In 2021, ReMix Ideas in partnership with FORGE Community Loan Fund (a CDFI) launched the Imani Fund, an innovative loan product which is rooted in equity. Imani means Faith in Swahili.

“I believe that access to capital is the key for businesses to survive, grow and scale,” Benito said. The fund uses a unique underwriting process that values an individual’s character and business-model potential over their collateral or credit score. By providing microloans between $5,000 and $25,000 and free technical assistance, the fund hopes to help more under-resourced entrepreneurs succeed.

“Over the past few years, I’ve worked closely with Black entrepreneurs and witnessed many of their business dreams die in a bank parking lot due to an unfavorable credit history or lack of collateral,” Benito said.