Credit Blind Financing for Entrepreneurs of Color

Black entrepreneurs have experienced a legacy of multigenerational exclusion by traditional financial institutions. To begin addressing this issue, we have created new lending standards to identify practices that were found to have bias and replace them with more racially equitable options.

One such solution is our new Activate Detroit Loan product. We use character-based evaluations that focus on the promise that small business owners of color can deliver to their communities. This affordable and flexible capital does not require a credit score, is fee-free, and has a much-simplified application process. This streamlined process is built to help borrowers move from idea to financing as quickly as possible. We invite you to see many of the key features below.

Interested in Learning More?


Sweat Equity and Passion Drives Small Business Dream

“I’m the kind of guy who if you tell me I can’t, I double down on commitment.” With that drive and support from CDC through an equity-based loan product, Jamaal Muhammad took his pop-up idea and turned it into a bricks-and-mortar reality in Detroit.
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Activate Detroit Loan Product Features

  • Complimentary pre- and post-loan technical assistance for all borrowers
  • No minimum FICO scores. Scores will be blinded on all credit reports. We will request an explanation for derogatory items only.
  • No collateral or down payment required
  • No loan fees, borrower only pays loan soft costs
  • Flexible repayment structures
  • Simplified and streamlined document collection process
  • Reporting timely payments to the personal credit bureaus to help build credit
  • 3% of your loan amount will be accessible as an emergency fund grant


Activate Detroit Loan Details & Eligibility

Loan Details

  • Loans up to $100,000 for working capital and business debt refinancing
  • Up to 10 Year Term
  • 10% fixed rate


  • Black-owned businesses in Metro Detroit (Macomb, Wayne, and Oakland Counties)
  • Be able to show six months of business (or personal) rent and utility payments
  • Pre- and post-loan business advising partnership
  • 18 months business projections (Business advisor will assist as needed)
  • No down payment or borrower equity requirements
  • Minimum of 3 months of proven sales – no pure start-ups
  • The business owner must identify as Black or African American

We’re Here to Help. Let’s Talk!

Nimaj Driscoll

Loan Officer

(313) 580-2627

Donell Miles

Senior Business Advisor

(248) 227-3835

Helping Small Businesses Achieve Their Dreams

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