Co-op Capital is a relationship-based micro-lending program offered in partnership with Nusenda Credit Union. The program aims to widen access to affordable capital for lower-income entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color in Albuquerque.

Many promising entrepreneurs in Albuquerque face barrier after barrier in securing capital to start or expand their businesses. Co-op Capital flips the traditional lending model and bases lending on trusted relationships between partner organizations—such as nonprofits, community organizations and educational institutions—and individuals in the communities they serve. This program has been called the “alternative to the alternatives” as it does not require credit, collateral or status; and shifts the decision-making authority to community organizations, nonprofits and institutions based on character, goals and determination so entrepreneurs can build businesses that succeed.

This unique micro-lending program has received numerous national awards. We look forward to expanding this program in collaboration with City Alive’s shared goals and partners.

A different way to deliver capital to deserving entrepreneurs and individuals seeking to make their next step.

How does it work?

This micro-loan program does not rely on the traditional “5 Cs of Credit” (character, capacity, capital, collateral, conditions), but on trusted relationships between partner organizations and the communities they serve. The partner organization sponsors a low-interest loan through its credit union deposit account; and the credit union provides the origination, servicing and credit reporting. Partner organizations decide whether to make the loan based on their own criteria. Credit reports from potential borrowers are not required; instead, the relationship between the partner organization and the borrower drives the loan approval process. Partner organizations work with Nusenda to provide comprehensive support and communication with borrowers to ensure repayment.

Co-op Capital is also active throughout New Mexico with micro-lending programs intended to grow more Native American businesses and stabilize immigrant communities.

More about Co-op Capital:

While character-based, community-circle micro-lending is not new to the field of financing, especially internationally, the foresight to offer these loans through partner organizations versus a banking institution is largely untried in the United States. Co-op Capital flips the traditional model of a borrower applying for a loan through a financial institution. Instead, a partner organization, such as a co-op, union or association, sponsors a loan on behalf of one of their member affiliates. Learn more about Co-op Capital at Nusenda.

Apply To be a Co-op Capital Partner

Request for proposals due April 14, 2018.

For more information or to set up a meeting with our Co-op Capital team, contact us: