AFRICANGLOBE – OneUnited Bank, the largest Black-owned bank in the U.S., has partnered with Lendistry, a Black-owned financial technology company, to offer business loans of $50,000 up to $5 million to help Black entrepreneurs maintain working capital and build wealth.
OneUnited President Teri Williams told said that loans to Black businesses are “so important and so needed, yet so difficult [to access] in our community.”
OneUnited’s partnership with Lendistry is called the OneTransaction program, which offers customers six alternatives in loans for business and personal banking — including for homes, investment and savings accounts, plus insurance — to best build wealth.
Williams noted that while many customers had challenges accessing the Paycheck Protection Program during the COVID-19 pandemic, “Lendistry treated those customers with respect. They were very respectful of people who needed more help and referred them to us and other people that needed them.”
The financial services firm says it ”provides economic opportunities and progressive growth for small business owners and their underserved communities as a source of financing and financial education,” per its website, where it claims Lendistry has delivered funding to more than 580,000 entrepreneurs.
A reported 85% of OneUnited customers are Black, and the company has added a podcast component to OneTransaction that seeks to provide financial literacy education.
“We’re working on making financial literacy a core value in our community,” Williams told reporters. “Money was sort of a taboo topic when I was growing up, and I couldn’t figure it out. I grew up saying, ‘I don’t think any child should not be able to figure this out.’ You have to know the rules and make the rules work for you.”
OneUnited execs like Williams are hopeful that the loans will go to younger Black entrepreneurs to buy aging businesses to maintain legacy enterprises in the Miami area. Many businesses close because there is no succession plan.
“One of the things that I don’t think we focus on enough is buying existing businesses,” said Williams. “These are [already] generating cash flow and have been in business a long time. Sometimes it’s bringing [the next] generation’s technology to these businesses to make them more successful.”