Q: What is Rende Progress Capital---and what is a Community Development Financial Institution?


A:  Rende Progress Capital (RPC) is a new Loan Fund [the nation’s only racial equity loan fund] and emerging Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) committed to economic equity by providing capital to Excluded Entrepreneurs.  CDFI’s are financial institutions dedicated to providing socially responsible and affordable lending to disinvested entrepreneurs.  ‘Rende’ means the full value of human beings and comes from the word ‘rendere’ meaning to give back, be profitable or return.  We give capital and progress to those excluded from opportunities and conventional loans.


RPC provides lending to Excluded Entrepreneurs in diverse business areas such as technology, media, food, entertainment, health and other areas.  We provide loans anchored in racial equity factors, the mission of the borrower’s business and their ability to repay loans within an established time frame. 



Q:  What is the RACE4Progress Fund?


A:  In the time period of COVID-19, the Fund offers a low-interest small business loan and flexibility in the loan term periods to the Excluded Entrepreneurs of existing businesses as soon as possible and includes application processes where RPC can offer flexibility in the areas of term periods, loan amounts, absence of collateral, and reduced financial statements documentation.  This Fund does provide opportunities for undocumented entrepreneurs to apply.  The Fund is for such businesses that can demonstrate negative economic impacts on their business due to COVID-19.



Q:  Who or what is an Excluded Entrepreneur?


A:  Excluded Entrepreneurs are African-American, Asian, Latino, Native American and Immigrant business owners representing underrepresented business owners of color in the Grand Rapids Area and West Michigan facing documented statistical barriers to traditional capital due to racial bias by some lending institutions.  However, these self-starters are not defined as excluded because of ethnicity.  Based on surveys and deep listening sessions with them, Excluded Entrepreneurs are businesses who are, have been or perceive themselves to be excluded from traditional loans from some financial institutions because of lending barriers, bias and market realities such as size of conventional loans or lack of assistance services from those traditional lenders.  In turn, their families and communities also experience social and economic pressures from the racial wealth gap. 


Q:  What is the Fund’s loan interest rate?

A:  The interest rate is 1% for the entire term of the loan.


Q:  What is the loan term period?

A:  The minimum loan term period is 12 months.  The maximum loan term period is 60 months.



Q:  What are the minimum and maximum loan amounts?

A:  The minimum loan amount is $10,000.  The maximum loan amount is $25,000.



Q:  When does the Fund begin?

A:  RPC will begin accepting applications in the week of June 22nd in 2020.



Q: What is the RPC decision process in considering and approving loans?

A:  For those interested in applying for RPC loans, there are four steps to review at www.rendeprogresscapital.com: 1. Learn about our criteria and apply for eligibility; 2. Permission to review your financials and other information; 3. Complete a loan application based on our FARE system; 4. Receive a determination after careful consideration. 


Whether an Excluded Entrepreneur is being considered for a loan or investments, the RPC team will review each proposal with diligence, our racial equity/social criteria and business objectives that fit the mission of RPC and benefit to the community. 



RACE4Progress Fund Applicant Checklist: What You Should Also Know and Have:


  • 1 year Business Tax Return (2017, 2018, or 2019)


  • March 2019 to Present Business Bank Statements/Business Income Statements

       (i.e. Square, PayPal, Point of Sale records to prove income/profitability before the Coronavirus “COVID-19”)


  • Current Driver’s License, Passport, or Consulate Identification


  • Cash Flow Projection


  • Business Budget

  • Profit and Loss Statement or Schedule C

  • Certificate of Insurance




For additional questions, please email Kevin Davis, Rende Progress Capital Opportunity and Lending Officer at kdavis@rendeprogresscapital.com or John Hendershot, Business Development Director at jhender@rendeprogresscapital.com

Need more details? Contact us

We are here to assist. Contact us by phone, email or via our Social Media channels.