Predatory lending strips low-wealth residents and communities of color of their opportunity to access affordable capital and build wealth that would raise up entire communities. It is estimated that about 100,000 Jaxsons rely on high-interest lending through payday lenders, pawn shops, auto and online personal loans.
Designing a Solution
The JAX Microfinance Fund (JMF) is designed to help level the lending playing field for under-resourced Northeast Florida borrowers. The JMF will invest in innovative and non-predatory online platforms that will lend to small business owners and individuals in seven counties, emphasizing lending to women and people of color. Currently, the majority of women borrowers and borrowers of color are unable to or choose not to borrow from traditional lending sources and are, instead, forced to work with predatory lenders.
Not only will the JMF identify and invest in platforms to connect borrowers to patient, affordable capital, it will also connect borrowers to local credit unions and CDFIs for credit repair and credit builder programs to support long-term access to affordable capital.
The JMF will:
- Increase access to capital for under-resourced borrowers;
- Ensure loan capital is affordable or priced below predatory lending rates; and
- Mitigate risk among investors and provide a return on their investment.
The JMF is currently accepting new investors.