Chicago Citizen: First Black Woman Named President of Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives Micro Finance Group

Originally Published in the Chicago Citizen, October 24 2018

BY KATHERINE NEWMAN

Erica King, formerly Vice President of Lending at Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives Micro Finance Group (CNIMFG), was recently promoted to President. In her new role, King is now one of the few minority women in the country leading a financial services organization. King plans to continue moving forward with the momentum she built as vice president and continue to grow and expand CNIMFG lending portfolio.

“I’m definitely very excited to have the opportunity to lead a loan fund and to help small businesses. This is something that I have been doing for my entire career and it’s really empowering and rewarding,” said King.

CNIMFG is a nonprofit micro-lender and certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Since its inception in 2012, CNIMFG has invested more than $2 million into Chicago’s business community which has contributed to the growth of more than 100 minority-owned small businesses. King said that as president she plans to grow CNIMFG even more and expand the number of businesses that exist in their lending portfolio.

“I hope to expand the portfolio. We’ve worked with over 100 businesses since inception and there is certainly a need beyond that number. I would like to get to a point where we can continue to raise capital and continue to deploy more loans than we have in the past,” said King.

Expanding the lending portfolio will help King to encourage more investment into the loan fund and she also hopes to expand the amount of money that they are able to lend, which is currently capped at $50,000 per business.

“We currently offer up to $50,000 for small businesses and again I know the need is greater than that. There is still a grey area for small business lenders and microlenders that are CDFIs within that $50,000 to $100,000 space and I’d like to be in that space eventually. We have to continue to grow our lending portfolio so we can absorb larger loans,” said King.

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