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  • Writer's pictureCalla Norman

Jacksonville Businesses are Growing With Community and Philanthropic Investment

Updated: Mar 20, 2023

Honeycomb Credit is helping small businesses in Jacksonville, Florida reach their full potential thanks to the combination of community and philanthropic investment!

So far, seven local, independently-owned businesses in Jacksonville have successfully raised capital to grow on Honeycomb Credit, and those campaigns were supplemented by philanthropic investments from the Jessie Ball Dupont Fund’s Jacksonville MIcrofinance Fund. Let’s learn more about this partnership, and hear from three of the small business owners who were able to use it to grow their businesses!

A Partnership Made in the Sunshine State

“When we found out about Honeycomb’s product and its ability to work with small business owners, we were super interested in taking philanthropic capital and marrying it with the crowd’s capital to impact small businesses at a higher level,” says Chris Crothers, Director of Impact Investing at the Jesse Ball Dupont Fund.

In 2022, Honeycomb and the Jessie Ball Dupont Fund teamed up to find a way that small business owners could benefit both from investments from their community (which Honeycomb facilitates) and philanthropic foundation investments from an institution like the Jesse Ball Dupont Fund. Together, they developed a loan participation fund. This means that qualifying small businesses in Jacksonville who run Honeycomb investment offerings would also be eligible for an immediate large investment from the Jacksonville Microfinance Fund.

The cool thing about the loan participation fund is that it helps to build momentum for the Honeycomb offerings these independent businesses are running. If they’ve already got $15,000 or $20,000 raised, building upon that number becomes so much easier.

“The JAX Microfinance Fund has invested $115,000, but these small businesses have been able to generate nearly $300,000 in investments so it’s a win-win overall, and we’re excited about the potential that we’re going to have investing on Honeycomb here in Jacksonville here in the future,” says Chris.

Three local businesses, three stories of impact.

Peter Jackson is owner of Irie Diner in Orange Park, Florida. This pan-Caribbean restaurant raised $65,000+ on Honeycomb Credit to expand their outdoor dining area. Now they’re growing and hiring more employees and also refinancing high-interest debt.

“As an immigrant to this country, that people would be so gracious with their resources and say, ‘Hey, we got you,’ that is the highlight of the Honeycomb campaign,” says Peter.

The very first Jacksonville campaign to benefit from the JAX Microfinance Fund and Honeycomb partnership was Kravegan, a vegan restaurant also in Orange Park. Kravegan raised $51,500 from 31 investors to scale their vegan sauce line.

“The highlight of the campaign for me was how well it was put together,” says LaTasha Kaiser, owner of Kravegan. “[Honeycomb] wanted to make sure it was a five-star experience and as a business owner the entire process was satisfying and made me very happy. I would recommend it to anyone.”

Cultural Kitchen is co-owned by Annett Schultz and Rovetkey Johnson, and is a part-German, part-Caribbean catering company, food truck, and restaurant. They used their Honeycomb investment offering to expand their restaurant, and ended up raising $51,000 from 28 investors!

“We had a QR code set up throughout our restaurant that people could use to access the campaign page,” says Annett Schultz, owner of Cultural Kitchen, “I’d be working in the restaurant and all of a sudden hear my own voice, and know they’re watching the campaign video!”

After these crowdfunding successes, these local business owners are still feeling the impact that their campaigns made not just to their financial empowerment, but to their relationships within the community as well.

“Those customers that have invested, they’re coming more regularly and they’re very inquisitive to know how we’re doing, “ says Peter. “One customer came in a couple of weeks ago and said, ‘Hey Peter, we got our first check! Thank you!’”

Local businesses build up our communities - so shouldn’t communities build them up?

That’s part of the mission behind not just Honeycomb’s model of community investment, but also our partnerships with foundations such as the Jessie Ball Dupont Fund. Learn more about how to raise money with Honeycomb Credit by filling out the form below!


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