Inclusiv and Comcast Corporation have announced that Comcast has committed to invest $10 million specifically aimed at building equity in credit unions led by and/or serving people of color through Inclusiv’s Racial Equity and Resilience Investment Fund.
Launched in 2020, the Fund leverages investments to increase lending to minority-owned businesses, homeowners, and consumers, providing access to capital and new financial opportunity to traditionally underserved and underbanked communities. As Inclusiv’s first corporate investment, Comcast’s commitment will enable local financial institutions to deploy at least $200 million in total capital in communities that need it the most and help ensure hardworking individuals have access to the capital needed to build and strengthen their financial lives.
This high-impact investment also paves the way for additional contributions from social impact investors, further growing the Fund’s impact and reach. The Racial Equity and Resilience Investment Fund builds upon the highly successful Inclusiv Resilience Grant Fund, which raised more than $1 million in grant funds for 59 minority-designated credit unions serving more than 200,000 members.
The unprecedented economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the long-standing racial wealth gap caused by generations of systemic racism in the United States. People and communities of color saw their income levels, ways to accumulate wealth, and entrepreneurial opportunities lag behind that of their white counterparts before and after the pandemic, disparities that became even more pronounced over the past year. Currently, the unemployment rate for Black workers is almost double that of white workers. Additionally, Black-owned small businesses have experienced the most significant decline among active small business owners nationwide, shutting their doors at more than twice the rate of white-owned businesses.
“Our partnership is driven by the simple – but powerful – idea that businesses can help change and improve lives,” said Dalila Wilson-Scott, Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast Corporation. “This investment reflects our commitment to advancing pathways to economic mobility and racial equity. We applaud Inclusiv’s leadership in removing barriers to financial opportunity and helping drive powerful returns that reach across entire communities.”
Community Development Credit Unions (CDCUs) and Minority-Designated Institutions (MDIs), which are locally owned financial institutions, have stepped in to meet essential needs in their communities. They helped unbanked consumers open accounts to receive stimulus checks safely, delivered low and no-cost emergency loans to meet basic household needs, provided forbearance on existing loans, and made at least $4 billion in Paycheck Protection Program loans to small and micro businesses during the pandemic.
“Large-scale investments grow community-based financial institutions to fulfill their mission – helping people traditionally left out of the financial mainstream to access and use financial products to build credit, start and grow small businesses, and achieve the dream of homeownership,” said Cathie Mahon, President and CEO of Inclusiv. “Comcast’s investment enables these crucial front-line institutions to provide solutions to inequitable access to credit in communities of color. Inclusiv welcomes Comcast as a new investor, moving investment into action to build strong and diverse local economies.”
Community development and MDI credit unions can have significant impact on their communities if supported with the capital necessary to thrive. Secondary capital allows CDCUs and MDIs to do more of what they do best – extend credit and provide safe and affordable financial services to underserved individuals who may not otherwise have access to them. Inclusiv studies have shown that CDCUs that received these investments leveraged capital up to 60 times over 5 years – resulting in more loan deployment, more financial products and services offered, and more specialized lending.