The Intersect Fund is a rapidly growing, non-profit microlender and certified CDFI that equips the least fortunate with the skills and capital to develop successful businesses, generate income and build assets. We provide business training, coaching and microloans to low-income, minority and women-owned businesses throughout New Jersey.
Our clients are individuals seeking loans to grow their businesses and improve or establish a credit history. Our loans range from $100 to $25,000. In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in November 2012, The Intersect Fund expanded its lending to include Disaster Relief Loans of up to $15,000 at reduced interest rates to businesses throughout New Jersey devastated by the storm.
Conceived in a dorm room and started with just $1,000 in seed capital, The Intersect Fund disbursed its first loan in the Summer of 2009 and subsequently has provided more than 300 loans totaling more than $800,000 to owners of restaurants, bodegas, beauty salons, nutrition and fitness centers, an ESL school, a coffee roaster and many other types of microbusinesses. Our average loan size is $2,500 and although more than half of our borrowers have no credit score or a score under 600, and our loan loss rate was just 2.49% in 2012. Our flexible underwriting standards and cultural competencies enable us to engage clients traditionally un-served by larger financial institutions and microlenders.
Our business training provides one-on-one coaching and technical assistance for barely existing businesses to more established business seeking to register businesses, manage cash flow, find new customers and develop new marketing strategies. This “just in time” approach has strengthened more than 1,000 businesses.
The Intersect Fund has garnered national recognition for its innovative work lending in the informal economy. In 2012, the Fund received more than 54 million media impressions as was featured in CNN, The New York Times, ABC Eyewitness News, Forbes, BusinessWeek, Inc. Magazine, Black Enterprise and dozens of other outlets. The Fund’s CEO is a sought-after expert on entrepreneurship, microfinance, and small business, while our associate director is author of a biweekly small business column in the Home News Tribune, a local newspaper.