Economic disparity and systemic inequality are stark and pervasive across the Washington region where white households have an average net worth 81 times that of Black households. And though entrepreneurship is critical to closing that gap, entrepreneurs of color are more likely to be denied loans, receive lower amounts, pay higher rates, or not apply at all. Wacif focuses on communities east of the Anacostia River for almost half its lending. It also offers robust advisory services, from one-to-one business counseling to intensive, multi-week courses. During the pandemic, it has provided comprehensive financial relief (loan repayment forgiveness, loan restructuring), COVID-specific online training (digital strategy, business model pivoting, mental health for entrepreneurs), social capital investment, and more grantmaking (as opposed to lending). The businesses Wacif serves will continue to need its support as they face an uncertain, still changing, new economy.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 5

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; DC-Ward 1; DC-Ward 2; DC-Ward 3; DC-Ward 4; DC-Ward 5; DC-Ward 6; DC-Ward 7; DC-Ward 8; MD-Montgomery County; MD-Prince George's County; VA-Arlington County; VA-City of Alexandria

Age Groups Served: Adult (25-49); Seniors (50+)

Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Women/Girls


  • Jobs created or retained annually:   108 Jobs created or retained
  • Amount lent in 2015 to underserved business owners:   $1,700,000
  • Percent of clients that are women or minority-owned businesses:   75%
  • Hours of Business Counselling:   2,000

Awards & Recognition

DC Chamber of Commerce Chairman's Distinction Award - 2015

Press

Budget (FY2015)

  • $3 million or higher
  • The current budget for main stree is: $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $40 million for charities across the Greater Washington region.

The Catalogue for Philanthropy looks to friends like you to keep our services independent and entirely free of charge. Consider a small contribution to the Catalogue to cap off your gift and help the causes you care about get the full support they deserve!

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