Oct 4, 2017—Reinvestment Fund and Urban Advisors are pleased to announce the launch of Nile River Capital, a new initiative to support small contractors and disadvantaged businesses, including minority and women entrepreneurs.
Urban Advisors is a minority-owned impact investment consulting firm focused on eliminating asset and income inequality. 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. Unfortunately, capital access and other barriers prevent many minority entrepreneurs from winning contracts or scaling their businesses.
Nile River Capital will provide strategic, impact-oriented investments that address the financial challenges faced by small businesses and minority entrepreneurs, primarily in the construction trades. Construction invoices can take up to 60 days to process—a gap that is difficult for emerging businesses to bridge while still incurring project-related costs. Nile River Capital’s unique form of financing will pay businesses right away for completed work, positioning these small contractors and subcontractors to operate more effectively and secure additional contracts.
“Creating a funding program that provides capital and technical assistance will be of tremendous benefit to the contractor community,” said Urban Advisors CEO David Sharp. “We are excited to launch the first phase of this program in our home region of the Carolinas and Georgia.”
To support capital access, Nile River Capital also plans to offer more flexible underwriting and approval as compared to those of traditional financial institutions. It will offer technical assistance to its borrowers to increase their financial and operating capacities, including support with cost estimating, invoicing, and company infrastructure. With this deep understanding of its borrowers and their needs, Nile River Capital can strengthen small minority- and women-owned enterprises, empowering them to manage their projects and finances to sustainably grow their businesses.
In addition to supporting the wealth and economic security of entrepreneurs themselves, these investments will also help create quality jobs that offer living wages and benefits.
“Reinvestment Fund is excited for this opportunity to partner with Urban Advisors and support so many more small and minority entrepreneurs who are hard at work building our country’s infrastructure,” said Reinvestment Fund CEO Don Hinkle-Brown. “Given the significant rebuilding of the Southeast that is underway in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, this is a critical moment to create greater equity and representation in the industry.”
In addition to capital from Reinvestment Fund, the initiative has been supported by Heron Foundation and Knight Foundation.
About Reinvestment Fund: Reinvestment Fund is a catalyst for change in low-income communities. The organization integrates data, policy and strategic investments to improve the quality of life in low-income neighborhoods. Using analytical and financial tools, Reinvestment Fund brings high-quality grocery stores, affordable housing, schools and health centers to the communities that need better access—creating anchors that attract investment over the long term and help families lead healthier, more productive lives. Learn more at reinvestment.com.