Small-business owners financed by Opportunity Finance Network
Community development funding offers support to entrepreneurs and spurs economic growth
As the national network of community development financial institutions (CDFIs), Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) provides affordable, responsible financial products and services to a variety of individuals, families and neighborhoods. The nearly 240 institutions in this network have created $48 billion for financing over 1,044,000 jobs, 191,000 businesses and 1.5 million housing units in low-income and under-sourced communities.
Ramil and his wife, Caryl, immigrated to California so Ramil could follow his dream of owning and teaching at his own tae kwon do studio. But after the Great Recession, they had to start over and moved to Colorado in search of new opportunities. There, guided by hard work and determination, they opened Victory Taekwondo Center in 2010. With four loans from a CDFI called Accion, the business is thriving. Ramil thinks the most important part of teaching tae kwon do is instilling confidence and responsibility in his students. He hopes to one day own the business’ property.
Don McPeck and his son, Jake, opened their gourmet food truck, Mess Hall Canteen, after winning Food Network’s Food Truck Faceoff. The prize was a one-year lease on a custom-built truck, but at the end of the lease, Don needed financing to purchase the vehicle or the Mess Hall would have to close. Opportunity Fund, a CDFI based in Southern California, worked with Don and Jake to finance a $77,000 loan to buy the truck.
“Opportunity Fund made it really easy to get financing,” Don said. “We didn’t have the money to buy the truck outright. Opportunity Fund made it happen for us.”
Don’s plans for expansion include adding a truck in the Downtown Disney District, Disneyland, and a brick-and-mortar restaurant.
Praxis Mutual Funds® supports organizations such as OFN through investments in Calvert Impact Capital, an impact-investing institution that helps people around the world through community development financing. It’s part of the Praxis commitment to place approximately 1 percent of each of its funds to benefit neighborhoods and individuals through community development investments.