The Impact of Predatory Lending on Small Businesses


View the full recording and access the presentation of the The Impact of Predatory Lending on Small Businesses Webinar.

Capital is one of the most critical supports for small businesses—it often determines whether a business can access the resources it needs to grow. Unfortunately, as capital availability from traditional sources declined since the great recession, predatory practices have emerged, making capital available but at great risks to small businesses. To advance responsible practices in the marketplace, a coalition of think tanks, small business advocates, nonprofit and industry lenders, and brokers launched the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights (BBOR), which defines a set of borrower rights and lending practices that can ensure that small businesses receive financing that supports their long-term success.

  • Joyce Klein, Director, FIELD Aspen Institute 

    Joyce Klein is Director of the Aspen Institute Microenterprise Fund for Innovation, Effectiveness, Learning and Dissemination (FIELD). Ms. Klein has worked with FIELD for fifteen years, and has more than 20 years of experience studying and supporting microenterprise and entrepreneurial development programs in the United States. Her recent work has included the Scale Academy for Microenterprise Development, in which FIELD is helping leading microenterprise organizations in the U.S. to increase their scale; the Asset Building through Credit pilot, which is working with microenterprise programs to offer a secured credit card as a credit- and asset-building tool for entrepreneurs; and FIELD's new leadership development program for the U.S. microenterprise field, ELM2. 

    Ms. Klein also has worked as a consultant in the microenterprise field, providing assistance to clients including the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and CFED (formerly the Corporation for Enterprise Development). Prior to her work with FIELD, Ms. Klein led CFED's work in microenterprise development. She holds a Master's Degree in Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.A. in Economics from Boston College.


  • Mary Fran Riley, Senior Vice President, External Affairs, Accion Chicago 

    Mary Fran Riley is Senior Vice President for External Affairs at Accion Chicago. Accion helps communities grow by investing in entrepreneurs who build businesses and create jobs in their communities. She is responsible for government initiatives and relationships and represents Accion within the community locally, regionally and nationally fostering and developing critical partnerships to advance issues and challenges facing small businesses and the communities they serve. 

    Mary Fran joined Accion Chicago in 2006 as Vice President of Resource Development and provided support in many capacities to the then growing organization. Mary Fran has spent her entire career in the community development field including 24 years at Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago. 

    Mary Fran has championed many other organizations, including current board membership at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless as well as past board involvement with Archi-treasures, and in volunteer positions for Family Farmed, Public Narrative formerly Community Media Workshop, Oak Park Regional Housing Center and Oak Park Arts Council. She has provided training in fundraising, communications and special events for the Association of Fundraising Professional, NeighborWorks America, and other non-profits. 

    Mary Fran is a graduate of St. Mary of the Woods College, where she received a B.A. in Liberal Arts. She attended graduate school in education at the University of Illinois-Chicago.


  • Gwendy Brown, Vice President of Research and Policy, Opportunity Fund 

    Gwendy Brown is Vice President of Research and Policy at Opportunity Fund, California’s leading microfinance organization. In her role, Gwendy works to advance responsible business and consumer lending, college affordability and access to savings opportunities for all Californians. She was first drawn to development work when she served as a Fulbright Scholar with the Andean Development Corporation (CAF) in Caracas, Venezuela. Gwendy holds a BA in Economics & Public Policy from Pomona College and an MPA in Nonprofit Management from New York University and is originally from Berkeley, CA.


  • Harold Pettigrew, Director, Entrepreneurship, Prosperity Now

    Harold Pettigrew serves as Prosperity Now’s Director of Entrepreneurship where he leads the organization’s national efforts to advance policies and programs that increase business success for low- and moderate-income microbusiness owners throughout the United States. Harold has spent his career in economic development, with over 15 years of experience in entrepreneurship and small business development, venture capital investing, transportation and transit, workforce development and public sector management. Prior to joining Prosperity Now, Harold served as Director of the Washington, D.C., Department of Small and Local Business Development, where he was the city’s chief advocate and advisor on all programs, policies and issues impacting small business. Harold led the city’s agency charged with fostering the development, growth and retention of small businesses in Washington, DC. Harold has a Master's of Urban Planning degree from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, and a B.A. in Political Science from North Carolina State University, where he served as a member of the university’s Board of Trustees.

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