Innovative Economic Initiatives
SBCC’s Innovative Economic Initiative (IEI) impact area aims to expand access to financial opportunities in low-income and immigrant communities that are often marginalized by traditional banking/financial systems. IEI focuses on third-world, co-op and other scalable models, programs and initiatives that help residents increase their monthly incomes. SBCC’s IEI work aims to empower residents to be self-sufficient and resilient members of society.
Community Lending Circles are an approach to economic self-sufficiency centered around one of the oldest grassroots economic strategies, the neighbor-to-neighbor loan. Based on the best practices developed by the Mission Asset Fund, this structure (found in a wide variety of ethnic and cultural groups, especially in immigrant communities) is strengthened by SBCC staff, who provide assistance in budgeting and financial literacy. Over time, participants build a credit history which can open access to small business loans, personal credit, and even home ownership. In collaboration with our financial partners at Union Bank and Wells Fargo, residents who may have been isolated from formal banking institutions begin to build trust and a foundational understanding of key financial literacy topics that place them on a path toward financial well-being.