Truist and Truist Foundation announce $4.5 million in grants to strengthen Texas' racially diverse small business ecosystem

Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 8:30 AM EST

HOUSTON, Dec. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Truist Foundation today announced a $3.5 million grant to PeopleFund, a Texas-based Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and nonprofit 501(c)(3) that strives to create economic opportunity and financial stability for underserved people by providing access to capital, education and other resources to build healthy small businesses.

Truist Foundation's grant provides long-term sustainability for PeopleFund's Black, Indigenous, Person of Color (BIPOC) Small Business Accelerator, a program that provides business owners the capital, resources and network to start and grow their businesses and attain economic mobility. The accelerator was piloted in 2021 with a $100,000 grant from Truist Foundation and a $3 million low-interest loan from Truist Community Capital. These seed investments acted as catalysts for additional support.

Truist Chairman and CEO Bill Rogers, Truist Foundation President Lynette Bell and Truist Regional President Bill Toomey joined PeopleFund President and CEO Gustavo Lasala for the grant announcement at East End Maker Hub today.

"The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately devastated underserved Black and racially diverse small business owners. We are honored to support PeopleFund, an organization working to provide funding and unique services for diverse small business owners across Texas," said Lynette Bell, president of Truist Foundation. "PeopleFund shares our belief that small businesses are the key to a healthy economy and that every person should have equitable access to the tools they need to become a successful entrepreneur with financial stability."

These Texas-based grants are a part of Truist and Truist Foundation's $120 million joint commitment to strengthening and supporting small businesses nationwide, with a focus on Black-, Latine- and women-owned businesses. By generating greater equity for small business owners, PeopleFund can continue to create jobs, economic opportunity and generational wealth in communities across Texas where these small businesses operate.

"PeopleFund's BIPOC Small Business Accelerator could not have been possible without the leading support of Truist. This program boldly brought together institutions and individuals across Texas and beyond to lift barriers that impede underserved people of color attain financial freedom through entrepreneurship," said Gustavo Lasala, President and CEO of PeopleFund. "We are deeply grateful and proud of Truist's partnership. This grant will help this program scale and continue making a positive difference in underserved communities for years to come."

Truist's purpose of inspiring and building better communities in the Houston area and the state is further exemplified by two additional community grants announced today. Truist Foundation contributed $500,000 to SERJobs and, together with Truist Charitable Fund and Truist's Community Reinvestment Act department, donated $500,000 to Junior Achievement. These grants will fund programs that allow the organizations to strengthen small businesses and build career pathways to economic mobility through education, training, employment and empowerment services for underserved communities in Texas.

About PeopleFund

PeopleFund is a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution, an SBA lender and serves as the managing member of the Veteran Loan Fund. Established in 1994, PeopleFund has almost 30 years of experience helping thousands on the path to financial security. PeopleFund programs focus on advancing economic opportunities for people of color, veterans, women and individuals of low-to-moderate income by providing capital, training and other resources needed to grow healthy small businesses. Since inception, PeopleFund has delivered almost $200 million in financial assistance to over 4,650 small businesses and $150 million in New Market Tax Credit allocations that attracted $750 million in investments—putting the direct impact in the Texas economy as approaching $1 billion. PeopleFund has also helped create and retain 20,000 jobs and delivered over 130,000 hours of business education. To learn more about PeopleFund please visit

About Truist Charitable Fund

The Truist Charitable Fund is a donor-advised fund, advised by Truist, administered by The Winston-Salem Foundation.

About Truist Foundation

Truist Foundation is committed to Truist Financial Corporation's (NYSE: TFC) purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. Established in 2020, the foundation makes strategic investments in nonprofit organizations to help ensure the communities it serves have more opportunities for a better quality of life. Truist Foundation grants and activities focus on building career pathways to economic mobility and strengthening small businesses. Learn more at

About Truist

Truist Financial Corporation is a purpose-driven financial services company committed to inspiring and building better lives and communities. Truist has leading market share in many high-growth markets in the country. The company offers a wide range of services including retail, small business and commercial banking; asset management; capital markets; commercial real estate; corporate and institutional banking; insurance; mortgage; payments; specialized lending; and wealth management. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Truist is a top 10 U.S. commercial bank. Truist Bank, Member FDIC. Learn more at

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