Better Angels: Women Creating Change

Funding Local Businesses to Tackle the Wealth Gap

November 10, 2021 Susan Ferry Price Season 1 Episode 6
Better Angels: Women Creating Change
Funding Local Businesses to Tackle the Wealth Gap
Show Notes

Small Business Saturday is coming up on Nov. 27, reminding us to do some of our holiday shopping at small companies and the local businesses that keep our communities vibrant and create jobs. But what more can we do? In Northern California, six grassroots organizations have come together to create an innovative model to fund and support small businesses in the East Bay, an area hard hit by gentrification as well as the pandemic. The Real Peoples Fund provides financial and other resources to help entrepreneurs who are often locked out of bank loans or lacking the resources and networks to start and run their own companies. This conversation  with Tash Nguyen, chair of the fund, is an inspiring reminder of the power each of us has to step up and work collaboratively to make our communities stronger. Tash describes how her experience as a community organizer and formerly incarcerated person led to her desire to work for a just economy, how the Real Peoples Fund started and operates, the importance of partnerships, working with foundations on a new model of supporting entrepreneurs, and helping heal financial trauma. 

Highlights of the conversation:

  • How Tash became interested in restorative economics
  • How six community organizations decided to tackle economic inequality
  • Partnering with groups with expertise to develop the fund’s model
  • The fund’s mission-driven loan criteria
  • Working with foundations aligned with their values on a new model of funding 
  • Understanding systemic racism in the financial system.
  • Healing financial trauma and closing the wealth gap

Links in this episode:
Real Peoples Fund Instagram
Rockefeller Foundation
Community Visions
Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment
Asian Pacific Environmental Network
Communities for a Better Environment
Oakland Rising
Restaurant Opportunities Center
Restore Oakland
Uptima Entrepreneur Cooperative
Susan Ferry Price website
Susan Ferry Price Instagram
Susan Ferry Price Twitter
Astonish Media Group