Bank of America debuts platform to connect startups to capital and coaching

PROVIDENCE – Bank of America Corp. has launched a new online platform designed to help entrepreneurs and small-business owners start and maintain strong and resilient businesses, the company announced.

The Access to Capital Connector links users directly to local community development financial institutions and other business support organizations for capital and coaching, according to a news release.

The platform, which was created in partnership with national nonprofit CDFI and longtime Bank of America partner Community Reinvestment Fund USA, allows small-business applicants to become pre-qualified by answering a series of questions and then presents them with the platform participants best positioned to help them.

In total, more than 150 CDFIs and other support organizations are participating on the platform, offering capital and resources for entrepreneurs, the bank says.

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“Thousands of small businesses fail each year because they lack the connections, resources and funding to continue operating,” Sharon Miller, president of small business for Bank of America, said in a statement. “Through this longstanding partnership, we aim to help make connections stronger between start-ups, entrepreneurs and funding partners to fuel new ideas, jobs and economic value.”

Patrick Davis, senior vice president of platform and technology services for Community Reinvestment Fund, says Bank of America has been a strong partner in CRF’s efforts to serve entrepreneurs, especially those with a history of underrepresentation.

“When small businesses have access to responsible capital and other resources, they create jobs, grow wealth, and provide critical services for communities,” Davis said in a statement. “The Access to Capital Connector is the latest example of our collaborative work to support a thriving small business ecosystem by streamlining the connection between small business owners and the CDFIs designed to serve them.”

The new platform represents an evolution of the bank’s Access to Capital Directory series, which was launched in 2021 and has more than 25,000 users and 120,000 views, according to the release.

Bank of America has supported CDFIs for more than 25 years and has invested $2 billion in loans, deposits, capital grants and equity investments through more than 250 CDFI partners, the bank said.

“CDFIs help us extend our reach and provide entrepreneurs with the resources they need to achieve their goals,” Pam Seagle, senior vice president of inclusive entrepreneurship for Bank of America, said in a statement. “We have found our extensive network to be highly impactful in fostering economic opportunities for individuals and communities.”