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Expanding Small Loan Programs

Expanding Employer-Based Small Dollar Loan Programs and the CDFI Industry: Learnings from the Knowledge Network

Opportunity Finance Network

First published January 2017

During 2016, Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) convened an Employer-Based Small Dollar Loan Knowledge Network (Knowledge Network) of nine diverse mission-driven lenders offering employer-based small-dollar loan products. OFN managed the Knowledge Network with the support of The Prudential Foundation and the valuable insights of two Knowledge Partners, Center for Financial Services Innovation and the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions. Through monthly conversations including online and in-person meetings, the Knowledge Network participants shared strategies and learned about common challenges. This paper details learnings from the Knowledge Network’s discussions, organized in six areas: Marketing, Outreach, and Employer Engagement; Customer Experience; Technology; Financial Counseling; Impact and Outcomes; and Partnerships.

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