We are United Virginia!

United Virginia Education Fund supports the social enterprise sector through education, micro-lending, impact grants, organizational stategy and advocacy. We champion under-resourced entrepreneurs and communities ready roll up our sleaves and collaborate for change.

We have adopted the SEA 3.0 innovation modal in our work adopting the practice and principles of open enterprise development, dedicated to community-equity, co-creation and meaningful collaborations.

United Virginia Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2009

Richmond Virginia

Funding the Cause

United Virginia's micro-lending programs support under-resourced enterprise owners across the Commonwealth.

In October 2017 UVEF was named by Kiva as one of 90 "Top Trustees" out of 3,000+ trustees across the United States because our repayment rate exceeds 92% across $10,000+ of repayments. As a result, UVEF qualifies to endorse community-backed loans in Kiva's new $25,000 Crowdfunded Loan Program.

In addition to social financing through Kiva, UVEF has provided $100,000+ in micro-lending from its own fund. Peer loans for as much as $5,000 have been provided through programs produced in Martinsville, South Boston, Petersburg and Richmond, Virginia. Our microenterprise development programs have been sponsored by various public and private partners including the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Entrepreneurship Program.

Examples of successful UVEF borrowers in our micro-lending operation include Karen Wilson the owner of Karen Wilson Natural Beauty, a natural hair care business, and Taliah Muhammad, the owner of Sister Taliah’s Naturals whose fair trade enterprise now has distribution in Whole Foods.

Since 2014 we have sponsored and organized:
  • RVA Social Entrepreneurs
  • producing and promoting events with a community of 300+ passionate entrepreneurs in the Richmond Region committed to the belief that enterprises can be vehicles for positive social change.

In addition, we organize and support community wealth-building initiatives by driving human, social and financial capital. During 2017, UVEF led the successful formation of the Virginia Chapter of the Social Enterprise Alliance of which we are a founding member. This year SEA membership in Virginia has grown from three members, one each in Hampton Roads, Fredericksburg, and Harrisonburg to a board-led chapter with 15 individual and organizational members across the Commonwealth - now including members in Richmond, Staunton, Lynchburg, Roanoke and the DC region.

UVEF also recently sponsored a statewide Strategic Planning Study for the growth of Virginia’s social enterprise sector.

Why lend to small businesses?

Small businesses are the primary employers in the United States, putting about 60 million Americans to work. Yet accessing small business capital, a vital component of business creation and growth, has become a near-impossible hurdle for many entrepreneurs. Small business owners face dwindling opportunities to access capital, with community banking down 50% over the past decade and 80% of small businesses unable to obtain bank loans. Kiva calls this the “missing micro.”

UVEF works with Kiva and other sources to meet these challenges by filling a gap in funding through it’s simple, easy-to-use tech platform that supports crowd-sourced loans, we are revolutionizing the availability and accessibility of capital and fostering community support for entrepreneurs in the U.S.

Together in Commonwealth

The COVID-19 pandemic has made unprecedented impact on our lives and relationships and lasting effects are predicted for our state and global economy. Many important adaptations and innovationss will be required, UVEF stands ready to meet these challenging times working with public and private champions leading the charge.

Build with Us!

Inquiries: rob@unitedvirginia.org
P.O. Box 7358, Richmond, Virginia 23221.

Office Telephone : +1 (804) 545-6880
Direct : +1 (804) 314-2180