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Collaborative Impact: Uniting to Forge a More Inclusive Economy in Arizona

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In Arizona, a remarkable movement is underway, driven by a collective commitment to collaboration, inclusivity, and community prosperity. This wave of economic transformation is championed by dedicated organizations, including CIC Tucson, Local First Arizona, Moonshot, and Growth Partners Arizona (GPAz). Together, these entities are leading the charge toward a brighter future for Arizona, leveraging their unique strengths to foster innovative partnerships and empower communities.

Growth Partners Arizona is intensifying its commitment to Southern Arizona through a strategic relocation to FORGE at Roy Place, marking a pivotal expansion in its mission to serve the local community. This move enhances GPAz’s capacity for hosting innovative workshops and networking events and reinforces its regional impact. Central to GPAz’s initiatives is the dedication to character-based lending, vividly illustrated by two cornerstone programs: the BIPOC Loan Fund and the Kiva Tucson Hub. Initially spearheaded by CIC Tucson, the BIPOC Loan Fund has been a groundbreaking tool for financial inclusivity, providing essential resources to BIPOC entrepreneurs. Complementing this effort, the Kiva Tucson Hub emerges as a anchoring initiative, championing the cause of character-based lending with remarkable success. Through this fund, GPAz has facilitated nearly $700K to small businesses across Southern Arizona, embodying their commitment to diversifying access to capital and fostering an equitable environment for all entrepreneurs to flourish.

In Central Arizona, the innovative partnership between GPAz and Local First Arizona is paving the way for a sustainable and inclusive economic future through initiatives like the Green Loan Fund and the SPARK Character-based Loan program. This collaboration is rooted in a shared commitment to fostering a greener, more equitable business landscape by offering alternative lending solutions and support based on impact rather than traditional financial metrics alone. Earlier this year the Green Loan fund disbursed it’s first green loan a significant milestone that signals growing momentum for sustainable lending initiatives. The progress achieved thus far stands as a powerful testament to the tangible impact of collaboration between GPAz and Local First Arizona. With a shared vision for a sustainable future, they are set to see an acceleration of this positive momentum into 2024.

The partnership between Moonshot and Growth Partners Arizona is a pivotal force in transforming the small business ecosystem in Northern Arizona, turning financial deserts into fertile grounds for economic opportunity. This collaboration provides essential capital and financial literacy, directly addressing the stark reality that microenterprises in rural Arizona face—a landscape where access to capital is often invisible and out of reach. By targeting businesses usually missed by traditional financing methods, this alliance ensures these ventures have the support they need to thrive. It emphasizes a profound commitment to eradicating the barriers to economic growth and prosperity in areas where financial resources have been scarce. This initiative marks a significant step towards inclusivity and sustainable development, ensuring rural Arizona is included in investment conversations around capital deployment.

Growth Partners Arizona is revolutionizing the landscape of economic support with a focus on community engagement and collaborative innovation. By blending traditional lending methods with forward-thinking approaches, GPAz is not just offering financial assistance but is also fostering a network of empowered communities. Initiatives such as the Moments of Impact storytelling and the Thrive Together Lending Program underscore their commitment to sparking significant change and nurturing the aspirations of local entrepreneurs. With physical offices strategically located in Southern, Central, and now Northern Arizona, GPAz is uniquely positioned to address the challenges of access to capital for small businesses across the region, ensuring that support is widespread and impactful.

The collective efforts of Arizona’s community-serving organizations and CDFIs, like GPAz, illustrate the transformative impact of collaboration. With innovative funding, strategic partnerships, and a steadfast commitment to community empowerment, these organizations are not just contributing to economic development but creating a legacy of prosperity and inclusivity. As the Arizona small business community stands on the cusp of a new era, these collaborative endeavors promise a future filled with opportunities for all, reinforcing the belief that together, communities thrive.