UP Community Fund provides flexible loans and technical support to entrepreneurs of color with small business

Achieving Social Justice by Investing in High Impact Small Businesses

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Our Mission

The UP Community Fund's mission is to create upward mobility by providing flexible loans and technical assistance to small businesses. Our four key lending themes are:

- Entrepreneurs of Color

- Small businesses that promote diversity, inclusion, or flexible hiring practices

- Funding small business that produce products or deliver services that benefit low to moderate income people or communities

- Social enterprises sponsored by non-profit organizations


Loan Guidelines

  • Loan Amount: $250,000 to $1.2 million 

  • Loan Term: Up to 3 years

  • Loan Approval Process: Approximately 30 days


Minimum Requirements

  • At least 1 year in business
  • Annual sales of $300,000
  • Main business location - Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, St. Louis Metro

Use of Loan Funds

  • Growth capital
  • General working capital
  • Inventory, equipment, or fixed assets
  • Refinance or consolidate debt
  • Other
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The Need for Social Justice

According the U.S. Minority Business Development Agency, the country’s 8 million minority-owned firms contributed $1.4 trillion in revenue and 7.2 million jobs to the economy in 2012. While this is significant, it’s only a third of the revenue and employment that minority businesses could represent—if there were successful entrepreneurship parity between communities of color and majority communities. 

From a social justice perspective, the Up Community Fund seeks to provide flexible financing and technical assistant resources to empower business owners, employees and communities of color to achieve parity.   


"We are excited to offer a flexible financing solution that has been specifically designed to meet the needs of entrepreneurs of color in the southeast region.  UP Community Fund is a social justice solution that will make a difference to people and communities of low-to-moderate income. "

David Sharp, Managing Partner of UP Community Fund