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Q: What is Rende Progress Capital---and what is a Community Development Financial Institution?


A:  Rende Progress Capital (RPC) is the nation’s only racial equity loan fund and emerging Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) committed to economic equity by providing capital to Excluded Entrepreneurs of Color.  CDFI’s are financial institutions dedicated to providing socially responsible and affordable lending to disinvested entrepreneurs.  ‘Rende’ means the full value of human beings and comes from the word ‘rendere’ meaning to give back, be profitable or return.  We give capital and progress to those excluded from opportunities and conventional loans.


RPC provides lending to Excluded Entrepreneurs of Color in diverse business areas such as technology, media, food, entertainment, allied health and other areas.  We provide loans anchored in racial equity factors, the mission of the borrower’s business and their ability to repay loans within an established time frame. 



Q:  What is the RACE4Progress 2.0 Loan?


A:  In recognition of the impact of our original RACE4Progress [Relief Address COVID and Exclusion] COVID-19 financial relief loan, RPC has launched the RACE4Progress2.0 loan to continue providing low-interest small business loans and flexibility in the loan term periods to the Excluded Entrepreneurs of Color owned businesses who can provide financial documentation that their business operations continue to face financial harm from the continuing economic effects from COVID-19.  Similar to RACE4Progress, RACE4Progress2.0 offers flexibility in the areas of term periods, loan amounts, absence of collateral, and reduced financial statements documentation.  This loan does provide opportunities for undocumented entrepreneurs to apply.  The loan is for such businesses that can demonstrate negative economic impacts on their business due to COVID-19.



Q:  Who or what is an Excluded Entrepreneur of Color?


A:  Excluded Entrepreneurs of Color are African-American, Asian, Latino, Native American and Immigrant business owners representing underrepresented business owners of color in the Grand Rapids Area and West Michigan facing documented statistical barriers to traditional capital due to racial bias by some lending institutions.  However, these self-starters are not defined as excluded because of ethnicity.  Based on surveys and deep listening sessions with them, Excluded Entrepreneurs of Color are businesses who are, have been or perceive themselves to be excluded from traditional loans from some financial institutions because of lending barriers, bias and market realities such as size of conventional loans or lack of assistance services from those traditional lenders.  In turn, their families and communities also experience social and economic pressures from the racial wealth gap. 


Q:  What is the Fund’s loan interest rate?

A:  The interest rate is 1% for the entire term of the loan.


Q:  What is the loan term period?

A:  The minimum loan term period is 12 months.  The maximum loan term period is 60 months.



Q:  When does the Fund begin?

A:  RPC is considering RACE4Progress 2.0 loans starting on October 14, 2022.



Q: What is the RPC decision process in considering and approving loans?

A:  For those interested in applying for RPC loans, there are four steps to review at 1. Learn about our criteria and apply for eligibility; 2. Permission to review your financials and other information; 3. Complete a loan application in at


4. Receive a determination after careful consideration. 


NOTE: Only Excluded Entrepreneurs of Color within the Grand Rapids, MI/Kent County area are eligible for RACE4Progress2.0.


As an Excluded Entrepreneur of Color is being considered for a loan, the RPC team will review each proposal with diligence, our racial equity/social criteria and business objectives that fit the mission of RPC. 

RACE4Progress 2.0 Applicant Checklist in – What You Should Also Know and Have:


  • Business License/registration proof from Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA):

  • Current Driver’s License, State Identification Card, Consulate Identification, or Passport

  • Cash Flow or Business Forecast 12-months

  • Business Budget for the next 12-months

  • Personal Budget for the next 12-months

  • Current 12-months of Business Bank Statements

  • Loan Application

  • Previous Years’ Business Tax Returns:

[*Note 1: for businesses that existed prior to January 1, 2020, please submit 2019 or 2020 and 2021 Business Tax Returns]

[*Note 2:  for businesses that existed after January 1, 2020, please submit 2020 and 2021 Business Tax Returns]

For additional questions, please email John Hendershot, Business Development Director at or Elisa Starnes, Associate Partner for Lending and Opportunity at

Need more details? Contact us

We are here to assist. Contact us by phone, email or via our Social Media channels.

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