As the founder of LiftFund, I am filled with immense pride and gratitude as we enter a new chapter in our organization's journey. The heart and soul of LiftFund resides within each entrepreneur we serve. And I would like to extend my appreciation to every individual who has contributed to LiftFund's legacy for nearly 30 years of service.
LiftFund's story is one of inspiration and empowerment, written collaboratively with every entrepreneur we've had the privilege to support and every partner and supporter we’ve worked with to make dreams come true. Together, we have lifted aspirations and kindled hope for countless of San Antonio small businesses. In San Antonio alone, we have disbursed nearly $200 million in small business funding since our inception in 1994; and almost a billion dollars in our 15-state service area. Our clients are considered high-risk in the traditional banking industry, yet we have a 96% repayment rate. The business owners we serve make a significant impact in our community that may last for generations to come.
Our mission to empower business owners and foster economic inclusivity has never been more important. Last month, we welcomed Laurie Vignaud as our new President & CEO. Laurie is a visionary leader with over 35 years of executive experience in banking and community development, and her arrival marks an exciting journey toward even greater achievements,
We are steadfast in our commitment to the success of our small business community. Our resources, mentorship, and affordable capital options, like the City of San Antonio’s 0% Interest Buydown program in partnership with the City of San Antonio, are designed to help business owners nurture thriving businesses and contribute to the vibrancy of our community.
I urge our community of clients, supporters, and partners to join us in celebrating the possibilities ahead. The stage is set for even greater transformations, where every entrepreneur's potential is nurtured and where small businesses create a ripple effect of prosperity.
As we embark on this exciting journey, I extend my deepest gratitude to each one of you for being an essential part of LiftFund's legacy. Together, let us continue to create a more inclusive future, one where dreams are realized, and possibilities are endless. I will continue to be an advisor to the LiftFund community until early next year. On March 20, 2024, we will have a luncheon to celebrate LiftFund’s 30-year anniversary and my 30 years of service. Please save the date. In the meantime, let’s continue to support our small business community.
Janie Barrera is the founding President and Chief Executive Officer of LiftFund, a nonprofit small business champion.
LiftFund Founder Janie Barrera welcomes new President and CEO Laurie Vignaud