FORGE Community Loan Fund (FORGE), the oldest loan fund in the state of Arkansas, supports underserved communities in rural and small urban Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. With a mission of promoting community development and economic stability in agrarian communities, FORGE provides small business, consumer and farm lending as well as technical assistance with business plan development, marketing and management to its current or potential borrowers.
FORGE provides support to those that have a difficult time obtaining funding from traditional finance avenues. FORGE borrower Bridgette Perkins, owner of Elite Trucking, explained her frustration in obtaining conventional financing saying, “Traditional institutions, it is definitely difficult, especially being a minority woman, you’re not taken serious. They’re not necessarily looking at me with the same respect that they would a man and a lot of the time, they’d always ask, ‘Are you the only owner?’” When she found FORGE, she was met with respect and an easy application process. A loan from FORGE allowed her to grow her business and even helped to attract new contracts and opportunities for the company. To hear more about Bridgette’s story and FORGE, click here.
To learn more about the work of FORGE, visit its website. FORGE Community Loan Fund is one of more than 60 mission-driven organizations in Mercy Partnership Fund’s global community investing portfolio. Learn more here.