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SWIG Finance MD, John Peters recently joined a UK CDFI delegation to New York City, organised by Big Society Capital.

The trip, funded by CiTi Bank was to give Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFI), such as SWIG Finance an opportunity to learn from the more advanced CDFI market in the United States.

There are a range of initiatives coming together in the UK to consider how best to scale the UK enterprise lending CDFI market to reach more underserved businesses and achieve greater social and economic impact. The aim of the visit was to begin the learning process, build networks to continue the learning exchange and disseminate learnings from the US in the UK.

Other delegates included Qammar Zamman from Enterprise Loans East Midlands, Duncan Parker from Frederick’s Foundation, Andrew Austwick from Finance for Enterprise, Thomas Gillan of Social Investment Scotland and Rebecca McCartney from Big Society Capital.

One of the organisations the group visited was TruFund (MD Aisha Benson, pictured), a New York- based CDFI which promotes and fosters economic development within underserved communities and among disadvantaged populations. It is a non-profit, mission driven entity which offers affordable loan capital to small businesses and non-profit organisations that are financially viable, but have difficulty accessing capital from banks or other conventional lenders.