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1704 Bellefontaine St., Indianapolis, IN 46202

Champions of Change: Honoring Black Leaders in Our Communities

Black History Month isn’t just a time to reflect on the past; it’s also an opportunity to celebrate the present and future. At Intend Indiana, we believe in recognizing and honoring the contributions of Black individuals who are making a significant impact in the communities they serve.

Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington

To start, we would like to highlight Booker T. Washington. Washington was a reformer and educator who paved the way for wealth-building and affordable lending products for Black entrepreneurs. As one of the most prominent Black leaders of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, he believed that the solutions to racial discrimination were primarily economic—and that Black entrepreneurship was vital. 

He founded the National Negro Business League in 1900 to further the economic development of Black businesses to achieve social equality in American society. Members in the league included small business owners, farmers, doctors, lawyers, craftsmen, and other professionals. The league maintained directories for all major US cities and incorporated Black contacts in numerous businesses. 

Booker T. Washington and his drive toward social equality made it possible for non-profits like us to create opportunities for Black entrepreneurs in our own community. Thanks to Washington and his legacy, we can provide flexible, affordable, and responsible funding to Black-Owned small businesses.

Below are Black leaders in our community who we supported through our mission-driven CDFI, Build Fund:

Joy’s Helping Hand Daycare (Build Fund Loan)

Joy’s Helping Hand Childcare Center is managed by Jamika Cooper, who started out as a home-based childcare provider in 2009. The center is a licensed childcare facility catering to children from infancy to school age, emphasizing holistic child development.

The loan will go toward acquiring an additional site to serve downtown Indianapolis and achieve accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Mamba, LLC. (Build Fund Loan)

Mamba Investments, LLC provides real estate development and property management services. Mamba is a local women’s business enterprise (WBE/0 and Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) headquartered in Indianapolis, IN. The LLC is owned and operated by Sharika Webb, who brings 5+ years of real estate investing and 10+ years of sales experience.

Mamba’s funding will go toward constructing a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in the Near North community.

ACT Development, LLC. (BuildSmart Loan)

Blancha Funkhouser

ACT Development, LLC, was founded in 2007 by owner Blancha Funkhouser. The LLC has operated in the Indianapolis area for the past ten years, working on both small- and large-scale construction and repair projects focusing on single-family residential contracting.

ACT Development’s funding has helped Funkhouser obtain consistent work while more easily being able to pay her suppliers and contractors.

As we celebrate Black History Month, let us continue to acknowledge and honor the Black leaders who are actively shaping the communities we live and work in.

At Intend, we remain committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in our efforts toward community development. By recognizing and amplifying the impact of these individuals, we take a step closer to building a more just and equitable future for all.