Foundations Can Now Invest in Main Street - Here’s How
Foundations such as Souls Grown Deep, the Jessie Ball Dupont Fund, and the A.L. Mailman Family Foundation are already doing awesome things for their communities, and now thanks to Honeycomb and Upstart Co-Lab, foundations can spread their resources out to Main Street!
Honeycomb has recently launched a series of foundation partnerships called the Loan Participation Fund. The way it works is that foundations can invest in small businesses (just like anybody else can for as little as $100) that are running Honeycomb campaigns.
Each foundation has their own set of criteria for who to invest in - some exclusively invest in Black-owned businesses, others in generally underrepresented communities in their region, and others have even more different criteria. If you match the requirements for one of these foundations, you could get a $10,000 boost in your campaign right off the bat!
Business owners who meet any of the following requirements may be eligible to receive a matching investment from Honeycomb’s Loan Participation Fund, upon launching a Honeycomb campaign:
Woman-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses or businesses based in a low-to-moderate community in the broader Jacksonville, FL metropolitan Area
Black-owned businesses in any of the following states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Arkansas
One entrepreneur who benefited from a foundation investment was Kristina Hale, owner of Dope Pieces Puzzle Company. When she was looking for funding to grow her Atlanta-based puzzle business that celebrates artists in the Black diaspora, she decided to crowdfund a loan with Honeycomb. It so happened that she was also the very first business on Honeycomb to receive a $10,000 Loan Participation Fund investment from Souls Grown Deep! This chain of events has been documented in a Forbes article released this spring.
These foundation investments through the Loan Participation Fund are especially important to narrowing the gap that many entrepreneurs in marginalized communities face when seeking funding to grow their businesses. A $10,000 investment from a foundation can start the momentum for the business to meet their minimum goal with investments from their community, and go on to achieve their maximum funding goal!
As the Forbes article notes, Honeycomb “had already been exploring ways to encourage institutional investors, especially place-based foundations, to help provide loans to businesses on the platform, especially those in underserved communities having trouble meeting their stretch goals on the platform. “We were looking for a way to level the playing field,” [George Cook, Honeycomb CEO] says.”
You can read more about Kristina’s journey and more about the Loan Participation Fund in this article on Forbes.
With a foundation backing your crowdfunding campaign, there’s nothing stopping your business from growth.
Are you a small business owner, and think you might be eligible for Loan Participation Fund investments? Fill out the form below to receive more information about running a Honeycomb campaign, and if you’re eligible we’ll connect you with the foundations who can invest in your business.