#Imagineif... the same energy and resources behind Wall Street firms were aimed towards low-income neighborhoods across America
Nathan Jones, Malcolm Defrantz, Donte Miller and Robin McKinnie are founders of Village Micro Fund.
The idea for Village Micro Fund (VMF) was birthed by a group of Morehouse, Georgia Tech and Emory students while interning for Goldman Sachs in New York. Witnessing the incredible arsenal of financial and human capital that went into closing Wall Street deals led the students to imagine how to apply similar efforts towards the greater good.
Understanding that access to capital lies at the intersection of citizens looking for jobs, entrepreneurs working to start businesses, and residents searching for shopping options that promote health and wellness, Nathan and his team set a goal “to prove that low to moderate-income neighborhoods across the country are investable and that the businesses and projects can be financed by the community itself.”
Nathan and his co-founders adopted a hybrid approach to make the group’s vision a reality, and created an organization with both a non-profit side and a for-profit side.
The organization’s non-profit side, Village Micro Fund, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) that focuses primarily on hosting small business workshops, along with one-on-one business planning and consulting sessions for existing small businesses and entrepreneurs preparing to start a business. Village&Co. serves as its for-profit side and hosts a debt based crowd-funding platform (VillageSeed.co) that allows customers, citizens and neighbors alike to invest in their favorite business at any amount, and gain a return on their investment.
Since launching in February 2014, VMF has consulted with 6 businesses and has raised $2,156 in pledged investments (for us, by us). Their efforts have awarded them a grant from the University Community Development Corporation and the opportunity to present before AOL co-founder Steve Case during the #RiseOfTheRest tour.
With 19 days remaining to invest in the projects currently live on their website, the VMF cannot wait to distribute their first round of loans and continue to plant seeds of growth in the local economy.
Stay Connected to VMF: