Community Credit Lab Receives First Recoverable Grant from the Fund to Pilot New Financial Lending Programs

Thursday March 31, 2022

The WES Mariam Assefa Fund is excited to announce its partnership with Community Credit Lab (CCL). With a $100,000 recoverable grant from the Fund, CCL will pilot and test new financial lending programs with input and direction from local lending partners and communities that know the needs of their communities best. A recoverable grant is a blended finance tool – while legally a grant, the agreement is structured to recover grant capital based on specific milestones.

CCL’s Lending Programs improve affordability of and access to credit and shift power to communities who have historically been excluded from and often face discrimination in the financial system, including immigrants and refugees. CCL is committed to a “participatory,” community-based approach and supports local lending partners and communities to lead the program design and decision-making.

Through the recoverable grant, 50 percent of the grant funds will be returned to the WES Mariam Assefa Fund after a period of 5 years, and 50 percent will continue to leverage additional impact investment capital in support of CCL’s lending programs. The partnership enables CCL to use a blended approach to resource equitable community investments through recoverable grants and impact investments. CCL in turn provides flexible capital to individuals and small businesses so that they can achieve their goals on their terms.

As a funder focused on building more inclusive economies for immigrants, refugees, and communities of color, we know that access to inclusive financing is critical,” said Smitha Das, impact investing principal at the WES Mariam Assefa Fund. “We’re thrilled to support Community Credit Lab as they work to remove barriers to economic mobility through flexible lending programs that provide consumer and commercial loans to historically underserved populations.”

Recoverable grants are essential to enabling patient, affordable loans and unlocking impact investment capital that supports people and small businesses effectively,” said Sandhya Nakhasi, chief investment officer at CCL. “We are grateful to partner with the WES Mariam Assefa Fund as we expand CCL’s equitable lending programs at the direction of our lending partners.”

Learn more about Community Credit Lab.

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