1704 Bellefontaine St., Indianapolis, IN 46202

Renew Indianapolis’ Small Business Loan Program Selected for National Financial Network Membership

The Build Fund hopes to support many more businesses in Central Indiana and gain access to national resources and a network of support with this new membership

Indianapolis (Oct. 12, 2021)Renew Indianapolis, a nonprofit organization committed to supporting comprehensive community development, neighborhood stabilization, and quality of life initiatives, is pleased to announce that its small business loan program, the Build Fund, has applied for and has been selected to join the national organization, Opportunity Finance Network (OFN). Since 2015, the Build Fund has operated as a mission-driven Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), providing businesses in Central Indiana with flexible, affordable, and responsible funding to help them grow, create jobs, and support neighborhood development.

With its OFN membership, the Build Fund joins 300 other CDFIs nationwide and gains access to a much larger pool of resources, including OFN’s Financing Fund, potential loans through the UST Bond Guarantee Program, and lending through specialized funds. OFN also allows the Build Fund to network with other high-performing CDFIs throughout the nation, learn and share best practices, and stay up to date on policy changes that affect the CDFI industry and Build Fund’s clients.

CDFIs are community development loan funds, banks, venture capital funds, and credit unions that provide fair, transparent financing and financial education. CDFIs lend to people, organizations, and businesses that mainstream financial institutions often consider too risky or not profitable enough to work with. 

“The Build Fund’s OFN membership removes barriers and allows us to expand our ability to serve more small businesses looking to start up or expand in Central Indiana,” said Evan Tester, Renew Indianapolis’ director of lending. “By gaining access to the benefits of the OFN membership, Build Fund can concentrate on providing services to our target market and learn best practices from our peers around the United States. We believe this new network of support translates into stronger communities today and for years to come.” 

Earlier this year, Renew Indianapolis announced that the Build Fund was expanding into Hamilton and launching a partnership with Bankable, also a nonprofit lender and CDFI, based in Anderson, Indiana.  Build Fund has also developed a construction loan product called BuildSmart designed to provide low-cost capital to historically disadvantaged contractors and developers working in community development.

Renew Indianapolis Build Fund “by the numbers” since 2015:

The Build Fund’s impact on the community is measurable; Build Fund business borrowers grow and support their local neighborhood through job creation, services, and general neighborhood development. Here’s an overview of the Build Fund’s impact in Marion County since 2015:

  • Build Fund has closed on more than $8 million in loans to small businesses since 2015
  • Build Fund has helped launch 10 new businesses through loans and provided technical assistance to over 230 businesses
  • Build Fund’s borrowers have created 249 jobs to date, or one job for every $31,000 borrowed
  • Businesses have used Build Fund loans to revitalize 13 brownfield properties or renovate 17 vacant properties

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