Rende (The full value of people. To give back. Be profitable. Return.)
Progress (Forward or onward movement toward a destination.)
Capital (Assets, such as cash and funds.)
Rende Progress Capital
Rende: We respect Excluded Entrepreneurs who need opportunities for their business. Progress: We help them achieve economic security for themselves, their families and communities. Capital: As an alternative and mission-oriented lender we create that progress through loans and investments to business owners of diverse backgrounds.
The Mission: Rende Progress Capital (RPC) is committed to economic equity. RPC was founded by two leaders experienced in racial equity and inclusion who are committed to helping those excluded from traditional financing and lending.
The Process and Difference: Through attention to social and racial inequity data, RPC was created to provide socially responsible and affordable lending and investments to Excluded Entrepreneurs—business owners of diverse ethnic backgrounds who have been excluded from traditional lending and investing opportunities for a variety of socio-economic reasons and bias. RPC uses our innovative racial equity system in our lending decisions.
Racial equity also guides our partnership agreements and hiring policies. We appreciate foundations and individual investors who are motivated by supporting diverse businesses, socially equitable outcomes and return on their investments.
Services and Opportunities: RPC provides loans, investments as well as business technical assistance and venture capital boot-camps to our customers. For borrowers interested in our loans and services, please learn more about us.
1. We serve: The Excluded Entrepreneur.
They are promising. They persevere. Excluded Entrepreneurs are African-American, Asian, Latino, Native American and Immigrants persevering through the combination of racial exclusion in some traditional lending. They are, have been or perceived themselves to be excluded from traditional loans and investments from financial institutions based on a variety of social factors and racial bias.
2. Financing Approval through Racial Equity sm
RPC provides loans through a combination of traditional loan approval criteria merged with our FAREsm system (Financing Approval through Racial Equity). This internal system is used to establish character criteria for a borrower and is used to provide important information and loan decisions that traditional lenders cannot and do not use.
3. Lending Area
The RPC lending and investment areas are in Michigan [specifically Grand Rapids] at this time---with Maryland, District of Columbia and Virginia to follow at a future date. The areas have been affirmed by data and insight from Excluded Entrepreneurs.
Eric K. Foster,
Co-founder, Chair and
Rende Progress Capital (RPC) is a mission-driven lender of loans and investor to Excluded Entrepreneurs who face social and financial barriers to acquiring traditional loans and investments because of bias and racial inequity. In addition to providing loans and investments, RPC also provides technical assistance in business training and venture capital advice to our clients.
Eric and Cuong are both former W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fellows. During their time at a fellowship session in Mississippi, they learned about their mutual passion for economic equity and family economic security for all people. As Cuong learned more about Eric’s fellowship project work, activities and focus in CDFI management to support entrepreneurs and eliminate the racial wealth gap, they both formalized their partnership to create RPC.
It has been their dream to support the many entrepreneurs that they heard stories from about being excluded from conventional lending opportunities. Eric is a serial entrepreneur and socially responsible businessman. Cuong is a seasoned finance professional fueled with the optimism of a better life that sustained him in arriving to the U.S. from Vietnam as a refugee.
Staff: Operations, Business Development and Lending
Co-founder and General Manager
Business Development Director for Opportunity
John Hendershot is the RPC Business Development Director for Opportunity, and is responsible for developing Excluded Entrepreneurs for business technical assistance/pre-loan readiness services and cultivating them as potential customers for RPC loans and investments. He brings to RPC a passion and background in business development and banking to help entrepreneurs prosper in their businesses.
John’s RPC responsibilities is guided by his past experience that includes Chief Executive Officer at DIG-IT where he also managed business development projects and coaching of employees. He also served as Vice President of Finance at Partners Relief & Development, managed his own Leadership Development Consultancy to assist start-up owners and worked as Managing Partner of a company where he managed the design, development and marketing of a variety of products.
John is a frequent writer and author of books, blogs and social media features on socially responsible business practices and leadership. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University and holds a Master of Science in Management and Master of Business Administration from Cornerstone University.
Opportunity and Lending Officer
Kevin Davis is the RPC Opportunity and Lending Officer, and is responsible for recommending RPC business loan applications of Excluded Entrepreneurs for approval along with some cultivation of RPC customers for potential loans.
His consistent professional focus on providing customers with financial security and stability comes from his work within the insurance, banking and business membership service industries. Kevin’s experience in these areas have included work at Fifth Third Bank as a Loan Officer where he coordinated processes of quality assurance, closed high volumes of loans, provided customers with debt relief planning and assisted customers with strategies resulting in credit score improvement and loan qualification.
Kevin worked at Lincoln Heritage/Occidental Life as an Insurance Agent where his engagement with seniors and other communities shaped his ability to combine financial due diligence with patient customer assistance approaches and relationships. He also brings to RPC a past experience as Membership Coordinator at the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce helping small and medium businesses. Kevin has an Associate Degree from Triton College.