In Cincinnati, LISC’s one-to-one matches for Kiva loans to local entrepreneurs are producing some sweet results. An article in Soapbox Cincinnati tells the stories of creative area women, including a gourmet carrot cake baker, who have grown their businesses thanks to the no-interest, no-fee—but big impact—loans.
Bill Taft, the longtime executive director of LISC Indianapolis, has been named senior vice president of economic development for LISC and will be spearheading our work to grow enterprises and create jobs in the places that need them. In the following Q&A, he talks strategy, practice and what it takes to build inclusive local economies in real life.
Over the next ten years, LISC will direct 50 percent of our annual investments to fuel inclusive economic development in underinvested communities across America. That means preparing people to take on high quality, well-paying jobs. And it means ramping up our work to help small businesses succeed and transforming vibrant commercial and industrial districts. “We have no doubt that this kind of progress is good for residents, good for communities and good for the country,’ says Maurice A. Jones, LISC CEO.
Small businesses are a major dynamo of innovation and growth in our economy—they make up more than 99 percent of U.S. enterprises and create two out of every three new jobs. A partnership between LISC and the crowdfunding platform Kiva is connecting small business entrepreneurs across the country with the capital and knowhow they need to succeed.
Read all about it—or at least part of it—in a wide-ranging interview with Next Street, wherein Maurice A. Jones talks about new avenues for partnership and funding, balancing our interests in housing and business, and whether or not CDFIs are too much like banks.