Startup Week Louisville 2021 Startup Week Louisville 2021
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No luck at the bank? CDFI's and their economic impact on a startup community


David Taliaferro
Lenderfit, Co-Founder & CEO
Mary Ellen Wiederwohl
LHOME, Interim President & CEO
Keisha Deonarine
Park Community Credit Union, Executive Director of Philanthropy and Corporate Relations

Keisha Deonarine serves as the inaugural Executive Director of Nspire – A Park Community Initiative. Nspire, Inc. is a 501(c)3 public charity serving as the sister organization and philanthropic arm of Park Community Credit Union. Nspire makes transformational investments in communities that struggle with financial instability. Keisha believes that equitable access to financial education, resources, and advocacy will measurably improve growth within our valued communities.

Prior to her position, Keisha served as the inaugural Executive Director of the Passport Foundation focusing on developing programs beyond clinical care that improve social determinants of health for people in under-served and low-income communities throughout Kentucky.

Keisha was also Economic Development Manager at Louisville Forward, focusing on the Lifelong Wellness and Aging Care Strategy. Keisha managed successful economic development projects, including the landing of the Evolent Medicaid Center of Excellence’s headquarters in January 2016, ONCO360’s new Louisville headquarters, and Kindred Healthcare’s $39 million expansion in 2015.

While at Louisville Forward, Keisha located more than $200 million in project investments, worked with over 70 health care start-up companies through expansion and helped bring more than 6,000 jobs to Louisville. Keisha was the lead coordinator of the Louisville Innovation Summit, which focused on aging innovation strategies for over 400 national and international attendees.

Keisha was recently named Forty Under 40 in 2020 and MOSAIC Award winner in 2019.

Keisha is a graduate of Leadership Louisville 2019, Leadership Kentucky 2018, Welcome Academy 2017, Ignite Louisville 2016 and Leadership Oldham County 2014.


Join us as we talk about this little known industry that's entering a golden age due to the pandemic, and how if you've you might be able to access capital form a CDFI when mainstream lenders are saying "not yet."


When it comes to financing a little known act of congress in 1970 called the "CRA act" spawned an entire industry. Banks would be required to provide capital non-profit entities that are known as Community Development Finance Institutions. As banking became more profitable, and more national vs local, the minimum threshold for deal size and what type of deals they were willing to work on continued to grow (along with the requirements for approval). Small businesses were, and still are, the lifeblood of the American economy. Thus, this act established a flow bank capital out to certified non-profit lenders who are focused on loan amounts under $50,000.