CLIMB Fund Awarded $100,000 Technology Grant
CHARLESTON, SC– CLIMB Fund, a not-for-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) CDFI Tech Grant Program supported by Google.org.
The program provided $11 million to support 55 OFN member CDFIs across the country. Google.org is also providing select CDFIs with pro bono coaches from Google.org to help accelerate their tech innovation projects and ultimately bring their projects to life.
Additionally, all OFN program awardees have the opportunity to participate in Google-led workshops to help them build capacity across a range of areas, including user experience design, product management, and more.
The program was supported by a competitive awards process available to OFN members focused on small business lending.
CLIMB Fund CEO, Cindi Rourk, said, “We are in the process of expanding our reach to include the entire state of South Carolina. As we expand our footprint, we are increasingly encountering the challenge posed by the state having one of the lowest broadband accessibility rates for low-income households. However, most homes do have access to a mobile phone. To address this gap in accessibility, we are working to release a mobile app that will enable us to serve these communities with a phone-friendly application process as well as built-in financial education suite software to offer financial literacy tools in both English and Spanish.”
The CLIMB Fund has made over 600 loans worth more than $30 million to small businesses that have historically been denied access to traditional capital. These loans have helped create over 1,200 jobs. The organization currently has 247 active loans across South Carolina worth $12 million. 66% of those loans are made to female, minority, or veteran owned businesses.