PROGRAM: Wells Fargo Open for Business

  • Open for Business Initiative

Supporting Small Businesses and Real Estate Developers of Color

For small businesses facing financial hardships and other business challenges, having access to trusted experts to help grow their businesses and realize locally led solutions is critical to getting back to growth.

To support that effort, Capital Impact Partners and CDC Small Business Finance have launched a $1.5 million initiative in partnership with Wells Fargo focused on providing targeted business training services to small businesses and real estate developers of color. The grant will help accelerate re-development efforts in Washington, D.C. and the Mississippi Delta through a focus on housing, amenities, and jobs.  

 City First Enterprises, Hope Enterprises, and the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif) will also participate in this initiative, serving a variety of sectors including:

  • social services
  • professional services
  • food retail and distribution
  • real estate developers of color, with a focus on graduates of Capital Impact’s Equitable Development Initiative

Program Implementation

Capital Impact will manage the overall program while CDC Small Business Finance will deliver technical assistance (TA) and create specialized curriculum for Washington, D.C. metropolitan area participants and alumni of Capital Impact’s Equitable Development Initiative. The other partners will provide the following services: 

  • City First Enterprise will launch a formal small business TA program including hiring two business advisors. Training will include modules such as credit repair that will help small businesses recover from the impacts of the economic crisis.
  • Hope Community Enterprises will scale and improve efficiencies to their SBA lending with a focus on using the Community Advantage Program to serve entrepreneurs of color in the rural Deep South.
  • Wacif will provide legacy businesses interested in employee ownership with technical assistance including individualized growth plans, technology, marketing, and financing.


Our Partner

This initiative is made possible through Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund, a roughly $420 million small business recovery effort across the U.S to help small business owners recover and emerge from the pandemic even stronger and more resilient.

Small business owners looking for support can also visit for tips and ideas.

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Questions About the Fund?

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The Open for Business Fund enlists the care and expertise of organizations like Capital Impact Partners to urgently assist the small business community and to help navigate entrepreneurs back to growth.

Anna Bard
Senior Vice President,
Social Impact and Sustainability
Wells Fargo

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When two Equitable Development Initiative graduates had a vision for revitalizing a Washington, D.C. neighborhood and create affordable housing, they turned to Capital Impact to help jumpstart their project.

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Stronger Together

With the goal of innovating how capital and investments flow into historically disinvested communities to advance equitable wealth creation, Capital Impact and CDC Small Business Finance united their operations.

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