Capital That Works for Companies and Communities
WEPOWER Capital accelerates community-owned wealth generation in North St. Louis communities that have experienced decades of divestment by investing in high growth Black and Latinx businesses.
Our Region is Missing Out on a Major Opportunity to Advance Racial Equity & Build Wealth
An investment in Black and Latinx entrepreneurs is an investment in our region’s collective prosperity. Black and Latinx entrepreneurs create jobs at the same rate or higher than white owned firms. However, our systems weren’t designed for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs or communities to thrive.
- Traditional Capital Denied: Black and Latinx entrepreneurs are more likely to be denied bank loans, offered less capital when approved, and charged higher interest rates.
- Soaring Racial Wealth Disparities: Given the massive racial wealth gap -- white families have 10-20x the wealth of Black families --most Black and Latinx entrepreneurs do not have access to anyone who will make an early investment of $30,000, let alone $100,000.
- Pandemic Hits Harder: Nationwide, the number of Black owned businesses dropped by 41% between February 2020 and April 2020.
It Is Time to Reimagine The Role of Capital
We cannot reach our potential as a region without fully investing in Black and Latinx communities and the businesses that can drive their economic mobility.
It is time to provide access to capital to Black and Latinx businesses that have the potential to spark wealth for their families and their communities.
Founder-Friendly, Flexible “Capital+” That Builds Community Wealth
This is not your run of the mill investment fund. We provide “capital+” (i.e. capital plus connections and technical assistance), with a mission to spark place-based economic prosperity.
WEPOWER Capital uses revenue based investing, where entrepreneurs repay a fixed percentage of their revenue until a pre-agreed total has been paid back. This model is more flexible than traditional loans, allowing us to truly share risk with entrepreneurs and only succeed when they do, without reducing their ownership in their company.
- Vehicle: Revenue share agreements & loans
- Check size: $50,000 - $200,000
- Return cap: 1.5x, based on business profile
- Revenue share: ~2-10% of monthly revenue
- Collateral: Not required
- Credit Score: Not required
For Fast Growing,
Black and Latinx
We are looking for:
- Black and Latinx owned companies
- Anywhere between $5,000-100,000/month (or more) in revenue
- Strong growth trajectory (or evidence of strong growth potential with investment)
- Companies committed to hiring at or above a living wage or, at minimum, putting workers on a path to a living wage
- Companies committed to hiring in and/or locating in priority neighborhoods, St. Louis city wards 3 and 21, that have experienced generations of disinvestment
Building Community Wealth Triples Impact
A percentage of the returns will be owned and managed by the surrounding community and the rest will be invested in future.
With this innovative model, the impact is three-fold. WEPOWER Capital catalyzes Black and Latinx owned businesses to:
- Anchor neighborhoods
- Build the tax base
- Accelerate community owned shared wealth generation that disrupts generational divestment
BOA President Debate: Questions from the People
The BOA President is the second most powerful position in the city and helps to determine when and how the city’s dollars are spent. For that reason, it is important to convene a space for candidates to respond to real questions from their potential constituents.
WE Dare to Demand a Better St. Louis
This April 2018, 16 Black women from across North St. Louis City, of all ages and backgrounds convened to embark upon a journey of self-exploration and community change. None of them exactly knew what they were getting themselves into…
We co-hosted and sponsored this year’s Vision conference that brought together hundreds of St. Louis entrepreneurs interested in launching and scaling new ventures. We loved connecting with the participants at our booth!
Grounded in Hope
We will have the opportunity to vote for many important positions like state and U.S. Senators. In St. Louis city, where our Power-Builders are running GOTV canvasses and phone banks, the ballot includes candidates for the district’s elected school board.
Intro to Entrepreneurship
We are hosting three Intro to Entrepreneurship events with the Promise Zone to share resources and hear what community members in North city and county need most to launch and grow successful businesses. Space is still available!
WEPOWER Welcomes Bijal Desai-Ramirez to Lead Economic Power-Building
During these last months our team has been busy dreaming, challenging, and fortifying our values, our strategies, and our definition of impact. Our first pilot program hit its half-point mark, and we are cultivating a sense of energy and purpose with our regional partners and our inaugural cohort of power-builders.