Business owners proud of their achivement

Small businesses are the social economic drivers that provide local jobs, fill gaps for goods and services, and serve as a catalyst for economic development. Woodforest's Small Business Growth Initiative is a comprehensive approach aimed at activating entrepreneurial ecosystems and helping small businesses grow across the nation. Woodforest Foundry is one of our key programs that provides local resources for entrepreneurs through trusted guidance from peers who serve as mentors. This programming, coupled with new, innovative, and flexible capital for businesses at various growth stages, helps local communities grow and thrive.

Small Business Lending

Woodforest offers an outstanding variety of small business loan products to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem, ranging from micro-level lines of credit to major commercial loans that are helping create jobs across the nation. With reasonably priced loan amounts starting as low as $500 (offered as secured or unsecured), the 24-month Woodforest Business ReLi® Line of Credit is a particularly innovative retail product which supports micro-businesses and large businesses alike with much needed working capital.

Learn more about our Small Business Loans

Community Development Financial Institutions

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are critical to filling the needs of the entrepreneurial ecosystems and providing small business capital ecosystems. Woodforest is dedicated to increasing the capacity of CDFIs through innovative loans, investments and serving on Boards and Committees of their organizations. Our community partner Opportunity Finance Network, the leading national network of CDFIs, strengthens CDFIs through three objectives: Money, Strength and Voice. Opportunity Finance Network shapes policy, conducts research, and creates partnerships and programs that helps its members deliver in financially stressed communities.

See more information on CDFIs

Equity Equivalent Investment (EQ2)

An example of an innovative investment, that continues to help CDFIs, is our Equity Equivalent Investment (EQ2) formed in tandem with the Opportunity Finance Network. This EQ2, CDFI Community Investment Fund, LLC. (CCIF), has bolstered the balance sheets of many CDFIs by providing long-term low-cost, patient, leverageable equity-like capital.

Learn more about CDFI Community Investment Fund, LLC

Want to learn more about CCIF opportunities?

Woodforest Foundry

Woodforest launched the Woodforest FoundrySM to address the need for activating entrepreneurial trusted guidance eco-systems in underserved and overlooked communities. Woodforest Foundry identifies and leverages local resources and the bank's limited human/dollar capital to bring transparent pathways to entrepreneurial and small business success.

Woodforest Foundry is facilitated by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, acting as mentors to activate local entrepreneurial ecosystems in underserved communities. With Woodforest Foundry, entrepreneurs find a community of mentors and trusted guidance from peers, Woodforest Bankers, and community partners to help them take action, grow, and save scarce capital. Woodforest Foundry programming is currently operational in San Antonio and Austin, Texas, as well as Louisville, Kentucky and Aurora, Illinois.

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Entrepreneurship 4 AllSM

Woodforest Foundry programming starts with a visible, locally relevant, and transparent community kickoff discussion called Entrepreneurship 4 AllSM (E4AllSM). E4All, powered by Sustainable Startups, is an interactive event that teaches participants the fundamentals of an entrepreneurial mindset. By bringing to light local resources and knowledge from local experts, E4All teaches participants they often already have access to the tools they need to be an entrepreneur. Woodforest serves as a catalyst to bring to light local business leaders and resources that can be leveraged to help unlock area resources, knowledge, and expertise to help entrepreneurs. Ultimately, peers serve as mentors who facilitate networking between individuals and businesses within the community to "co-create" entrepreneur-driven outcomes.

Before COVID-19 we were developing and testing holding E4ALL's in our highly visible in-store branches. Given current conditions, we have pivoted and are prototyping a virtual version of the Woodforest Foundry to respond to the needs of entrepreneurs.


An Award-Winning Program

Woodforest is proud to see the success of each entrepreneur and the local eco-systems that have benefitted from Woodforest Foundry. We also appreciate the recognition of Woodforest Foundry as an award-winning program.

Six integrants of Woodforest Team

"Woodforest will continue to support small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country, and the Woodforest Foundry is one way we are delivering on that commitment. However, Woodforest cannot tackle this need alone, and we encourage other banks to join us in providing trusted guidance and putting the right local resources together in each of our communities to help activate, grow and sustain local entrepreneurial ecosystems."


- Jay Dreibelbis, CEO, Woodforest National Bank, Published on Consumer Banker's Association's website in response to our 2019 Joe Belew award win

Consumer Bankers Association's 2019 Joe Belew Award

The most innovative and impactful small business initiative

Contact us for more information about Woodforest Foundry

Pathway to Capital

Woodforest works with CDFIs to connect businesses to capital and trusted guidance. If Woodforest's loan products are not accessible to a prospective customer, small businesses have the opportunity to seamlessly explore additional responsible lending opportunities through Woodforest's collaboration with CDFIs and other independent impact-oriented marketplaces that connect declined business loan applicants to the capital and trusted guidance they need to get on the path to becoming fully bankable. Woodforest has supported, and will continue to support, the creation of innovative technology to provide small businesses opportunities to seamlessly explore additional responsible lending opportunities when the businesses are not yet ready for bank capital.

Small Business Investment Companies

Furthering Woodforest's commitment to expanding access to small business capital eco-system, Woodforest provides equity investments to Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs), which in turn deploy capital to companies with revenue of at least $1 million who operate in low- and moderate-income communities. This initiative allows small businesses who may be out of CDFI reach to access capital to scale their business.

Small Business Contacts

Doug Schaeffer

EVP and CRA Executive Director

dschaeffer@woodforest.com

Daniel Galindo

SVP, Director of Community Development and Strategy

dgalindo@woodforest.com

See more of our CRA Team

Woodforest National Bank

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