"We've been serving Lancaster for 30 years by providing access to credit to entrepreneurs who want to make a positive change in the community," says Daniel Betancourt, CEO of Community First Fund, a nonprofit that opened its first credit union branch in Lancaster, Pa., on Tuesday.
Betancourt says the credit union's mission is to "improve personal financial stability and provide opportunities to obtain quality, affordable housing," PennLive reports.
The credit union, which opened with a $1 million donation from M&T Bank, plans to open other branches in Harrisburg, York, and Reading, Betancourt says.
The credit union, which opened after years of planning, was chartered by the National Credit Union Administration in June 2021.
It received funding from private donors, foundations, and local foundations.
"This moment is about more than opening the Community First Fund Credit Union in Lancaster," M&T Bank's regional president for southeastern Pennsylvania says. "It's a transformational moment that could help lift the entire community."
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One of the most significant challenges to social entrepreneurship and innovation is ensuring a diversity of approaches and participants in the movement. To truly deliver meaningful social change the leaders of the effort must share perspectives of the challenges faced by communities across the U.S. that can most appropriately come from members of those communities. Ashoka, through its All America initiative seeks to increase the diversity of social entrepreneurship practitioners.