Funding Local Businesses to Tackle the Wealth Gap

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 funding and resources to help entrepreneurs often locked out of bank loans or lacking the resources and networks to start and run their own companies. This conversion with Tash Nguyen, chair of the fund and founder of Restore Oakland, is an inspiring reminder of the power each of us has to step up and work together to make our communities stronger.

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 and funders aligned with their values

The power of healing financial trauma

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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