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VEDC Forms National Microfinance Fund with Grant from Sam's Club Giving Program






Funds will leverage $20 million in capital available to micro-lenders across the nation.



Los Angeles, May 6, 2015 - VEDC announced today that thanks to a $2 million grant from the Sam's Club Giving Program, they will leverage the formation of a $20 million National Microfinance Fund (NMF) to expand their small business loan portfolio to include lending to micro-lenders across the country. The NMF will begin rolling out in California and expand as far as Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Oregon in the initial stages.

This week Sam's Club and the Sam's Club Giving Program announced a five-year Small Business Economic Mobility initiative to help small businesses grow, highlighting the VEDC grant and others.

"VEDC's National Microfinance Fund is a key part of our philanthropic strategy to scale micro and small business loans to underserved business owners while building the capacity of mission driven lenders for the future," said Gayatri Agnew, Director, Opportunity at the Walmart Foundation and Sam's Club Giving Program. "We look forward to working with VEDC to maximize our impact in support of entrepreneurs trying to grow their businesses and realize their dreams."

The goal of VEDC's National Microfinance Fund is to not only to support the efforts of microloan organizations in markets VEDC currently serves, but to also improve the economic impact of nonprofit, mission driven lenders across the county. These newfound connections will greatly support a large number of new and existing entrepreneurs across diverse industries in achieving business growth through access to capital and financing.

"Entrepreneurs across the nation continue to report major challenges in accessing the funds they need to start and grow their businesses, especially those owned by minorities and women" commented Roberto Barragan, president and CEO of VEDC. "Sam's Club and the Sam's Club Giving Program have a deep understanding of small business nationally. We appreciate their willingness to be innovative in addressing the access to capital gap by providing philanthropic investment to help VEDC serve small businesses as they create new jobs."

VEDC will use the grant from Sam's Club Giving Program for the express purpose of loan loss reserve; this reserve will then directly benefit their ability to support a growing number of small businesses. By generating more loan capital, VEDC will be able to multiply the impact of their existing resources ten-fold; rather than serving 200 small businesses, VEDC can now serve 2,000 with the same resources. Rarely have loan loss reserves been used to leverage capital of this magnitude, and never before to generate a loan fund to micro-lenders.

The National Microfinance Fund will support small businesses in growth in low to moderate income communities resulting in significant economic recovery impact:

• Serve 10,000 small businesses
• Create 4,000 new jobs
• Start 500 new businesses
• Lend to 2,500 businesses across the nation in low to moderate income communities

VEDC seeks to continually increase access to microloan capital and intends to meet this growing need by acting as a national intermediary lender. VEDC will join with select non-profits providing microloans in their individual target markets across the country. VEDC recognizes the lack of readily accessible capital of these community micro-lenders, the difficulty in providing the much needed resources for small businesses to thrive in their regions, and is working to bring the necessary support. For more information on the National Microfinance Fund please visit www.vedc.org.

For more information on the Small Business Economic Mobility initiative and the Sam's Club Giving Program, visit SamsClub.com/giving.

About VEDC
VEDC is a leading non-profit small business lender that is changing the way small business lending is done by making it more available, sustainable and impactful. As a national small business lender, VEDC has lent $380 million in direct and guaranteed loans to over 100,000 small businesses and created more than 28,000 new jobs. As a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), VEDC's mission is to help create jobs and promote economic development in under-served communities. It provides loans and micro-financing options to small businesses, particularly those owned by women and minorities, that don't qualify for traditional bank financing. VEDC's expanding portfolio is composed of community-based loan funds in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami, Salt Lake City and the New York Tri-State area. For more information visit www.vedc.org.

About Sam's Club and the Sam's Club Giving Program
Sam's Club, the nation's eighth largest retailer and a leading U.S. membership club, offers savings and surprises to millions of members in 649 U.S. club locations and at SamsClub.com. The Sam's Club Giving Program, established by the Walmart Foundation in 2008, has granted $18 million to date in support of micro- and small business prosperity, economic mobility and opportunity. For more information on national or local giving by Sam's Club or the Sam's Club Giving Program, visit SamsClub.com/giving.

Media Contact:
Lisa Winkle, VEDC
(818) 907-9977 x231
lwinkle@vedc.org
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