On Deck Capital, a provider of small business financing solutions, announced an alliance with the National Urban League, an organization aimed at economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. The arrangement brings On Deck's proprietary small business lending solutions to NUL's local affiliates through their Entrepreneurship Centers around the nation, starting with Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
Launching in these two markets, On Deck Capital's small business loans will now be directly accessible to entrepreneurs who have historically been unable to secure funding for their businesses. Visitors to NUL's Entrepreneurship Centers in the Philadelphia and Los Angeles affiliates can learn firsthand how On Deck works, and how they can expediently be approved for a loan of up to $100,000.
"Our primary focus is to help small business owners nationwide improve their overall fiscal health and credit rating, and secure a fast loan that will allow them to continue to focus on building their American dream," said Mitch Jacobs, founder and CEO of On Deck Capital. "Through our loans, small businesses can gain a stronger financial footing and ultimately become more bankable, which in effect drives the cornerstone of our economy."
According the U.S. Department of Commerce's Minority Owned Business Development Agency, lack of access to capital is one of the main causes for the sizable gap between annual revenue of minority-owned and non-minority owned firms (minority firms on average generate about 200 percent less revenue than their non-minority counterparts). On Deck said it hopes to help close this gap by working directly with NUL's on-the-ground team across key metropolitan urban markets. The company said it plans to roll out this small business recovery solution across additional NUL affiliate offices over the next six to 12 months.
"We continuously evaluate and identify key economic empowerment drivers for those in the communities in which we operate," said Marc Morial, president and CEO of the NUL. "On Deck Capital's lending solution perfectly aligns with our small business community's needs, and we are confident this will provide a strong resource for their ongoing growth."
The National Urban League's Entrepreneurship Centers provide entrepreneurial services and consultation to entrepreneurs in Atlanta; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Jacksonville, Fla.; Kansas City; New Orleans; Chicago; Los Angeles; and Philadelphia.
Patricia Coulter, president and CEO of the Urban League of Philadelphia, said helping minority-owned businesses grow in the Philadelphia market will lend itself to creating new jobs, building strategic alliances with major corporations, and providing business opportunities in new and emerging industries. "Through the collaboration with On Deck Capital, we will create a solid community of small businesses that contribute to the growth and sustainability of a stronger regional economy," she said.