We're feeling quite reflective about where we've been and where we're going together. Perhaps because the word January comes from Janus—the Roman god of doorways, beginnings, and transitions—perhaps because the milestone of five years in business is right around the corner.
This past year made structural inequities unavoidably apparent, motivating investors and partners to join us in using finance as a tool for change. While 2020 was a challenging year for our community, we still had reasons to celebrate:
- COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc, but we're proud to have provided immediate and ongoing support to our portfolio companies: from disaster planning to modifying loan terms and connecting them to partners for PPP, EIDL, and other new resources.
- We invested nearly $4M across 20 nonprofits through the San Diego County COVID-19 Small Business & Nonprofit Loan Program with The San Diego Foundation.
- Fifty-two people were freed from immigration detention in 2020 with capital from the Freedom100 Fund.
- We welcomed five fellows and three others to nearly double our team.
- Always looking to improve the experience of our portfolio companies and investors, our team rolled out streamlined solutions for loan servicing and fund administration.
What we can look forward to in 2021:
March is our birthday month, when we will be sharing more milestones and highlights from our first five years!
- Bittersweet pangs all around as the first Community Finance Fellows get ready to graduate in March. They've each grown tremendously and also taught us so much to incorporate into cohort two later this year.
- Thanks to an influx of investors eager to reconnect capital and community, we're actively looking for small businesses, social enterprises, and nonprofits advancing inclusive economic opportunity in San Diego.
- To that end, the fellows will be hosting their first "community office hours" on Thursday, February 11 to make it easy for folks to get financing questions answered—please invite organizations you know looking for capital!
- Our quest to increase equitable access to quality early care and education continues. The team is moving from ideation to implementation of a real estate investment strategy.
- We’re delighted to be working with many partners around the country to design and develop new impact funds. We can't wait to share as those come to life.