Throughout June 2023, the WBENC LIFT Financial Center of Excellence, together with Corporate Members Citi, Wells Fargo, State Farm and MassMutual, is offering essential virtual programming focused on Access to Capital and WBE Readiness to do business in the Financial Services and Insurance Industry.
The WBE Readiness Series kicks off this Friday, June 9th, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET, with the next Access to Capital, brought to you by Bridge built by Citi! Looking for business funding can sometimes be an overwhelming process. Join Bridge built by Citi this Friday to hear directly from Citi and two small and medium business lenders committed to improving access to capital for underserved communities.
Bridge built by Citi is going above and beyond to provide valuable resources in addition to their innovative Access to Capital platform and education sessions with WBENC. Read on (and CLICK the phone images to watch!) for insightful tips from Co-founder and Director Rohit Mathur on trends for WBEs to know.
What advice would you give to a WBE looking for financial guidance?
There are many resources available online but working with someone who has strong experience in finances can be extremely helpful. Depending on your business’s size and circumstances, this can be an advisor from your local SBDC (Small Business Development Center), a resource referred from a trusted organization like WBENC or a lender from your local community bank or CDFI.
Many community banks and CDFIs specialize in a variety of financial products serving small businesses, and they can often provide helpful information and feedback when reviewing your financial package. This kind of relationship banking is a pillar for the Bridge built by Citi® platform.
What trends do you see happening related to consolidation among financial service providers?
The COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to embrace digital tools and getting access to capital has been a part of that trend too. Digital tools make processes that used to be manual and time-consuming, like finding a lender, more efficient and convenient for a business owner’s schedule. For example, the Bridge built by Citi platform allows business owners to submit one loan request form online for the possibility of being connected with multiple lenders. I think we’ll continue to see more improvements in digital options for access to capital over the next few years.
What would you say to a WBE that has pursued capital or a loan and hasn’t been successful yet?
It can be discouraging to hear “no” when looking for capital but try to focus on future opportunities. Ask your lender very direct questions as to why your loan request wasn’t approved to move forward. With that information, you can create a plan to do something about it and hopefully be better prepared for the next time you submit for a loan.
What resources are available to WBEs to secure access to capital?
Bridge built by Citi works with a set of regional banks and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to evaluate your loan needs. Visit www.bridgebuiltbyciti.com for more information.
Don’t miss any of the WBE Financial Readiness Series sessions throughout June! Learn more and register for Weeks 2-4 from the WBENC LIFT Financial Center of Excellence.