General Questions

BCIF is not intended to compete with other financial institutions already providing microloans. BCIF intends to supplement existing financial resources and in some cases, fill the gaps in access to capital for the African-American community. BCIF’s unique characteristics include:

Check mark symbol A specific focus on the Black community;

Check mark symbol The interest rate for borrowers is lower than many of the other alternative lending institutions;

Check mark symbol The fund is a community-based effort that will have much more visibility and appeal to community-at- large (not just for those “in the know”); and

Check mark symbol The lending criteria for borrowers will not be as restrictive as they are for many other alternative lending institutions.

In America and in a capitalist society, its widely acknowledged that ownership, especially of real property and business, is the primary vehicle for asset and wealth building. With assets and wealth come influence and power to achieve the type of substantive change we seek. Helping to grow financial assets provides the Black community with the “financial muscle” to equip itself with the capacity to create the change it seeks.

Because borrower default is a common risk associated with loan programs, BCIF has created a financial model that allows it to mitigate a specific cap on the number/percentage of loans that could potentially experience defaulted payment. Of course, loan requests are vigorously screened to assess for repayment capacity and thus minimize risks for borrower defaults.

No. BCIF is a transparent, independently operated, 501c3 nonprofit organization that is managed by direct staff, a loan review committee, and a board of directors. BCIF is housed at OneUnited. Therefore, BCIF funds and transactions are fully insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Due to the disparities in financial assets and wealth for the Black community, BCIF microloans are exclusively directed toward African American borrowers. BCIF actively seeks and welcomes donors/activators from diverse backgrounds who are concerned about the economic state of the Black community and view economic empowerment as a primary vehicle for social and political change.

At full scale, the organization will deploy 75% of all operating funds directly to the community through microloans. The other 25% covers necessary administrative costs of the fund. These costs include but are not limited to: staffing, business development activities, marketing/advertising, office space, etc.

For Donors

The board of directors, led by the President/Board Chair, is primarily responsible for monitoring and managing use of funds with support of a financial team consisting of a bookkeeper and accounting firm. Overall governance of the organization is managed by the board of directors.

Yes, BCIF welcomes financial gifts of any amount. Every dollar helps to build the financial muscle of the community.

BCIF donors come from all walks of life and represent various professional, political, racial/ethnic, geographic, and cultural backgrounds. There is one common characteristic between them: they all are passionate and/or concerned about the economic condition of the Black community and view it as a means to create sociopolitical change.

For Borrowers

There is no set loan distribution cycle. Loans are given on an ongoing basis throughout the year. Loan applications are welcome at any time. The loan application process may take between four to eight weeks from the time the preliminary online application is submitted. Once approved, funding is processed and disbursed within two weeks from formal approval date.

No, applicants can only apply for one loan at any given time.

Exceptions may be allowed in special circumstances to provide loans to businesses/individuals outside of Southern California. However, such loans must have a substantive impact on the Black community in BCIF’s target geographic area (Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange Counties). Applicants located or residing outside of the target geographic area should seek BCIF consultation before applying for a loan.

Declined applicants must wait at least six months before applying again for a BCIF loan.










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