Samatar, a Somali refugee who 15 years ago was struggling to learn English at the nearby
"There's no magic to it," said Samatar, a
Community development corporations (CDCs) were created 30 years ago to provide often-subsidized credit to fledgling businesses in inner-city neighborhoods and small towns that are otherwise unbankable. The borrowers typically lack established credit or need less than a bank usually loans.
Participating banks also get credit for their investments in CDCs toward meeting requirements of the federal Community Reinvestment Act, designed to ensure that they are providing credit and economic-development investments throughout their service territories, including working-poor neighborhoods.
Counselors at ADC teach personal finance, help prepare clients for home ownership and coach budding entrepreneurs.
The nonprofit community development corporation has made more than 100 commercial loans that average less than
"Every dollar that comes through us is leveraged three times or more by our partner lenders and the equity of the business entrepreneurs," Hussein said. "They must have skin in the game. Most of them have worked two or three jobs, go to school and care for their families to be successful in America."
Samatar, 41, trained in finance and economics, was part of the last graduating class of
"Hussein has great discipline and a hunger to learn that he inherited from his late mother," said
Samatar is proud of the creditworthiness of his customers.
"You might think that Minnesota African-American immigrants, nearly a third of whom live in poverty, would be high-risk," he said. "Our loan delinquency rate is about 7 percent. The (national CDC) average is about 15 percent. Our clients take great pride in building their businesses and communities."
In July, Abdiqafar Adan paid off a
These are not cookie-cutter, chain-store deals in suburban shopping malls.
"We have to really know our customers and keep an
open mind," Samatar said. "We do about 35 loans a year and we have
loaned up to
ADC also is a partner with
Temali, a veteran of banking and community development, mentored then-banker Samatar and urged him to start ADC to assist the growing African community that had budding entrepreneurs but lacked know-how and capital.
ADC is supported by
For the past two years, ADC was named the most active small-business lender through
"We believe we can combine 'bottom lines' by serving the community well, building wealth for the people we serve in
Samatar, who earned
"Home is where the heart is, and
Source: McClatchy-Tribune Information Services