alice & Global Entrepreneurship Network unveil $70M Access Fund
Hello Alice, a fintech platform committed to facilitating small business capital access, has partnered with the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) to introduce the pioneering $70 million Equitable Access Fund. This fund aims to bridge the funding gap women and BIPOC-owned founders face, empowering them to succeed in the entrepreneurial landscape.
Financing Gap of Hello Alice:
With a focus on addressing the financing challenges of underrepresented entrepreneurs, Hello Alice and GEN recognize the significant $40 billion funding gap within the BIPOC community. Elizabeth Gore, co-founder of Hello Alice, highlights the lack of credit history as a major hurdle for growing businesses, especially among small business owners.
The Equitable Access Fund will provide credit enhancements to partnering financing institutions, such as guarantees, loan loss reserves, and cash collateral deposits. Over the next five years, the fund aims to unlock up to $1 billion in credit, promoting equitable access for the “new majority.” This term encompasses women, veterans, BIPOC, Latinx, individuals with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs, and other marginalized groups. Wells Fargo spearheaded the initial capital commitments, while the program also benefits from partnerships with First National Bank of Omaha, Mastercard, and the Kauffman Foundation.
The Equitable Access Fund forms part of the broader Equitable Access Program led by Hello Alice and GEN. This program facilitates increased credit access through a Mastercard-secured card, complemented by valuable financial education resources. They launched a business health score tool in April, providing entrepreneurs with insights into their financial well-being and offering recommendations to enhance their performance.
They serves 1.3 million small business owners, further underscoring their commitment to supporting underrepresented entrepreneurs. With over $30 million in grants already distributed through their loan center, the platform continues to expand its network of 92 lenders. Given business owners’ economic uncertainties and challenges, particularly during the initial 24 months of operation, Hello Alice remains dedicated to promoting responsible cash flow management through their timely introduction of the business health score tool.