Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Rende Progress Capital, and what is a Community Development Financial Institution?
A: Rende Progress Capital (RPC) is a new Loan Fund, and emerging Community Development Financial Institution committed to economic equity by providing capital to Excluded Entrepreneurs. 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.
RPC provides lending to Excluded Entrepreneurs in diverse business areas such as technology, media, food, entertainment, 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. We also provide equity investments to businesses led by Excluded entrepreneurs to reach their full potential and dreams.
Q: There are quite a few CDFI's. What is distinctive about RPC?
A: As alternative and socially responsible lenders, there is a need for more CDFI's. The differentiation of RPC is that we are the only lender combining traditional loan approval criteria with racial equity standards, our FARE system (Financing Approval through Racial Equity) and other factors guiding loan approvals.
RPC created our racial equity lending systems because we are intentional in responding to needs in under-served markets, achieving family economic opportunity for all and reducing the well documented racial wealth gap. We do this through culturally inclusive business training and venture boot-camps to businesses.
Q: Who or what is an Excluded Entrepreneur?
A: Excluded Entrepreneurs are African-American, Asian, Latino, Native American, and Immigrant business owners. However, these self-starters are not defined as excluded because of ethnicity. Based on surveys and deep listening sessions with them, Excluded Entrepreneurs are promising businesses who are, have been, or perceive themselves to be excluded from traditional loans from financial institutions for a variety of social factors and bias. In turn, their families and communities also experience social and economic pressures from the racial wealth gap.
Q: Who created RPC?
A: RPC was created by Eric K. Foster and Cuong Q. Huynh who are colleagues and W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fellows. They offer a combined experience of business, finance, law, project management, CDFI partnerships, venture capital, diversity, inclusion, and racial equity expertise to RPC clients, foundation supporters, and individual investors.
A social entrepreneur, Foster is principal of Progress Strategies+, LLC, a project management company for corporate, business, and organization clients who also specializes in Diversity & Inclusion, Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Policy & Advocacy. He is the RPC Managing Director and Portfolio Manager. Foster is a graduate of Hope College, and is certified in project management from the Northwestern University School of Professional Studies, and Advanced Intercultural Management from the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame.
Huynh is a leader who is experienced in finance, law, and public policy. He is a Wall Street trained financial professional and is the RPC Managing Director for Investments. Huynh is the founder of the Enlightened Initiative, a non-profit that supports immigrant youth to be community leaders. He is a graduate of UCLA, and holds a juris doctorate from the University of California Hastings College of Law and a graduate degree from the University of Chicago. He is also a graduate of the Venture Capital Institute.
Q: How and where will RPC deploy capital to Excluded Entrepreneurs?
A: RPC supports promising start-up and existing business with loans to certain businesses led by Excluded entrepreneurs. The lending area at this time is Michigan---with Maryland, District of Columbia and Virginia to follow in the future. The areas have been affirmed by data and insight from Excluded Entrepreneurs.
Q: What is the RPC decision process in considering and approving loans?
A: For those interested in applying for RPC loans and investments, there are four steps to review: 1. Learn about our criteria and apply for eligibility; 2. Permission to review your financials and other information; 3. Complete a loan application based on our FARE system; 4. Receive a determination after careful consideration.
Whether an excluded Entrepreneur is being considered for a loan or investments, the RPC team will review each proposal with diligence, our racial equity/social criteria and business objectives that fit the mission of RPC and benefit to the community.
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