Photo courtesy of Fonkoze
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented public health challenges and economic hardship to billions of people. It has also brought stories of inspiration, creativity and resilience, including from Mercy Partnership Fund investees: community development financial institutions, credit unions and microfinance institutions, who have stepped up as “first responders” to support communities and individuals most severely impacted by the crisis.
- As a long-time Small Business Administration lender, Self-Help Federal Credit Union worked diligently to provide Paycheck Protection Loans, with a focus on assisting nonprofits and small businesses run by women and people of color. By early June, Self-Help received approval for more than $171 million in loans, which helped applicants continue to employ 18,494 people.
- In Haiti, microfinance lender Fonkoze (pictured above) deployed its extensive network to provide sanitation, water purification and other training to help prevent the spread of the disease. Its network of Community Health Entrepreneurs (microfinance clients trained to conduct basic health screenings and provide health products) are playing a critical role in ensuring that the most vulnerable households have access to food and medical care.
- Michigan Women Forward (MWF) quickly mobilized state, local, corporate and philanthropic partners, as well as individual donors, to establish the MWF Michigan Entrepreneur Resilience Fund to help small business owners negatively impacted by COVID-19 recover. Read how MWF’s support is providing a lifeline to a small business owner in Detroit.
These are only a few of the more than 60 mission-driven investees in Mercy Partnership Fund’s global community investing portfolio who are working tirelessly to support their borrowers and communities through the COVID-19 crisis.