Expanding access to capital in underserved communities

December 7, 2020
children in a classroom with teachers


With help from a Mercy Partnership Fund investment, Hope Enterprise Corporation (HOPE) is strengthening communities, building assets and improving lives in the Mississippi Delta and other economically distressed parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.

Founded in 1994, “HOPE champions those on the edge of the economy, working in small towns and inner-city neighborhoods to remove obstacles that limit one’s ability to prosper. We are committed to a Deep South that works for all – regardless of race, gender, birthplace or station in life, “says Bill Bynum, HOPE’s CEO.  Loans from Mercy and other social investors help HOPE support a myriad of projects, such as funding the expansion of Memphis Merit Academy, a school located in one of Memphis’ most disadvantaged neighborhoods where 65 percent of children under the age of five live in poverty. “Merit isn’t just closing the gap. We go beyond the gap,” says Alexia Hudson, a Merit kindergarten teacher. “We aren’t just giving our students a seat at the table. We are building the table.”

To learn more about the work of Hope Enterprise Corporation, visit its website. Hope Enterprise Corporation is one of more than 60 mission-driven organizations in Mercy Partnership Fund’s global community investing portfolio. Learn more here.