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Introducing Equity1821: First Black-led CDFI loan fund in Indiana

Marshawn Wolley, President and CEO of Black Onyx Management, recently completed a feasibility study for the city of Indianapolis and LISC. It was titled “Equity Pays: A case for Black-led Community Development Financial Institutions.” The study resulted in the creation of Equity1821, the first Black-led CDFI loan fund in Indiana, in October 2021.

Here are some key results directly sourced from the study:

  • Black businesses matter. A Brookings report identified that achieving parity between Black and non-Black businesses in number of employer businesses, employee size, employee pay, and revenue would be a $52 billion economic boost and create 169,245 jobs.
  • Black Business represent an opportunity. According to the 2019 Indianapolis Disparity Study, being Black in Indianapolis is statistically correlated to earning less money even after controlling for education, marital status, and age, with Black people earning $.82 to every dollar a white person makes. Black business development represents one of the largest opportunities for driving economic impact through inclusive growth.
  • Black businesses are optimistic about their prospects, but lack the financial resources to achieve their full potential. More than 61% of Black businesses responded that they had growth opportunities that they couldn’t access in the next 12 months.
  • A Black-led business lending institution is a key solution. In a survey of the City’s certified Black businesses, more than 80% reported never receiving a business loan. A Black-led non-profit CDFI attuned to the needs of Black businesses is a necessary addition to the alternative financing market.

The study can be found here.

You can find more information about Black Onyx Management here.

This information is presented by Marshawn Wolley.