Intelligent Issue 27 | Page 62




Bell , President of Truist Foundation . " PeopleFund shares our belief that small businesses are the key to a healthy economy and that every person should have equitable access to the tools they need to become a successful entrepreneur with financial stability ."
These Texas-based grants are a part of Truist and Truist Foundation ' s US $ 120 million joint commitment to strengthening and supporting small businesses nationwide , with a focus on Black- , Latine- and women-owned businesses . By generating greater equity for small business owners , PeopleFund can continue to create jobs , economic opportunity and generational wealth in communities across Texas .

Truist Foundation has announced a US $ 3.5 million grant to PeopleFund , a Texas-based Community Development Financial Institution ( CDFI ) and non-profit that strives to create economic opportunity and financial stability for underserved people by providing access to capital , education and other resources to build healthy small businesses .

Truist Foundation ' s grant provides long-term sustainability for PeopleFund ' s Black , Indigenous , Person of Colour ( BIPOC ) Small Business Accelerator , a programme that provides business owners with the capital , resources and network to start and grow their businesses and attain economic mobility . The accelerator was piloted in 2021 with a US $ 100,000 grant from Truist Foundation and a US $ 3 million low-interest loan from Truist Community Capital . These seed investments acted as catalysts for additional support .
" The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately devastated underserved Black and racially diverse small business owners . We are honoured to support PeopleFund , an organisation working to provide funding and unique services for diverse small business owners across Texas ," said Lynette
" PeopleFund ' s BIPOC Small Business Accelerator could not have been possible without the leading support of Truist . This programme boldly brought together institutions and individuals across Texas and beyond to lift barriers that impede underserved people of colour attain financial freedom through entrepreneurship ," added Gustavo Lasala , President and CEO of PeopleFund . " We are deeply grateful and proud of Truist ' s partnership . This grant will help this programme scale and continue making a positive difference in underserved communities for years to come ."
Truist ' s purpose of inspiring and building better communities in the Houston area and the state is further exemplified by two additional community grants . Truist Foundation contributed US $ 500,000 to SERJobs and , together with Truist Charitable Fund and Truist ' s Community Reinvestment Act department , donated US $ 500,000 to Junior Achievement . These grants will fund programmes that allow the organisations to strengthen small businesses and build career pathways to economic mobility through education , training , employment and empowerment services for underserved communities in Texas . �
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