Nusenda expands micro-lending program - Albuquerque Journal

Nusenda expands micro-lending program

Hundreds of low-income and minority entrepreneurs in Albuquerque are getting a significant boost from a novel micro-lending program run by Nusenda Credit Union.

The Co-op Capital Program, which Nusenda launched in 2014 in partnership with local community organizations, has channeled nearly $664,000 in small loans to nearly 400 aspiring businesspeople. And now, thanks to $280,000 in new grants from the Kellogg and Albuquerque Community foundations, dozens more startups will gain access to credit that most could not get through traditional lending channels.

The new funding will add four more community-based organizations to the six program partners already working with Nusenda to make loans that range from $250 to $10,000, said Nusenda Senior Vice President Robin Brule.

“One of the biggest barriers in Albuquerque’s startup community is access to capital,” Brule said. “This new cohort of Co-op Capital partners will open new opportunities for local entrepreneurs and bolster our city’s entrepreneurial support network.”

Unlike traditional lenders that rely on credit history and collateral, Co-op Capital relies on its community partners to vouch for individuals seeking credit based on character and trusting relationships, Brule said.

The partners themselves approve the loans, which Nusenda then administers with 5 percent interest. That’s backed by a pool of capital deposited with the credit union through contributions from each partnering organization, plus loans and grants from the Nusenda, Kellogg and Albuquerque Community foundations.

To date, the program reports only a 1 percent default rate.

Kellogg previously provided $500,000 to underwrite loans, plus $300,000 to build administrative capacity among community partners to manage lending activity, said Kellogg Program Officer Alvin Warren.

Kellogg and the Albuquerque Community Foundation jointly provided another $80,000 this year to build administrative capacity among the four new partners — the South Valley Economic Development Center, the University of New Mexico’s Innovation Academy, and food business training and assistance groups Three Sisters Kitchen and the Street Food Institute.

Albuquerque Community Foundation also approved a $200,000 grant to help finance loans for the new partners as part of its “impact investing” program, which earns fewer returns but offers more local, social impact, said foundation Vice President Kelli Cooper.

The new program partners will begin making loans in January, benefitting student startups, food businesses and credit-marginalized entrepreneurs in the South Valley.

“The program helps bridge a critical gap in the services we can offer,” said South Valley Economic Development Center Executive Director Josue Olivares.

Home » Business » Money » Nusenda expands micro-lending program


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Teachers union declares impasse as APS board tables changes
ABQnews Seeker
Decision jeopardizes previously approved raises and ... Decision jeopardizes previously approved raises and district-union trust
2
APS' continuing issues with HVAC cause health concerns
ABQnews Seeker
District says it has 385 open ... District says it has 385 open work orders related to air-conditioning
3
Lawmakers turn budget focus to preventing child abuse
ABQnews Seeker
Fewer children in New Mexico are ... Fewer children in New Mexico are receiving services
4
NM reporter's rally ejection ignites controversy over press access
ABQnews Seeker
Ronchetti campaign claims journalist's publication is ... Ronchetti campaign claims journalist's publication is a left-wing advocacy company
5
Santa Fe lawyer ordered to appear in Georgia probe
ABQnews Seeker
John Eastman subpoenaed by grand jury ... John Eastman subpoenaed by grand jury investigating 2020 election interference
6
Former nonprofit treasurer pleads guilty to embezzlement
ABQnews Seeker
Michelle Luna sentenced to probation, ordered ... Michelle Luna sentenced to probation, ordered to pay restitution to West Central Community Development Group
7
Forest Service reseeding burn scar
ABQnews Seeker
More than 180,000 acres have suffered ... More than 180,000 acres have suffered damage
8
BlueHalo opens new manufacturing facility in ABQ
ABQnews Seeker
State-of-the-art space will focus on directed ... State-of-the-art space will focus on directed energy and space technology
9
Nonprofit helping vets expands to a new location
ABQnews Seeker
Heroes Walk Among Us aims to ... Heroes Walk Among Us aims to get veterans back on their feet
10
The inaugural New Mexico Asian Film Festival strives to ...
Entertainment
The inaugural festival will take place ... The inaugural festival will take place from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, at Balloon Fiesta Park. The film festival is part of the two-day ...