- Our goal is to build capabilities within the community to facilitate long-term economic development in some of the city’s most distressed neighborhoods. We will aim to stimulate economic growth by providing disadvantaged small businesses with development opportunities, focusing particularly on growth-oriented startups and early stage businesses.
- Our three-year initiative will have a two pronged approach:
- By partnering with Kiva, a global microloan platform that crowdfunds 0% interest loans to underserved entrepreneurs, and the Baltimore Development Corporation’s Small Business Resource Center (SBRC), our associates will provide pro bono services to assist select businesses in the areas of marketing, technology, finance, communications, and legal.
- We will use our partnerships with Kiva and SBRC to facilitate lending to these small businesses. The T. Rowe Price Foundation, alongside other local funders, is providing a two-year $215,000 grant to Kiva, enabling them to launch Kiva City Baltimore and establish a local presence. In addition, T. Rowe Price will give $225,000 over three years to SBRC to fund a full-time position at SBRC to provide the infrastructure needed to increase the number of small business loans.
- Our three-year BLocal Business Mentoring program complements our existing long-term initiatives to support Baltimore. While we have a long-standing history of giving and serving in the community, we have increased our efforts since the unrest in April 2015 to address some of the underlying issues that precipitated it.
Year One Progress: Launched KIVA City Baltimore, which has made 12 loans totaling $89,500 to local borrowers, with over 20 potential borrowers in the pipeline seeking funding from the KIVA network.
Year Two Progress: From our original $215K investment, $231K of loans have been fully funded to 46 borrowers and those loans have been made by 3,900 lenders, of which 2,721 come from the United States and the remaining from outside the U.S.
The KIVA Baltimore network has grown to nine Trustees, who source entrepreneurs they believe in and publicly endorse them as borrowers on the Kiva website. Trustees have no financial liability for loans, but their reputation is tied to the repayment rate of the borrowers they endorse.
The areas where local entrepreneurs are focusing is in Services, Food, Retail and Clothing industries.
70 percent of the borrowers are African-American, the highest rate of any KIVA metropolitan area in the United States. 70 percent of our local borrowers are also women.
- Funded a full-time position at the SBRC who will develop the infrastructure needed to help small businesses seeking advice and support in the Baltimore area. T. Rowe Price and SBRC are jointly creating a workshop on environmental construction. We also hope to incorporate the workshop into the BLocal BUILD College curriculum.
Year Two Progress: T. Rowe Price funded a position at the SBRC that has counseled nearly 300 current and aspiring entrepreneurs, helping 23 of them start new businesses.
- The T. Rowe Price Foundation previously announced that it will be granting $1.3 million over three years to fund collaboration across nonprofits addressing some of West Baltimore’s most critical needs: improving accessibility to healthy food, building financial capabilities among families, and strengthening leadership and organizational capacities among community leaders.
Year One Progress: Last year, the T. Rowe Price Foundation awarded $3 million in direct grants to Baltimore nonprofits focused on improving educational outcomes for city youths, helping individuals secure and retain employment, and providing basic needs to families in crisis.
Year Two Progress: At the end of 2017, the West Baltimore grant had helped increase the number of heathy food vendors to 7 from 4 in 2015, selling $23K in produce to local residents. There had been significant turnaround in Sandtown-Winchester’s Healthy Food Availability Index score since 2015.
Additionally, 20 local innovators had been seeded financial and social capital to take their ideas to the next level through the Elevation Awards. And more than 1,200 young people and nearly 300 adults in West Baltimore had engaged in financial empowerment activities, with 75% of students showing behavioral and attitude change toward using a personal budget and saving for the future while 60% of adults in the financial coaching work showed a decrease in debt or an increase in savings.
Finally, to support the strength and organizational health of the social sector in Baltimore, T. Rowe Price Foundation’s capacity building program supported hundreds of local leaders to help them build leadership and organizational strength. In 2017, there were over 650 occurrences where Baltimore social sector leaders took advantage of our capacity building efforts.
About T. Rowe Price
Founded in 1937, Baltimore-based T. Rowe Price Group Inc. is a global investment management organization that provides a broad array of mutual funds, subadvisory services, and separate account management for individual and institutional investors, retirement plans, and financial intermediaries.