Investing in small businesses is key to fueling local economies and creating opportunity. LISC supports emerging entrepreneurs other lenders may deem too risky and, in the process, helps open doors for economic development, wealth building, social connection and creativity in communities across the country. In celebration of Small Business Saturday (Nov. 25), we're taking a look at the big impact these investments make.
In celebration of Small Business Saturday (Nov. 25), we're profiling emerging enterprises in the communities where we work that have benefited from LISC small business lending and support. This week, we shine the spotlight on Phoenix, where a flourishing co-working space, CO+HOOTS, has spawned a large new space, dozens of small ventures and some 200 new jobs for local talent. All made possible, in part, by LISC loans and expertise.
Darcel Roebuck, a veteran of 20 years in the Army, found a home and a job at Victory Place, a supportive housing campus for formerly homeless vets in Phoenix. Through the National Equity Fund and it's Bring them HOMES initiative, we have invested $610 million in equity to create housing for homeless veterans at Victory Place and across the country.
After years of guiding charter school facilities development, LISC has bottled its knowledge in a new platform: SchoolBuild: From Idea to Construction. SchoolBuild is an essential online resource to support charter school leaders as they dig into the process of creating a bricks-and-mortar facility, with advice on everything from cost projections to financing options and the many other steps required to bring a new school to life.
Tom Espinoza, CEO & president of Raza Development Fund (RDF), the largest Latino CDFI in the U.S, was a founding board member of LISC. He served for 15 years, and joined the board again in 2011. Raza is celebrating 20 years of investing in Latino and poor families across the country. Espinoza sat down with us to discuss the significance of Hispanic Heritage Month and the potentials of our partnership in the years to come.