Alliance “Get To Know Us” Spotlight: Shelli Hayman, Senior Vice President, Small Business Lending

Welcome to our Spotlight series where we highlight members of our new enterprise with Capital Impact Partners.

Earlier this year we announced the formation of our exciting new enterprise that united Capital Impact Partners and CDC Small Business Finance under a single strategy and leadership team. 

We believe that in order to ensure that traditional and mainstream financial systems are equitably serving Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous communities to drive solutions that support economic mobility and wealth creation, we must think differently. This series is designed to introduce you to the many people who are working hard to drive change and create a powerful new voice for communities and small businesses.

In this Spotlight, meet Shelli Hayman. Shelli is our Senior Vice President of Small Business Lending. 

Shelli is responsible for the management of the sales, processing, underwriting, and funding of CDC Small Business Finance’s Small Business Administration and State Guaranteed small business loans up to $250,000. She also led CDC Small Business Finance’s Paycheck Protection Program. 

Take a moment to watch the video or read the transcript below to learn more about Shelli’s background, her role, and some fun facts!


Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your role?

A: I am the senior vice president for small business lending for the enterprise. So, I’m really involved in management of our sales and underwriting, processing and funding of our small business loans that are traditionally not so heavy on commercial real estate, because they typically are smaller-dollar loans.

Q: What excites you about our new enterprise?

A: Oh gosh, a lot of things excite me about the enterprise. I think one of the first things that comes to mind is just continuing to collectively learn about our products and services. I think it’s really cool to see how we really are interconnected and really do compliment each other quite a bit. I would say just simply working alongside very like-minded individuals and really thinking of things in new innovative ways to be able to prove that you can actually do the type of work we’re setting out here to do as an enterprise at scale, and doing so through what I kind of consider a higher level of collaboration, really leaning into like technology, in combination of course, with our human capital, that’s extremely important. I think it’s a time for us, as an enterprise, to really think more creatively about what it is that we’re doing, taking on more risk, but I think it’s also just part of the whole puzzle here.

Then I think, maybe it’s just flipping things on their head sometimes, when that’s needed. So, super excited about it. I think doing all of that while not losing sight of the impact, you know, that we’re looking to have and making sure that all people have equal access to capital to be able to aspire to what their dreams are that, you know, not only is that lifting them up as an individual, but that also in turn impacts their communities. I would say the win-win for me would be if other folks within the financial space look to us as an example of what you actually can do and that they follow suit in a similar fashion. I think that to me, is exciting.

Q: What role would you say collaboration with communities plays and improving access to capital?

A: That’s a great question. I think one of the things that’s extremely important about collaboration when you talk about communities is simply that I think it’s, we’d be doing a disservice to the communities and ourselves with what we’re trying to do if we just simply come to communities with the products that we have to offer without really, um, leaning into those communities and listening to them and really understanding what their need is. Where maybe some of our existing products do work well, or services, but you know, how do we, you need to think differently to really be able to help the folks in the communities that we’re looking to target. 

We’ll be able to do that specifically in areas of focus that we talk about in terms of geographies, we’re gonna do simply that by having folks placed in those geographies to be able to build that trust, right. It’s not necessarily gonna happen overnight, so we have to be patient and be willing to listen and learn.

Q: Can you tell us about character-based lending and why it’s needed?

A: I don’t think it’s any surprise that, for too long, I mean, there’s just been inherent biases within the current financial system. I think hands down, there’s probably not many folks that would argue with that. So really, I look at that as just deliberate barriers that have kept folks out of getting those equal opportunities to access capital. So, I think in terms of character-based lending, that it really is simply that it’s looking at, not looking at just a credit score, or lack thereof for that matter, as some sort of a barometer in terms of whether someone is deserving of capital. 

So in that way, it is looking at it differently. And what are other things that we can be looking at in terms of a person’s character, and really honing in on, you know, what their potential is, because it’s there, they’ve just really been blocked out of the system for a long time. And so it’s just thinking and looking through a different lens, lending in a new way, and really just balancing what I like to call as perceived risk, and lending in a space that we’re talking about and providing those opportunities that they’ve never had before.

Q: Word has it that you like to bake. Do you have any specialties or things you like to focus on?

A: I do love to bake and I bake a lot more during COVID, which is probably not always a good thing, but I would have to say what I get requests for is, I make a homemade apple pie completely from scratch, including the crust. It’s got the bottom and the upper layer. I cut all the slots. So I usually have to make like four of those during the holiday seasons, cuz people love it. And I enjoy it.

Q: If you could hike anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

A: That’s a great question, because I do love to hike outside. Um, okay. I’m gonna go with New Zealand, because I have some folks near and dear to my heart that have been there and have just bragged about it. And then if you just simply Google images and you look at the place, it looks amazing. So I’m sure I could spend a number of weeks there and be completely content.