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Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership Partners with TruFund Financial Services to Help BIPOC-Owned Businesses Acquire Commercial Property

Mar 30, 2023

Media Contacts

Jackson Gaskins

Rally Point for IFEL | 916-616-3978

Kim Carter Evans, PhD, MBA

Senior Vice President | Managing Director | 646-385-6946

Newark, NJ  – March 29, 2023 – The Institute For Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL), a nonprofit organization that works to eradicate the systemic barriers that prevent people from historically excluded populations from being able to build wealth through entrepreneurship, today announced a strategic partnership with TruFund Financial Services, Inc. to help entrepreneurs of color generate wealth through commercial real estate ownership.

The TruFund Real Estate Acquisition Program (RAP) will initially be offered in TruFund’s identified service areas in Northern New Jersey, New York, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. TruFund launched RAP to provide businesses with a way to reduce operational risk, promote business stability and open a new pathway to wealth creation for business owners who have historically been shut out from real estate ownership. 

IFEL will leverage its community of nearly 800 volunteer professionals to help business owners address issues and barriers that may impede their ability to successfully apply for a RAP loan. 

“Real estate ownership can be transformative for small business owners. It brings stability, mitigates the potential for displacement, and allows a business to take greater control of its physical assets to improve operations and capacity,” said James H. Bason, President and CEO of TruFund Financial Services, Inc. “We are excited to offer first-of-its-kind products for the communities we serve and we have found an excellent partner in IFEL.” 

For any business, rising rents and costly property improvements can pose a significant challenge, with some investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in property they don’t own. TruFund’s RAP offers a solution, with a primary first mortgage of up to 90% of property purchase price and the option to add a subordinated loan of up to 5% of a property purchase.

“We’re thrilled to partner with TruFund and look forward to supporting entrepreneurs navigate the challenging real estate market,” said IFEL CEO and Co-Founder Jill Johnson. “Real estate adds immense value to an enterprise and we’re encouraged to see the benefits of ownership being discussed in the small business arena.” 

For more information or to apply for the program, visit

About The Institute For Entrepreneurial Leadership

 The Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL) is an independent, non-profit organization that leverages the power of relationship capital to create pathways to success for Black and Latinx founders, entrepreneurs and small business owners. Founded in 2002, IFEL’s mission is to eradicate the systemic barriers that prevent people from historically excluded populations from being able to access the knowledge, networks, and capital required for entrepreneurial success and wealth creation. Learn more at

About TruFund 

TruFund Financial Services, Inc. is a wholly independent national non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). TruFund seeks to stimulate economic development in communities that are underserved by traditional banking institutions by providing fair and accessible capital, hands-on technical assistance and innovative solutions to small businesses and nonprofit organizations. To learn more about TruFund, visit

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