MPF investee continues Mercy legacy of service in North Carolina

 2022.11_MPF_Carolina Small Business Development Fund
Photo credit: Logan Cyrus Photography

The Sisters of Mercy have served communities in North Carolina since 1872, and today, several Mercy Partnership Fund investees serve these same communities. 

MPF investee Carolina Small Business Development Fund (CSBDF) promotes economic development by reducing barriers to entrepreneurship across North Carolina, working with small- and medium-sized businesses, both startups and established businesses. Their robust work includes affordable financing and free education, training, and business development services for potential and current borrowers, namely veterans, women, Latinx, and African-American entrepreneurs. CSBDF also engages in state-level policy advocacy and research to support economic development.

In 2021, CSBDF served more than 220 businesses, including helping DeAnna Allen’s retail boutique The Brown Sugar Collab expand. Despite the success of the boutique’s location in South End, finding capital to expand wasn’t easy. “It was rough,” Allen says. “My sales were good, but because I had not been open for two years, I was turned down.” CSBDF offered the financing she needed to expand.

For Allen, seeing the growth of The Brown Sugar Collab foster the growth of other minority woman-owned small businesses, with the support of CSBDF, has been a rewarding venture:  “It makes me feel like I’ve made a mark in history by doing something like this.” 

Carolina Small Business Development Fund is one of more than 60 mission-driven organizations in Mercy Partnership Fund’s global community investing portfolio. Learn more here

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