Exelon announced that RockCreek, one of the world’s largest diverse-owned global investment firms, has opened applications for the $36 million Exelon-funded Racial Equity Capital Fund to support minority-owned businesses in Exelon’s service areas in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Illinois, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Exelon, which serves more than 10 million customers through its six electric and gas utilities, announced last fall that it had partnered with the Exelon Foundation to create the Racial Equity Capital Fund. The fund will help minority businesses obtain capital to fuel growth and spur job opportunities in communities that have historically been underserved, under-resourced, and overlooked by investors and traditional funding sources. The fund will provide loans and equity investments for numerous minority businesses throughout Exelon’s service areas over the next three years, with estimated loan amounts between $100,000 and $300,000, and equity investments of nearly $1 million.
“With this fund, we are empowering small, minority-owned businesses to grow their capacity, increase revenue and hire more employees,” said Calvin Butler, chief operating officer and senior executive vice president of Exelon. “We have identified financial partners who understand the unique challenges these businesses face, but who also share our vision and are eager to reinvigorate the communities we both serve.”
RockCreek has forged initial partnerships with minority-owned lending institutions and a community-based bank to increase the investment capacity of the Racial Equity Capital Fund. The fund will invest in minority-owned businesses who have historically lacked access to capital to sustain operations, grow revenues, create jobs, and increase wellbeing throughout underserved and under-resourced communities.
“Capital is the fuel that allows businesses to grow, create jobs, and strengthen communities, and for too long, minority-owned businesses – and entire communities – have been neglected by allocators of capital,” said Afsaneh Beschloss, Founder and CEO of RockCreek. “The Racial Equity Capital Fund will bring this critical fuel directly to minority-owned businesses and will continue serving their communities in the years ahead.”
Initial partners in this effort include Providence Bank & Trust; United Bank of Philadelphia; and City First Bank, National Association of Washington, DC. RockCreek continues to seek out and engage with other potential partners throughout Exelon’s service areas.
The partnerships are the next step in the launch of the $36 million initiative, which is funded by Exelon and managed by RockCreek. RockCreek will select businesses for financing, independent of other parties, and manage the fund to serve as a continuing resource to help grow businesses, create jobs, and strengthen the communities Exelon serves.